• The Mindset List

    October 12, 2012

    Did anyone else watch last week’s episode of New Girl when Jess does impressions of Urkel and Michelle Tanner to impress her new (younger) neighbors?


    Well, it reminded me of The Mindset List that my brother-in-law told me about the other day. He’s a college professor, so he uses it for his students.

    The Mindset List is an annual list of values/things that shape the worldview (or “mindset”) of students about 18 years old and entering college.

    From The Mindset List website:

    The Mindset List was created at Beloit College in 1998 to reflect the world view of entering first year students. It started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980.

    What started as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues “watch your references,” has turned into a globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness. It is requested by thousands of readers, reprinted in hundreds of print and electronic publications, and used for a wide variety of purposes. It immediately caught the imagination of the public, and in the ensuing years, has drawn responses from around the world. This site now gets more than a million hits a year.

    The first list was created the year that I graduated from college (2002), so it was neat to read. However, at 18 years old, I’m almost positive some of the items listed were part of my mindset, including:

    #8: They are too young to remember the Space Shuttle Challenger blowing up. I totally remember this happening. I was in first grade and our teacher left the classroom. I remember feeling kind of scared because we were left alone.

    #15: They have likely never played Pac Man, and have never heard of “Pong.” My uncles owned Atari, so they let my sister and I play Pac Man as kids. I never played “Pong” though.

    #17: There have always been red M&Ms, and blue ones are not new. What do you mean there used to be beige ones? Come on, who doesn’t remember the beige M&Ms? Those were my favorite color back in the day!

    #20: As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents. I remember when they were 25 cents. I had a bunch of pen pals growing up.

    #32: They never took a swim and thought about Jaws. So wrong! I am scarred for life!!

    #40: Michael Jackson has always been white. Haha! I remember him as black too. And when his hair caught on fire in the Pepsi commercial. I’ve been a fan for a long time.

    #41: Kansas, Boston, Chicago, America, and Alabama are all places—not music groups. Really? My mom listened to all of these bands (on cassette tapes), so I’ve listened to them for years and they’re all on my iPod now.

    #42: McDonald’s never came in Styrofoam containers. I actually remember when McDonald’s switched from Styrofoam containers to the paper wrappers. It was actually a pretty big deal for me because it was my first experience with recycling.

    #43: There has always been MTV, and it has always included non-musical shows. I totally remember the all-music days of MTV. I used to watch it at my friend Debbie’s house after school. We thought we were so cool, and we’d try to dance like the videos.

    Kind of cool, right? The Mindset Lists for 2002 – 2016 are listed here. Check ‘em out. They’re fun to read!


    Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a delicious Sweet Breakfast Scramble with a big scoop of almond butter in the mix. Can you tell I’m lovin’ this breakfast lately? (I also have a lot of acorn squash to use up!)

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    Breakfast also included a glass of Dandy Blend with almond milk.

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    Yesterday’s lunch was leftovers x 2: Paleo Pad Thai + Sweet Potato Hash. I just threw all of the leftovers in a bowl and nuked it in the microwave. Lunch was served in a matter of minutes.

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    A few hours later, I snacked on some sweet potato slices with sunflower butter spread on top.

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    After eating my snack, I headed out to run some errands. On my travels, I stopped by Starbucks for a decaf Americano with one pump of pumpkin syrup. I drank half and saved the rest for the morning to put on ice.

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    Question of the Day

    What do you think about The Mindset List? Are they accurate? What does yours say about you?

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    { 43 comments… read them below or add one }

    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance October 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’m a high school teacher, so the mindset list is really neat to see, not just for myself but for reference to where my students are coming from. Thanks for the links!!!


    Blog is the New Black October 12, 2012 at 7:45 am

    So interesting- I know a lot of that stuff, also!


    Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness October 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I’m going to have to check out my mindset list! What a neat concept! I knew a lot of what was on my list but it was still interesting to look at!


    Khushboo Thadani October 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Haha MJ has always been white in my mind too!


    Lee October 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I am 2 years older than you and graduated college in 2000, but I definitely remember some of these things too like Beta, The Challenger and Where’s the Beef.

    I’m scared to look at some of the newer ones. It’ll make me feel too old. Also, oddly enough, I applied to Beloit College, the one putting out the list.


