Kids These Days: A List of the World According to the Class of 2016

For them, Little Caesar has always been proclaiming “Pizza Pizza"

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Barry Austin Photography / Getty

It’s that time of year again: the lazy days of summer are dwindling to a close, the back-to-school sales are starting up in earnest and the folks at Beloit College have decided to once again make everyone over the age of 22 feel desperately old. It’s time for the Mindset List for the Class of 2016.

Every year since 1998, Tom McBride and Ron Nief of Beloit College have compiled The Mindset List, a guide to the cultural touchstones that this year’s entering college freshmen are familiar with — and what they aren’t. For kids born in 1994, Kurt Cobain has always been dead, for example, and Robert DeNiro is best-known as Greg Focker’s father-in-law from the Meet the Parents movies. They have never seen a paper airline ticket. And while they know that clicking on a floppy disk icon will save a document, they’ve probably never seen a floppy in real life.

McBride, a former humanities professor, and Nief, the school’s former public affairs director, got the idea after noticing Beloit teachers warning each other to watch their cultural references when talking to students. A classroom full of ’90s children, for example, just isn’t going to get your Cabaret references, no matter how witty (trust us on this one). Their lists ultimately inspired a book, “The Mindset Lists of American History,” published last year. As McBride and Nief say in the 2016 list’s introduction, “Generation gaps have always needed glue.”

(READ: Oklahoma High School Valedictorian Denied Diploma For Saying “Hell”)

In the meantime, here are some highlights of how those who will graduate college in 2016 see the world today:

-Michael Jackson’s family, not the Kennedys, constitutes “American Royalty.”

-Bill Clinton is a senior statesman of whose presidency they have little knowledge.

-There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.

-There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.

-Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf.

-White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited.

-Martin Lawrence has always been banned from hosting Saturday Night Live.

Click here for the full list.

MORE: And the Nation’s Top Party School Is…

6 comments
aceg1357
aceg1357

Just because we're younger does not mean we are completely ignorant. Sure there may be some people that age who don't know a lot of these things but there are just as many older people who know just as little. You don't have to live through something to be educated about it, you just have to be willing to learn. This list seems to just be an inconsiderate generalization of a younger generation.

Michael E Rupp
Michael E Rupp

"White House security has never felt it necessary to wear rubber gloves when gay groups have visited." -- Imagine a time when White House security no longer deems it necessary to remove the silverware when hosting Hispanics!  It can happen, people; it can happen ... 

murphy16
murphy16

This is a fallacy. As someone who was born in 1995, I can tell that I have held a paper airline ticket, am educated on Clinton's presidency, and would never even consider any other family than the Kennedys as American royalty. This article is ignorant and offensive. Why must the youngest adults have the most negative mindset? Please do a little more research next time and reconsider the possibility of someone younger than forty reading Times.

Theresekwv
Theresekwv

like John said I'm surprised that someone can earn $7863 in one month on the network. have you look this(Click on menu Home)