Brent Maze: Unique era for new college students


This time of year, I always enjoy looking at the Marist (formerly Beloit) College Mindset List for the incoming college freshmen. It’s a good litmus test for us older folks to understand what college students are thinking.

Some of the things we just assume that everyone knows about they’ve never heard of or experienced.

Just for context, this year’s college freshmen were born in the year 2001. That means that September 11, 2001, has always been a historical event to them. While they may have been born then, they obviously have no recollection of that day.

Much the same respect, Oklahoma City has always had a national memorial. Many of us of age and older still have the image of the blown up building imprinted in their mind. All they know is about the memorial.

Also, Joey Ramone, George Harrison, Timothy McVeigh and Ken Kesey have always been dead in their lifetime.

These freshmen have no recollection of the Big Three automakers. Their Big Four has always been Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

These freshmen have no recollection of a floppy disk, but there have always been smart devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, smart pens, etc.

Oh, and they’ve never seen Alex Trebek with a moustache except for one episode.

So if you’re trying to connect with college freshmen this year, it’s a good idea to think about the context of their generation.

Contact Brent Maze at