    LIsa October 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I graduted in 2002 too as well and I remember all of these things. I was born in 1979 but like 1 year makes a difference. I think that for this year – the list is a little off. I am going to post it to my blog and what friends there think. Maybe my group was just more in tune to what was going on.


    mary @ minutespermile October 12, 2012 at 8:33 am

    That episode was hilarious! The mindset list is really neat — I definitely picked up on a lot of those, even though I missed the cutoff date! Maybe I’m just culturally wise for my age.


    Eating 4 Balance October 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Not cool. Haha. This makes me depressed that I missed out on so many things 😀


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

    BEIGE M&Ms!??!?!? WHAT?!?!?!? HAhahahaha that list was definitely too old for me, I graduated High School in 2006, but I definitely played Pong and Pac Man!


    NYC Fit Girl October 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I remember a lot of these too even though I am slightly younger than you!! I remember MdDonalds, M&M’s and of course Pac Man


    the 3volution of j3nn October 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I’ve never heard of the mindset list until now and I think it’s awesome–and depressing, haha. Everything you listed about our generation supposedly not remembering or having knowledge of, I’m with you!! I remember all of those things like it was yesterday. I grew up watching I love Lucy and hanging out with older family members, so I was hip to all sorts of things an 80s kid might not have been familiar with. I love pop culture, especially from the 50s to 80s decades! I played my uncle’s atari, too! And all of those bands? On my playlist as well. I miss the 80s, I’m feeling nostalgic now. 🙂 I watched Michael jackson’s thriller video on MTV 24/7 when it first came out and they still played music videos, and yeah, he wasn’t quite as pasty back then, lol. I could go on and on.


    Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles October 12, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I graduated in ’02 also and of course I remember the challenger, Atari games, and beige m&ms!!! It was such a big deal when they switched m&m colors, I think even my younger sister remembers- ha. I hadn’t heard of the mindset list and need to check it out!


    the 3volution of j3nn October 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Ps. Sunbutter on sweet potato rounds is brilliant!


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

    So fun!! I remember wishing we had cable as a kid because I wanted to watch the music videos and TRL. By the time we got cable, MTV was cutting back on the music and moving over to the dumb reality shows.


    Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles October 12, 2012 at 8:59 am

    They can’t remember before iPod’s probably, let alone CDs. Mix tapes. Or cable. I remember getting cable installed and it was a big deal. Or our first VCR. No Red Bull or other energy drinks. This was all back before everyone was a winner and everyone got a medal.

    The Kidless Kronicles


    Erica { EricaDHouse.com } October 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Hmmm – as a professor myself I’m surprised I haven’t heard of this before! I’m always shocked when yearly the number of students who can remember what they were doing during 9/11 decreases.


    April October 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I work with college students and reading the Mindset every year is pretty hilarious and on point. It is interesting to see what they are missing out on (well, the 80’s and 90’s!) and what their world perspective is like.


    Megan October 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I work with college students too (administration/staff side of things), so I look at the MindSet list every year — it helps give me a good reference point of WHERE our students are and where they’re coming from each year. It gives a good look at what their world perspective really is.


    Chase October 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I’m the same age as you and I know all those things as well, but I don’t think I would have known ALL of them when I was 18. For instance, I didn’t know anything about Alabama, Kansas and America as musical groups when I was 18. But I DEFINITELY remember the McDLT where the styrofoam kept the hot side hot and the cold side cold! I even had the happy meal toys of the little styrofoam container characters 🙂


    Nicole October 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I look forward to reading that list every year. And living in a college town, I always feel a twinge older when the Freshman class comes to town.


    Beks October 12, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I totally remember beige M&M’s! And I remember the big voting polls to pick which color was going to replace it. I voted for purple like fifteen times. Do you remember there was some worry about the new colors because some people thought they looked like “pill” colors and thought kids would get confused?

    My parents raised me with all kinds of old fashioned values and knowledge of old-timey stuff. Incidentally, I knew how to use a record player, how to hand records and (not anymore) the specific types of records. When I got to college, I had a teacher try to trip us up, and was flabbergasted that someone knew what he was talking about.


