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The 2023 Marist Mindset List for the Class of 2027

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.


Timeline of the Mindset List

Jul 31, 1998

First Mindset List for the college class of 2002 is released.

Read the list

Nov 04, 2007

The New York Times article on the Mindset List, "Yes, You Are Old."

Read the article

Jul 01, 2011

The Mindset List of American History is published.

See the book

Jul 29, 2016

The Millennial Promise: 40 Tips from the Mindset List published.

See the book

Oct 25, 2018

The Mindset List moves to Marist.

Read the article

Aug 21, 2019

The first Marist Mindset List is released.

Read the list

Sep 09, 2020

The Mindset List for the Class of 2024 is released.

Read the list

Sep 07, 2021

The Mindset List for the Class of 2025 is released.

Read the List

Sep 07, 2022

The Mindset List for the Class of 2026 is released.

Read the List

Sep 19, 2023

The Mindset List for the Class of 2027 is released.

Read the List

Image of the Marist Mindset List team.

Under the direction of Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen, Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Media Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Vanessa Lynn, the list for the Class of 2027will be the fourth iteration fully compiled by Marist. The team has established the list as “a cultural compass that tracks the challenges and celebrates the accomplishments of each incoming college class.”

Under the direction of Marist faculty, this year’s list is comprised of 10 items. Led by Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen, the goal of the Marist Mindset List is to inspire thoughtful conversation. Each list item on the list for the Class of 2027 was the result of research and discussion, and links to the background sources are included here to encourage delving into the topic areas.

The Class of 2027 is exploring...

1. Music

The online music site Pandora launched in 2005, the year many incoming students were born. Now, thanks to the availability of older music on sites like Pandora and Spotify, incoming students are just as likely to be listening to Led Zeppelin as Lana del Rey or Lil’ Baby on their phones.

2. Journalism

Dan Rather and Ted Koppel both retired in 2005, effectively ending the reign of network news programs as the primary way younger Americans get their news. Eighteen years later, the class of 2027 will get their news primarily from social media sites like Youtube, Instagram and Tiktok, according to the American Press Institute.

3. Environmental Science

Incoming students have always lived in a world visibly affected by climate change. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita brought unprecedented devastation to the southern United States, serving as warnings for extreme weather events which have become more frequent as ocean temperatures continue to rise.

4. Film & Television

Youtube launched in 2005, the same year TV programs American Idol, CSI and Desperate Housewives were the most-watched. Eighteen years later, the class of 2027 will almost exclusively watch their video content on Youtube and similar sites online.

5. Education

The Class of 2027 will be the first to fully integrate ChatGPT or “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” into their college learning experience. ChatGPT will be “used by educational institutions to assist students with course material or answer general queries about university life more efficiently than before, which allows them to focus more time on other areas of importance like research projects or teaching activities instead of mundane administrative tasks”

6. Media Studies

It has been said, “Gen Z’s active attention span is just 1.3 seconds.” But the Class of 2027 will engage in long-form content like books, video and podcasts that break through the noise of social media to capture their attention. For example, last year young-adult fiction sales increased by 31 percent in the United States while podcast listens increased by 62 percent.

7. Games & Emerging Media

The Class of 2027 are interested in contemporary art that integrates video games or gamification to explore ideas of land, Indigeneity, the future body and counter-narratives to the dominant historical record. Hans Ulrich Obrist predicts, “Video games are to the 21st century what movies were to the 20th century, and novels to the 19th century. Today, it’s much easier for artists to develop their gaming environments.”

8. Study Abroad

For incoming students, studying abroad is increasingly appealing. Study abroad programs are using a post-pandemic world to reimagine global education experiences. Studying overseas might involve more hybrid or virtual opportunities to deliver courses and learn from different cultures.

9. Sports Communication

Incoming student athletes can now earn money with the NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness). Not all students will benefit from this, however; NIL is mostly prevalent in basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Critics are calling for regulations to provide guidelines to prevent favoring certain athletics programs over others. How will this change college sports in the years to come?

10. Cinema Studies

Incoming students often quote the TV show “The Office,” although the program ended its run in 2013. The characters are omnipresent in today's college culture and the show is now a cultural phenomenon thanks to its rebirth via Netflix and short-form streaming services.

Created by Tom McBride and Ron Nief at Beloit College in 1998, the list was meant 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 the 20 years since, The Mindset List has been a valuable marker of social, economic, and cultural change for successive generations as they have progressed through American institutions of higher education.

Marked by fast fashion, politics, climate change, and a global pandemic, the Class of 2026 entered with varying life expereinces. 

Read the Marist Mindset List for the College Class of 2026 > 

The class of 2025 rediscovered the power of words, redefined the college experience, and were empowered to make a positive change.

Read the Marist Mindset List for the College Class of 2025 >

Marked by 9/11 and COVID-19, this class is unique in every way.

Read the Marist Mindset List for the College Class of 2024 >

Born in 2001 the incoming class of college students never shared the earth with Joey Ramone, George Harrison, Timothy McVeigh, or Ken Kesey.

Among their classmates could be Billie Eilish, Sasha Obama, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s daughter Simone.

