All Posts Tagged With: "Generation Y"
Watch out: academic entitlement has consequences
We hear a lot about how “entitled” students are these days. Employers complain of new graduates who want to be the boss right away or who demand high pay before they’ve earned it.
New research by four students at the University of Windsor, all in the Master in Social Data Analysis program, sheds light on the phenomenon. The researchers e-mailed a 96-question survey to all students on campus and used 1,025 responses.
The good news: entitled students aren’t the norm. The bad news: those who feel entitled may be setting themselves up for failure at school or work.
Academically entitled students are those who want exams rescheduled around personal plans or who think they deserve high marks so long as they’ve paid their tuition and put in the hours. They’re like Cher Horowitz, the Beverly Hills bimbo who argues her way to As in the 1995 film Clueless.
New book teaches Millennials how to be grown-ups
The news has two objectives: to report what’s just happened and to rehash, in the most sensational terms, what is apparently always happening. There’s the obesity beat, the what-gives-you-cancer beat, the housing-crash beat, and the most constant of these constants: the everyone-under-30-is-lazy-entitled-and-doomed-to-fail beat. Some recent highlights: “Generation Y struggling to start their adult lives”; “Study claims Generation Y more materialistic, less willing to work” and “Are Millennials the screwed generation?” We either can’t get jobs or can’t appreciate the jobs we have. We’re not even thinking about getting married yet, we walk through traffic with our eyes fixed to our phones and, to top it off, we can’t even cook a decent roast: according to Australia’s McCrindle Research, “only 51 per cent of women aged under 30 can cook a roast compared with 82 per cent of Baby Boomers.” We are also useless at gardening: “Only 23 per cent [of Millennial women] can grow a plant from a cutting when 78 per cent of older women say this is a breeze.”
To the rescue of this so-called lost generation comes 28-year-old American blogger and former newspaper columnist Kelly Williams Brown, who has written a book called Adulting, How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. It’s the first book of its kind—a guide for Millennials who are oblivious to all things seemingly adult: the young professional whose parents still pay her cellphone bill; the med student who spends his student-loan money on a trip to Tijuana; and the Maclean’s magazine columnist who, until very recently, thought that Warren Buffett sang Margaritaville, and had to ask her boss for instructions on how to write a cheque.
Words of wisdom for Generation Me
It’s commencement season. For many Canadian students and their families, that means sitting in stuffy rooms listening long-winded speeches from important people of whose stature they have only just learned from the program in front of them.
For a lucky few Americans, this year’s ceremonies included advice from much bigger names—people who can afford speech writers like comedian Stephen Colbert, media maven Arianna Huffington and First Lady Michelle Obama.
There was a common theme among these celebrities addresses. Each talked of how the much-maligned Millennial generation can use their educations to make the world a better place. Here are some highlights from the speeches.
Colbert is a master of making hard news hilarious. He did something similar in his speech to the University of Virginia. After jokes about study drugs, Playboy and plagiarism, he quoted Thomas Jefferson, third president of the U.S. and author of the Declaration of Independence, to make the point that Millennials can, like the founding fathers, use tough times for good. The highlight was when he held up a Time magazine with a cover declaring Millennials the “me, me, me” generation:
Your generation needs everything to be about you and that’s very upsetting to us baby boomers because self-absorption is kind of our thing. We’re the original ‘me generation.’ We made the last 50 years all about us. We took all the money. We used up all the government services and we deep-fried nearly everything in the ocean.
Why a generation of well-educated Canadians has no future
Melanie Cullins is no pipe dreamer. She chose a vocation that, by unanimous opinion, represented a path to steady employment—teaching English as a second language to the thousands of immigrants pouring into B.C., a good many of whom, the experts predicted, would be making their way to Victoria, where she grew up and wished to make a home. That was back in the early 2000s, when opportunities for the young and industrious appeared unlimited. A rewarding career seemed within reach for all.
Cullins’s degree in applied linguistics was the gold standard of ESL qualifications. But she graduated in the thick of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the entry-level position she imagined would launch her career never materialized. Governments cut back on language transition programs. Resumés piled up in recruitment offices. Her calls to program directors went unanswered. “For me, that was a huge blow,” she says. “I had almost perfect performance reviews from my practicums, but I couldn’t even get an interview. You start to wonder: what’s wrong with me?”
Employers asked to accommodate new generation
Conventional wisdom would suggest that Jonathan Glencross has a bright and secure future ahead of him.
Anyone who completed an undergraduate degree from McGill University, established and developed a $2.5-million sustainability fund for the school while there and received national honours as an environmental advocate might well seem destined for the sort of career that would make any parent proud.
But Glencross believes conventional wisdom is no accurate gauge for the economic challenges he and his generation are facing. Since his graduation in 2011, the 25-year-old Montreal resident has not been able to carve out a niche on the traditional career path.
