Class of 2017 Has Never Needed to Ask Directions

Beloit's annual exercise in making everyone over 18 feel archaic is out
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2013 9:43 AM CDT
Class of 2017 Has Never Needed to Ask Directions
The class of 2017 has never needed to ask directions, thanks to GPS.   (Shutterstock)

If you've never asked directions, never had chicken pox, and tend to share everything, you could probably impersonate a member of the Class of 2017, according to Beloit College's annual Mindset List. Class members were mostly born in 1995, and they're very tech-savvy; indeed, "a third of the list has to do with technology," says former college public affairs director Ron Nief, who compiled the list with Prof. Tom McBride.

McBride points out that class members "are multicultural—they have a shared notion of national identity." What's more, "they have non-sectarian views; they have an ecumenical sense of spirituality," he tells USA Today. He and Nief make the list by perusing media for standout events and trends; they also get tips on Facebook. A few highlights:

  • You might see LL Cool J or Eminem at parents' weekend, since they had kids in 1995.
  • News has been crawling across the TV screen as long as '17ers have been crawling themselves.
  • Getting a cell phone may be a bigger rite of passage than getting a car.
  • Chatting doesn't require talking.
  • Concerts they've seen have never been filled with cigarette smoke.
Here's the full list; or head over to Salon, where Daniel D'Addario takes down some of its more ludicrous contentions (See: "The Pentagon and Congress have always been shocked, absolutely shocked, by reports of sexual harassment and assault in the military.") as well as its superficial tendency to focus "on technology as the primary if not sole determinant of how people live life." His full piece is worth a read. (Read more Beloit College stories.)

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