  1. Like Pearl Harbor for their grandparents, and the Kennedy assassination for their parents, 9/11 is an historical event. 
  2. Thumb, jump, and USB flash drives have always pushed floppy disks further into history.
  3. The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures.
  4. The nation’s mantra has always been: “If you see something, say something.”
  5. The Tech Big Four--Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google -- are to them what the Big Three automakers were to their grandparents.
  6. Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think.
  7. Nearly half of their generation is composed of people of color.
  8. When they pulled themselves up off the floor for the first time, they may have been hanging onto the folks’ brand-new Xbox.
  9. There have always been indecisive quadrennial debates regarding the future of the Electoral College.
  10. Oklahoma City has always had a national memorial at its center.
  11. Self-contained, battery-powered artificial hearts have always been ticking away.
  12. Because of Richard Reid’s explosive footwear at 30,000 feet, passengers have always had to take off their shoes to slide through security on the ground. 
  13. They are as non-judgmental about sexual orientation as their parents were about smoking pot. 
  14. They have outlived iTunes.
  15. Heinous, sexually-based offenses have always been investigated by the Special Victims Unit on Law and Order.
  16. The Mars Odyssey has always been checking out the water supply for their future visits to Mars.
  17. Snapchat has become their social media app of choice, thus relieving them of the dilemma of whether or not to friend Mom.    
  18. In an unprecedented move, European nations via NATO have always helped to defend the U.S. militarily.
  19. They may well not have a younger sibling, as the birth rate in the U.S. has been dropping since they were in grammar school.
  20. PayPal has always been an online option for purchasers.
  21. They have witnessed two African-American Secretaries of State, the election of a black President, Disney’s first black Princess, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
  22. As they crawled on the floor, TV headlines began crawling at the bottom of the TV screen. 
  23. “Pink slime” has always been a food additive.
  24. With flyovers, honor guards, and “God Bless America,” sporting events have always been marked by emphatic patriotism. 
  25. Only two-thirds of this generation identify as exclusively heterosexual.
  26. Segways have always been trying to revolutionize the way people move. 
  27. YouTube has become the video version of Wikipedia.
  28. There has always been an International Criminal Court, and the U.S. has never been a signatory.
  29. Newfoundland and Labrador has always been, officially, Newfoundland-and-Labrador.
  30. There has always been an American Taliban.
  31. By their sophomore year, their generation will constitute one-quarter of the U.S. population.
  32. Apple iPods have always been nostalgic.
  33. They have always been able to fly Jet Blue, but never Ted and Song.
  34. Quarterback Troy Aikman has always called the plays live from the press booth.
  35. It has always been illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in New York State.
  36. Except for when he celebrated Jeopardy’s 35th anniversary, Alex Trebek has never had a moustache.
  37. Face recognition technology has always been used at public events
  38. Skilled DJs have transitioned into turntablists.
  39. The Apple Power Mac Cube has always been in a museum. 
  40. The year they were born, the top NBA draft pick came directly out of high school for the first time.
  41. They have always been concerned about catching the West Nile virus.
  42. There has always been a DisneySea in Tokyo.
  43. They have grown up with Big Data and ubiquitous algorithms that know what they want before they do.
  44. Most of them will rent, not buy, their textbooks. 
  45. They have probably all been “gaslighted” or “ghosted.”
  46. There have always been “smartwatches.”
  47. Their grandparents’ classic comics have evolved into graphic novels.
  48. They have grown up with a Patriot Act that has dramatically increased state surveillance to prevent terrorism.
  49. Defibrillators have always been so simple to use that they can be installed at home.
  50. Pittsburgh’s Steelers and Pirates have never played at Three Rivers Stadium.
  51. Congress has always banned human cloning completely and threatened arrest for offenders.
  52. At least one of the murderers of the four school girls in Birmingham, Ala. in 1963 has always been in prison.
  53. Monica and Chandler have always been married on Friends.
  54. Blackboards have never been dumb.
  55. A Catholic Pope has always visited a mosque.
  56. Cal Ripken, Jr., has always been retired.
  57. The U.S. has always been withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  58. Euthanasia has always been legal in the Netherlands.
  59. Teams have always been engaged in an Amazing Race around the world.  
  60. Coke and Pepsi have always been competing in the sports hydration science marketplace.

National Association of Plan Advisors

"The Class of 2024", September 15, 2020

University Business

"‘Marist Mindset’: 10 key issues shaping students’ worldview," September 9, 2020

Inside Higher Ed

"Mindset List Takes New Form," September 9, 2020

Chicago Tribune

"Column: Something to cry about: The rise of the surveillance state after 9/11," September 12, 2019

Spectrum News 1

"Marist College Mindset List reveals the world of Class of 2023," August 26, 2019

The Chronicle of Higher Education

"The ‘Mind-Set List,’ a Whimsical Reminder of Generational Change on Campuses, Gets a New Home," August 21, 2019

Inside Higher Ed

"Mind-Set List Moves to Marist," October 26, 2018

Andrew Alongi, Director of Marketing

Geoff Brackett, Executive Vice President

Elizabeth Clarke, Associate Librarian

Julia Fishman, Director of Media Relations

Moira Fitzgibbons, Professor of English

Sean Kaylor, Vice President, Enrollment, Marketing & Communication

Zion Klos, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

Vanessa Lyn, Assistant Professor of Education

Tom McBride, Emeritus Professor of English, Beloit College, and Mindset List co-founder

Ron Nief, Emeritus Director of Public Relations, Beloit College, and Mindset List co-founder

Juris Pupcenoks, Associate Professor of Political Science

Leander Schaerlaeckens, Professional Lecturer

Martin Shaffer, Dean, School of Liberal Arts

Caitlin Weiner, Assistant Director, Marketing

Charles Westerberg, Professor of Sociology, Beloit College

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Want to leave us a comment on this year's Marist Mindset List, or suggest an item for next year's List? Send us an email at mindset@marist.edu.


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