old fogey - noun - "someone who has old-fashioned ideas, especially someone who is old." - Macmillan Dictionary
At 41-years old I do not claim the latter part of the above definition, but the rest of it seems to describe me to a "T". I see so many examples of the "Millennial Generation" through my work as owner of a college admissions private consulting business, College Driven. If there's a sure fire way to see this generation's impact on society, you need look no further than today's college campus.
For those in the Millennial Generation, the typical student is tech-savvy, has confidence spewing from every acne-free pore, and life's amenities have been kind and expected. The latest gadgets are at their disposal, the dermatologist has been visited more frequently than the math tutor, and the lifestyles of many Millennial kids have been at a level many of us adults still hope to achieve one day (like not sharing a bathroom with the rest of the family).
So, to lure the Millennials to college campuses across the country, it comes as no surprise that millions of dollars are invested in tranforming dorms into residential halls with private bathrooms (why should college be any different than home, after all). To attract the Millennials, colleges are building facilities more aligned to resorts found in the Caribbean than the college campuses we remember. Can you believe there are at least 3 campuses (very well-known) that boast a lazy river! Don't even get me started talking about the concierge services at some colleges. And we question the rise of tuition costs!?!?!?
Perhaps all of these luxuries are required to ease the mind and relieve the stresses today's college students experience. The demands must be far greater than when we went to college, right? But, they're not. In fact, the quality of a college education has actually decreased because the power has been taken away from the professors, and placed into the customer's hands, a.k.a. the student's. Many of these kids have grown up expecting that even the slightest effort on a baseball team, on a soccer field, or just showing up merits a trophy or medal. So, why should this be questioned in college? Everyone deserves an "A" if they showed up to class and did all the assignments. But, if you didn't actually "learn" anything, is an "A" warranted? As a professor, you're doomed if you do and doomed if you don't. If, as a professor, you're not making the class fun and giving out a good number of A's, your future is dimmed by websites like RateMyProfessors.com, where students fill-out surveys on their professors as if they're filling out a customer service survey at a local department store. Get too many negative remarks, tenured or not, the professor is asked to hit the road. Bad for business, you know. Back in 2001, the Boston Globe reported a whopping 91 percent of Harvard graduates that year received honors. Yes, everyone received a trophy for showing up.
I want to know what happened with respecting the struggle? What happened with going away to college to learn the ropes, the survivals of life? I'm not kidding when I say there are now options of maid service and laundry service available on campus for a pretty reasonable fee. Is the college experience even genuine if you never rummage through couches for quarters for the washer or turn your underwear pink?
The Millennial Generation is becoming soft because they've figured out how to work smarter, not harder. But will they be able to face adversity? Will they even be aware of their own failures? Or even worse, does their naivety make them better off? Ignorance is bliss, afterall.
And, where does that leave my child? He'll be hired by this Millennial Generation. My child will bring to the interview a set of values not valued by the Millennial Generation. Super Hubby and I continue to instill old values into our young Kiddo that, in the future, may be obsolete. We hope the old adage of "hard work pays off" still exists in the future generation. But, to be honest, I'm not so sure. Our old-fashioned theories may be hindering, not helping Kiddo. But, it's the only thing we know how to teach. If we're wrong, sorry Kiddo, we goofed. And, if we're right and hard work still means something in the future, then, Kiddo, you'll be way ahead of the others you've grown up with! Don't be afraid of struggle. It may be the only way you are able to become a contributor to the world. Celebrate the struggles to appreciate the true glories.
Anyone else concerned about the future or is this just a normal fear, passed on from generation to generation?