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Mindset List for the Indian Student: Class of 2017

Going to study in the United States? Many of your new classmates will be 18 year olds. For those who will graduate in four years time as part of the Class of 2017, here are some things you might like to know.
The Mindset List; Photo courtesy of  
Going to study in the United States? Many of your new classmates will be 18 year olds. For those who will graduate in four years time as part of the Class of 2017, here are some things you might like to know.
  • American College Students have never dialled a telephone
  • “Chats” among students seldom involve talking
  • Smokers in the U.S., including young ones, have always been searching for their special areas, harder to find each year
  • Look for Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Times Square (NYC)
  • U.S. college students have always used their phones to read the time and rarely use a wristwatch
    The Mindset List of American History, Book by Ron Nief & Tom McBride; Photo courtesy of
  • Everyone in America knows Mumbai; it’s right near Bombay
  • American football stops for commercials every few minutes
  • While Americans are done learning their primary colours in grade school, Indians of the same age are well-learned in their multiplication tables through ten
  • Classes in the States rely little on memorization and more on shared discussions and “feelings”
  • Transforming Reshma into Silk took a Dirty Movie, but Hannah Montana transformed herself to Miley Cyrus in three minutes
  • The closest thing to Hinglish in the U.S. is rap music lyrics
  • Soccer is the American national sport – but only for kids
  • The American Independence Day consists of excess food and drink, while the Indian one is rooted in austerity
  • “Brangelina” have always been America’s equivalent of Abhishek and Aishwarya, but with the added feature of half a dozen ethnically varied children
  • “Cricket” to Americans is just an insect
  • American college students have worn earphones so long that some already have some hearing loss
  • Some American students are so adept with GPS that they’ve never memorized an address or directions

This is a special Mindset List created for India by Ron Nief, Tom McBride, and Aarti Chawla. The original 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 15th year, it continues to reflect the world view of entering first year students. This year’s entering students in the class of 2017 were born in 1995.

Ron Nief & Tom McBride; Photo courtesy of

Ron Nief is emeritus director of public affairs at Beloit College, stepping down in 2009 after 14 years at the 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.

Tom McBride is a professor of English and Keefer Professor of the Humanities at Beloit College. A graduate of Baylor University and the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, he teaches Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory and has team-taught many interdisciplinary courses. 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 and open He has been a commentator on language for Wisconsin Public Radio and is known on campus for the twice-yearly Keefer Lectures.

Aarti Chawla is a former student of Tom McBride, currently working on her PhD in Neuroscience at Indiana University School of Medicine.



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