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MSL 2020 Title
MSL 2020 SpongeBob

SpongeBob SquarePants has always lived at Bikini Bottom.

MSL 2020 Email

If you want to reach them, you’d better send a text—emails are oft ignored.

MSL 2020 Ice

Instant, tray-less ice cubes have never been a novelty.

MSL 2020 Florida Chads

While chads were hanging in Florida, they were potty training in all 50 states.

MSL 2020 West Nile

West Nile has always been a virus found in the U.S.

MSL 2020 DVR

They have never had to watch or listen to programs at a scheduled time.

MSL 2020 Sweatshop

Students have always questioned where and by whom their sweatshirts are made.

MSL 2020 Star Wars

They disagree with their parents as to which was the "first" Star Wars episode.

MSL 2020 Bush and Clinton

A Bush and a Clinton have always been campaigning for something big.

MSL 2020 Cigarette Billboard

They have never seen billboard ads for cigarettes.

MSL 2020 About

About the Mindset List

The Mindset List was created at Beloit College in 1998 by Ron Nief and Tom McBride for the class of 2002, born in 1980.  Now in its 19th year, it continues to reflect the world view of entering first year students. This year’s entering students in the class of 2020 were born in 1998.

See the entire Mindset List for the Class of 2020

What started as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues "beware of hardening of the 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 has caught the imagination of the public and has drawn responses from around the world, including more than a million visitors to the website annually.

Please share your stories and comments and those witty and revealing "mindset moments" on our feedback form, at www.themindsetlist.com, or at the Mindset List Facebook page (which includes a daily quiz).


Tom McBride is professor of English emeritus at Beloit College. A graduate of Baylor University and the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, he teaches Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory for more than 40 years. He was a co-founder of the program in Rhetoric and Discourse in the English department and for many years headed the college’s First-Year Initiatives seminar program. He has published critical essays and creative non-fiction in journals as diverse as Texas Studies in Language and Literature, The Baker Street Journal, and Two Cities, and on britannica.com and open democracy.net. He has been a commentator on language for Wisconsin Public Radio and his commentaries are heard on Northern Illinois Public Radio.

Ron Nief is director of public affairs emeritus at Beloit College. He has been communicating the work of higher education for more than four decades, starting with his alma mater, Boston College in the 1960s and including Brandeis and Clark universities, and Middlebury College. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. The recipient of a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America, he also received a Distinguished Service Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He created the Mindset List in 1998.

Charles Westerberg is the Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology at College, as well as Associate Dean of the College and Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center. Charles Westerberg graduated from Beloit College in 1994 with majors in Sociology and Government. He went on to get his M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) in Sociology from the University of Missouri in Columbia. His scholarly work has been split between criminological themes, such as the changing nature of punishment, and new approaches to pedagogy in undergraduate education. He joined the Beloit College faculty in the spring of 2000.


Slideshow Functionality: Nicholas Mischler, Beloit College Class of 2014
2020 Slideshow Content: Emily Anaya, Beloit College Class of 2019

MSL 2020 Title
MSL 2020 SpongeBob

SpongeBob SquarePants has always lived at Bikini Bottom.

MSL 2020 Email

If you want to reach them, you’d better send a text—emails are oft ignored.

MSL 2020 Ice

Instant, tray-less ice cubes have never been a novelty.

MSL 2020 Florida Chads

While chads were hanging in Florida, they were potty training in all 50 states.

MSL 2020 West Nile

West Nile has always been a virus found in the U.S.

MSL 2020 DVR

They have never had to watch or listen to programs at a scheduled time.

MSL 2020 Sweatshop

Students have always questioned where and by whom their sweatshirts are made.

MSL 2020 Star Wars

They disagree with their parents as to which was the "first" Star Wars episode.

MSL 2020 Bush and Clinton

A Bush and a Clinton have always been campaigning for something big.

MSL 2020 Cigarette Billboard

They have never seen billboard ads for cigarettes.

MSL 2020 About

About the Mindset List

The Mindset List was created at Beloit College in 1998 by Ron Nief and Tom McBride for the class of 2002, born in 1980.  Now in its 19th year, it continues to reflect the world view of entering first year students. This year’s entering students in the class of 2020 were born in 1998.

See the entire Mindset List for the Class of 2020

What started as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues "beware of hardening of the 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 has caught the imagination of the public and has drawn responses from around the world, including more than a million visitors to the website annually.

Please share your stories and comments and those witty and revealing "mindset moments" on our feedback form, at www.themindsetlist.com, or at the Mindset List Facebook page (which includes a daily quiz).


Tom McBride is professor of English emeritus at Beloit College. A graduate of Baylor University and the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, he teaches Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory for more than 40 years. He was a co-founder of the program in Rhetoric and Discourse in the English department and for many years headed the college’s First-Year Initiatives seminar program. He has published critical essays and creative non-fiction in journals as diverse as Texas Studies in Language and Literature, The Baker Street Journal, and Two Cities, and on britannica.com and open democracy.net. He has been a commentator on language for Wisconsin Public Radio and his commentaries are heard on Northern Illinois Public Radio.

Ron Nief is director of public affairs emeritus at Beloit College. He has been communicating the work of higher education for more than four decades, starting with his alma mater, Boston College in the 1960s and including Brandeis and Clark universities, and Middlebury College. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Christian Science Monitor. The recipient of a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America, he also received a Distinguished Service Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He created the Mindset List in 1998.

Charles Westerberg is the Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology at College, as well as Associate Dean of the College and Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center. Charles Westerberg graduated from Beloit College in 1994 with majors in Sociology and Government. He went on to get his M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) in Sociology from the University of Missouri in Columbia. His scholarly work has been split between criminological themes, such as the changing nature of punishment, and new approaches to pedagogy in undergraduate education. He joined the Beloit College faculty in the spring of 2000.


Slideshow Functionality: Nicholas Mischler, Beloit College Class of 2014
2020 Slideshow Content: Emily Anaya, Beloit College Class of 2019