Each fall, I provide Beloit College’s overview about the incoming class of college freshmen. This year’s list is a bit different for me as these attributes reflect the mindsets of students born in 1999. This is the birth year of our firstborn son who began his Computer Science program last week. So if you are getting to be an old guy like me, today’s blog may be more than just facts!
I have edited Beloit’s list to 30 items. The complete list can be accessed at the link above.
- Their classmates could include Eddie Murphy’s Zola and Mel Gibson’s Tommy, or Jackie Evancho singing down the hall.
- They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials — enter next year, on cue, Generation Z! (though this may be disputed by some who would state that Gen Z began graduating from University last spring).
- They are the first generation for whom a “phone” has been primarily a video game, direction finder, electronic telegraph, and research library.
- Electronic signatures have always been as legally binding as the pen-on-paper kind.
- In college, they will often think of themselves as consumers, who’ve borrowed a lot of money to be there.
- Peanutscomic strips have always been repeats.
- They have largely grown up in a floppy-less world.
- There have always been emojis to cheer us up.
- It is doubtful that they have ever used or heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.
- They are the first generation to grow up with Watson outperforming Sherlock.
- Amazon has always invited consumers to follow the arrow from A to Z.
- Their folks have always been able to get reward points by paying their taxes to the IRS on plastic.
- In their lifetimes, Blackberryhas gone from being a wild fruit to being a communications device to becoming a wild fruit again.
- They have always been searching for Pokemon.
- Dora the Explorerand her pet monkey Boots helped to set them on the course of discovery.
- By the time they entered school, laptops were outselling desktops.
- Once on campus, they will find that college syllabi, replete with policies about disability, non-discrimination, and learning goals, might be longer than some of their reading assignments.
- As toddlers they may have dined on some of that canned food hoarded in case of Y2K.
- Whatever the subject, there’s always been a blog for it.
- Globalization has always been both a powerful fact of life and a source of incessant protest.
- One out of four major league baseball players has always been born outside the United States.
- A movie scene longer than two minutes has always seemed like an eternity.
- The Latin music industry has always had its own Grammy Awards.
- As toddlers, they may have taught their grandparents how to Skype.
- The BBC has always had a network in the U.S. where they speak American.
- There has always been a Monster in their corner when looking for a job.
- Wikipedia has steadily gained acceptance by their teachers.
- Justin Timberlake has always been a solo act.
- Women have always scaled both sides of Everest and rowed across the Atlantic.
- Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.
Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman Email: firstname.lastname@example.org