Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sacredness in the Struggle

There's just no way around it. No matter how I approach today's post, whether delicately like antique lace or abruptly like cigar smoke, it will come off spotlighting me as an old-fogey!

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.

Sourced Article
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?


Ashley said...

I LOVE this post, and I am even part of Gen Y (on the older end of the spectrum)! I graduated high school exactly ten years ago, and it amazes me how different students are these days. I can hardly grasp the fact that many high school English teachers no longer teach grammar because Word will catch it, so if the student makes an error, it is a matter of a software issue. ARGH!

Of course, part of it has to do with the fact that I work at a community college. I hate how colleges and universities now cater to a student's every whim and wish, how they are seen as customers first and students second (and rarely scholars or professionals in training), how so many don't want to learn or be in college but feel that is an expectation. You are right about RateMyProfessors--although I find that the students who do want to learn seek out those challenging instructors and enjoy their classes even if they aren't obviously "fun" and/or "easy." Sorry to turn this into a rant!

I am LOVD said...

Ashley, your comment is a blessing! Your perspective in the world of education justifies my words. Thank you, as you live it and see it daily. Thanks for sharing so much.

Suzan Wood-Young said...

I think you are generalizing here Lilly. Sorry to disagree but as a mother with University aged children my observations show something very different. My daughter graduated from high school then worked two jobs - three over the summer, for a year to save money for university and a trip to Europe for three months. When she returned she lived at home for a month until she found a place to live. While living away from home she juggled between two and three jobs to pay all her own expenses and pay for her first year of university. Her second year she moved back home from January to May because the short break between year one and two wasn't enough time to make money for the entire year. She hasn't been back home to live since then and is working two jobs back to back five days a week to save money to go to U.C.L.A. for her final year in the fall. Most of her friends have two jobs, we went through the check out at Home depot the other day and the young clerk mentioned her other job. My young hairdresser works weekends at a local pub. When my son was going to college he also lived away from home and worked a part time job. We could have paid for their education by putting off some home renovations and vacations, but I found a lot of satisfaction in paying for most of my own and wanted them to enjoy their own sense of accomplishment and independence. There are many parents my age out there who feel that way and there are many parents out there these days who just can't afford to pay for their kids education so their kids have no option but to work. I think your experience is limited to a privileged few. Reality is not always as the media would have you believe. I'm offended that you would use your blog to generalize and put down young people in this way. You can't paint all youth with this brush. If you have a look around your community and the internet with an open mind, rather than narrowing your vision to prove this wrongheaded thesis, you'll find a world of amazing, kind, creative, hard working, generous, independent, youth that any parent would be immensely proud of. And by the way I've looked at the U.C.L.A. residence situation and it is horrendous. Double rooms meant for one, triple rooms meant for three for $13,000.00 for 9 months. Its horrifying. I'm proud of my private, independent daughter willing to put up with this to further her education.

I am LOVD said...

Suzan, Of course you can't paint all youth with this brush. I'm not quite sure this was my point. I think you know me better than to think my opinions are slated for the "all" in society. My point is that this is a very real direction as indicated by the "business" practices and changes instituted by colleges, especially private colleges. UCLA is a great school, but they are funded by the state of California; a state that is losing funding to give to their public educational institutions.

I think we're in the same situation. Your daughter knows the meaning of independence and taking care of herself, even financially. Kudos! She will do well as it will serve her well. My son is a generation behind your daughter. I only hope the same respect to those personal characteristics will be paid to him, as well. Time will tell.

Now, take a breath and give me some love:-)

The Faithful Homeschool said...

I'm an "old foggie" like you and I didn't do college straight out of high school. I got married and took a few classes, but that was it. I actually returned to college about 6 years ago to pursue a degree and was absolutely disgusted with what my tuition got me: an "education" I could get myself by reading books or spending a few hours on google search and a classroom full of classmates who were more interested in whining about why they shouldn't have homework for the weekend (partying was more important) and watching the teacher agree. There was NO challenge to me and I know there was little challenge to even the less experienced students in my class.

It isn't to say there is NOT valuable education out there... I believe there are select colleges and universities that still seek to challenge students. The saddest part is how these higher quality institutions are becoming fewer and farther between.

What a bold post you have here. Thank you for speaking up on a critical topic!

I am LOVD said...

The Faithful Homeschool,
What a bold comment you have and thanks so much for sharing your own experiences. I appreciate you taking the time. I hope to see you back here again, soon! LOVD tidings, Lilly


Back to TOP

Boutique Blog Design