Keeping It Contemporary

I just dropped a kid off at college this past weekend. On the long drive home, I thought about the Beloit College in Wisconsin Mindset list that had just showed up in my social media feed. For almost 20 years, Beloit has published a “look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college” each fall.

Yeah, now that I think about it, this current batch of freshmen never knew the magic of Princess Diana and her fairy tale wedding and the power of the photographs that showed her touching AIDS babies in the early 90s.

Out of curiosity, I looked at some of the older Mindset lists – because, hey, who doesn’t like feeling dated? For fun, I put together a side-by-side chart of some of the cultural reference points the esteemed professors of Beloit identified for this year – and 10 years ago.

Take a look at it yourself. Times sure do change, don’t they?

Which Mindset List item makes you feel old?



Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. works with clients around the world in developing individualized learning plans that value the strengths and weaknesses of the whole child. While her focus has long been on the social-emotional needs of the gifted child, Alessa also works with governmental agencies in helping to meet the educational needs of children in foster care, as well as those involved in the juvenile justice system. Alessa lives in Maryland, where she homeschooled her kids into college. You can email Alessa at (at)