The Mindset List, aka the “always/never” list, is a compilation of key points about incoming college students. Created at Beloit College in 1998 to reflect the world view of entering first year students—and to help faculty understand incoming classes—the list started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980. In 2019, the list moved to Marist, becoming the Marist Mindset List. The list is widely considered a cultural touchstone. (Marist College)
Without further ado, let me introduce you to the class of 2025:
1. Starting a poetry renaissance
Incoming students were inspired by Amanda Gorman’s reading of her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at the Presidential Inauguration to rediscover the power of poetry in their own lives, and on their own terms. I think the poetry renaissance started when Brad Osbourne joined WordPress.
2. Bringing awareness to veteran college students
Although less than 5% of the Class of 2025 will be veterans, most colleges and universities are focusing more campus resources on supporting student veterans on campus. Villanova was ranked #5 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans, which highlights the best programs that help veterans reduce the cost of school. (Villanova University)
3. Adapting to a virtual college experience
Incoming students and their professors are among the first to adjust to a new reality of digital learning, which has changed the face of higher education for years to come. Hopefully, we can merge the best of the old and new ways of teaching.
4. Enduring an unprecedented public health crisis on campus
Depending on where their college or university is located, students in the class of 2025 are experiencing vast differences in COVID-19 regulations on campus, leading to a disparity in educational quality. I found an interesting story in this week’s Wall Street Journal about the University of Texas at Austin, where they do not require surveillance testing, masking, or vaccines. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-policies-ignite-battle-at-ut-austin-11631179800?st=j2j9qa13skjfm7v&reflink=desktopwebshare_twitterWSJ) At Villanova, all students, faculty and staff who will be on campus are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, starting earlier this week, all faculty, staff, and students—regardless of vaccination status—are required to wear masks when inside classrooms and any public campus building including dining halls (except while eating or drinking) that is open to the public. Students, faculty, and staff who are unvaccinated are required to participate in twice-weekly surveillance testing throughout the academic year. In addition, in coordination with the new mask mandate, surveillance testing will be expanded to include a randomized sample of community members, regardless of vaccination status. It will be interesting to watch if there are differences in out comes between the two campuses. (Villanova University)
5. Redefining arts and culture
Incoming students are expressing themselves creatively and patronizing the arts through non-fungible tokens (NFT). What are NFTs? Non-fungible tokens are the provenance of digital assets bought and sold on the cryptocurrency blockchain. Still have no idea? Join the crowd…
6. Building Gen Z e-commerce
Gen Z (those between the ages of 10 and 24 years old) is hungry for innovative shopping experiences using behavioral capabilities to empower and engage with them rather than exploit and alienate them.They are driving the shift from the Internet of Things to an “Internet of Behavior.” Internet of Behavior, also known as IoB, refers to the behavioral data analysis gathered from the Internet of Things and other sources and then attempts to make effective use of. This data is amassed through wearable technologies, individual online activities, household electrical devices, which can provide valuable information about the behavior and interest of users. With the help of both IoT and IoB, it has become possible now to track, gather, combine and interpret massive data generated via various online activities and personal behavior, including social media behaviors and commercial transactions. (Tech Funnel)
7. Demanding justice and sustainability in globalized fashion
First-year students are demanding fashion brands that offer dignity and justice to employees throughout the global value chain, as retail sales lag from the ongoing pandemic. I am sure we will start to hear more about which companies are doing this, from the companies themselves.
8. Eroding the death penalty
Incoming students are less likely to support the death penalty in America than earlier generations. The Class of 2025 is more diverse in thought and demographics than previous cohorts. I certainly hope the death penalty is outlawed throughout the U.S. Currently, 55% of Americans favor the death penalty for convicted murderers. (Gallup)
9. Witnessing the first U.S. state to decriminalize drugs
Incoming students now live in a country where Oregon decriminalized drug use, drug possession, and low-level drug sales, as Portugal did 20 years ago. These policies have shown that using a public health approach reduces drug overdose, HIV infections, and decreases incarceration for drug-related offenses. I hope the rest of the states, and federal government, follow suit.
10. Experiencing a re-emergence of White Supremacy in America
Incoming students live in an era where a primary threat of terrorism to Americans comes from domestic white supremacists, rather than from abroad. This is the first incoming college class in United States history to have witnessed the confederate flag displayed in the Capitol. A sad state of affairs, for sure. This needs to be nipped in the bud.
So another interesting list from the Mindset team at Marist College.
I wish the Class of 2025 much happiness, joy, and growth, over the next four years.
*image from Marist College