Incoming freshmen are more plugged in than ever

Most freshmen arriving at CSUB this fall were born in 1992. The class of 2014 know Fergie as a pop singer, not a princess. Nirvana is considered classic rock and they’ve never twisted a coiled cord while talking on the phone.

These are just three of 75 cultural realities on this year’s Mindset List. For the past 12 years, Beloit College has released this annual list as a “catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.”

And this generation is the most digital yet. They’re over e-mail; it’s too slow. Their phones are not just phones, they’re wireless computers. The existence of hundreds of cable channels, CGI in movies, and DNA testing are all normal.

So what does this say about the class of 2014 – how can universities prepare to reach this new generation? I was talking with our new dean of Arts & Humanities last week, who pointed out something a faculty member had mentioned to him: Today’s students are plugged in, yet distracted. The key is to help them focus.

“It will be up to their professors to help them,” the Beloit report states. “A generation accustomed to instant access will need to acquire the patience of scholarship.”

– Jennifer Baldwin, CSUB Public Affairs Coordinator