    Tina October 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Is that why they changed them? I remember voting too! 🙂


    Beks October 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

    @Tina: I think it was just for a change, but when they announced the colors, that was the general consensus, and that pink and purple looked like pills. Looking back, the blue really is the one that matches the rest of the M’s best. 🙂


    Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air October 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

    LOVE this list! Mine is 2007 (can’t believe I’ve been done with high school for over five years now) – some highlights…

    8. An automatic is a weapon, not a transmission.
    17. There has always been some association between fried eggs and your brain.
    22. They have never gotten excited over a telegram, a long distance call, or a fax.
    31. The Statue of Liberty has always had a gleaming torch.
    49. They have never seen a First Lady in a fur coat.


    LaurenB. October 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I am a 1980 baby, too, and that list is really not accurate. I totally remember every single one of those points! But it’s fun to read and think back on.


    Alexandra @ Alexandra in Moscow October 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

    The mindset list is really interesting, though I’m not sure how accurate. I’ll take it as a compliment that I’m more aware of the world than I realized!


    Megan@funsizedfitness October 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I still remember when McDonald’s served milk in cardboard containers instead of the plastic ones they have now….makes me feel kind of old!!


    Em @ Yep. I Ate That. October 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

    The Mindset List, if not accurate, is always a good read. The 2008 one: “They have always enjoyed the comfort of pleather.” <—what?!


    Annette@FitnessPerks October 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I hardly knew any of these! And I graduated in 03 from HS! Crazy. I guess I lived under a rock?!


    Elisabeth October 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I was a 1982 baby, but I remember like everything on my list. I think it just depends on what kind of kid you were, where you grew up, what your parents were like, etc. I was an only child who spent quite a bit of time around adults & was interested in everything.


    Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride October 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

    How neat! I hadn’t heard of the Mindlist before but I am sending it around to friends now. Mine is 2006 and I assumed before going to read it that I would disagree with it but actually most of it is true. For example, “This generation has never wanted to “be a Pepper too.” I had to google what “being a pepper” even meant but I bet if I ask my Mom she’ll know.


    Rachel October 12, 2012 at 10:55 am

    haha that’s so funny lol! I’m going to check it out 😀


    Mo October 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Those Mindset Lists make me feel old! lol

    I love reading them each year. 🙂


    Allie October 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Nut butter on sweet potatoes, oh that’s something I’m SERIOUSLY going to need to try! My mouth is just watering looking at your picture.


    Kate October 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I think they have that list a little wacked if it supposed to be college freshman for that year. “2002 List – 1. The people starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1980.” That would mean a 22 year old was starting college. Should be 1984 if you assume an 18 year old college freshman.


    Kath October 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    @Kate: I noticed that – the entry for 2012 says “Most of [the first-year students starting college this month] will be about 18 years old, born in 1990”. Um, unless 4 years disappeared in a time warp somewhere along the line, that’s not right!

    So I’m confused. Bearing in mind I was born in ’89 (and hence started university in 2007), which mindset list is ‘mine’ – 2007 or 2011? I’m not American so the lists don’t mean much to me anyway, but it’d be nice to know, y’know. :p


    Kelly@BalancedDaily October 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Pretty funny! I’m only 22 and I’ve definitely played Pacman before as well as remember when stamps were much less than 32 cents. But I can honestly say I never knew there were beige M&Ms. I just read my mindset list and it was kind of boring, disappointing.


    Jenica October 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Fun list to read! thanks for sharing.


    Angela@The Chicken Scoop October 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Um, I was born in ’84 and I agree with all the points you made! I played Pong, I listened to Chicago, etc. etc.

    And as for my list, I think its completely inaccurate. *Maybe* some people don’t remember things from when they were little? Or maybe they didn’t pay attention to crap going on around them? I dunno… Pretty neat though!


    Katie @ KatieEnPursuit October 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    This is excellent! #17 really hits home — I swear the beige M&M’s were always softer & more melty than the others! Yum!


    Tina October 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Me too! They were the best!


    Emily J October 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    For year you posted, 2002, I agree that some of them aren’t right. I’m about four years younger than you. and I remember many of them. Definitely loved the beige M&Ms! Haha!


    Megan October 13, 2012 at 12:23 am

    That was really interesting! I’m going to go and have a look at those lists now 🙂


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