10 Terrifying Facts About This Year’s College Freshmen


It’s the end of August, which means it’s just about time to terrify all Americans over 25 with “The Mindset List,” Beloit College’s annual roundup of 75 facts about this year’s incoming freshmen. There’s some good news: Kids — sorry guys, adults — born in 1994 have grown up in a world that’s made significant strides in gender equity and LGBT rights. But then there’s the stuff that will totally shock you (or at the very least make you feel ancient), like the revelation that people for whom Kurt Cobain has always been dead and The Real World has always been on the air can now buy cigarettes. Click through to learn where the heads of our nation’s youth are at — if you dare — and visit “The Mindset List” for the complete rundown.

1. For this generation of entering college students, born in 1994, Kurt Cobain, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Richard Nixon and John Wayne Gacy have always been dead.

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

3. Robert De Niro is thought of as Greg Focker’s long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.

4. They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”

5. Benjamin Braddock, having given up both a career in plastics and a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, could be their grandfather.

6. The Real World has always stopped being polite and started getting real on MTV.

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

8. Pulp Fiction’s meal of a “Royale with Cheese” and an “Amos and Andy milkshake” has little or no resonance with them.

9. Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes.

10. They grew up, somehow, without the benefits of Romper Room.