Jobs that make use of a modern-day skill set don’t pay the bills, while roles with greater financial security don’t address the priorities that the current generation holds dearest, he said.
Considering the link between mass killings and celebrities
We were walking down Ocean Drive in Miami Beach on Friday night and wanted to escape the loud music and even louder Happy Hour patrons crowding most of the bars, so we ducked into a little place called News Cafe. The bartender, a southern gal from North Carolina, chatted us up. It was the day of the shootings in Connecticut where 20 children and seven adults died. “Make bullets a million bucks,” she said while wiping the counters. “And stop publishing the names of the shooters.”
I had heard these arguments last time there was a “mass shooting,” as these incidents are now called. I dismissed both ideas because of the obvious impracticalities. Extreme gun control laws can’t stop a black market for guns. And besides, the suggestion that deranged people kill for notoriety always seemed far fetched. Murdering just to become famous? I never really got that.
A 2002-themed party causes one man to reflect on identity
It all came back to Facebook, eventually. Twice during the night, someone apologized for deleting me from their list of friends. Twice I said I didn’t care. But I get it. It’s important, and especially so on that Saturday night. Facebook was, ultimately, the reason we were there.
The invite had been a long one, but the premise was straightforward enough, if slightly strange.
“Hello to my DEAREST friends… who have found themselves a DECADE older (or at least a few years older)!!” a Facebook invitation shouted at me sometime in October. “For many of you, 2002 marked a few big things in our lives. Possibly your high school graduation, as well as your first year at a post secondary institution. 2012 brings us 10 years from those days as innocent, uncorrupted youth to where we are now…a DECADE later.”
Why can’t we just enjoy the show?
Rock demigod Jack White recently left the stage unexpectedly early to the disdain of a New York City audience. No official reason has been given, but at the beginning of the show he had asked audiences to refrain from filming.
To ask this of an audience in 2012 is akin to asking them to refrain from using Facebook for a month. In all likelihood, the audience ignored that rare but understandable request and White was angered by their disobedience.
Either way, the smartphone is an now unavoidable vexation at virtually any major concert. The more prolific the song, the higher number of people reach for their phones to film the experience, rather than jump up and down like wild animals.
When did concert-goers become incapable of existing in the moment?
Big Bird, full buses in B.C., hackers & Lena Dunham
1. In a poll, two-thirds of CNN viewers concurred that Romney came out on top. Romney didn’t win with the under-12 demographic, however, as he said he’d cut funding to PBS, home of Big Bird, because public television is not worth borrowing money from China to fund. Luckily for him, children can’t vote.
2. Transit users in Victoria, B.C. are being passed up by full buses more than twice often as predicted by B.C. Transit before they implemented “real-time tracking.” The agency suggests post-secondary schools should stagger class start times to reduce the problem. I have a feeling this isn’t just a frustration for B.C. students. Am I right?
3. Hackers called Team GhostShell have claimed responsibility for breaking into more than 120,000 computer accounts at dozens of universities to protest what they see as high-cost and low-quality higher education. Sites at the University of British Columbia and McMaster University were on the list of what’s called “ProjectWestWind.” Identity Finder, a data-protection company, found that more than 35,000 e-mail addresses and thousands of usernames were compromised. Most of the sites were the type made by professors themselves, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Canadian students feel hopeless, depressed, even suicidal
This week’s issue of Maclean’s took an in-depth look at the mental health crisis on university campuses. Read the story, check out our tips for dealing with stress and join the conversation on Twitter: #brokengeneration
In late August, as the first leaves changed from green to red and gold, university ghost towns were coming back to life. Residences were dusted out. Classrooms were readied. Textbooks were purchased—and new outfits, new computers, new posters to decorate dorm room walls. Amid this bustle, construction workers at Cornell University began installing steel mesh nets under seven bridges around campus. They overlook the scenic gorges for which Ithaca, N.Y., is known; in early 2010, they were the sites of three Cornell student suicides of a total of six that year. Students cross the bridges daily on their way to class.
Cornell’s bridge nets are the latest and most visible sign that the best and brightest are struggling. In an editorial in the Cornell Daily Sun following the 2010 suicides, president David J. Skorton acknowledged these deaths are just “the tip of the iceberg, indicative of a much larger spectrum of mental health challenges faced by many on our campus and on campuses everywhere.”
Struggling twenty-somethings are turning to life coaches
By Sonya Bell
There is no shortage of secrets to solving the quarter-life crisis, and a budding industry of survivors is selling them from the other side of the meltdown.
Over the eight years Kirk Akahoshi spent searching for answers, he tried hypnosis, meditation, two vision quests, and grad school. When Jordana Jaffe got stuck, she created a one-month detox for herself, forbidding dating, drinking, TV, and Facebook.
“I called it my inner-clarity retreat. I took away anything that would distract me from me.”
Halifax graduates turn to the underground economy
By Veronica Simmonds
Jess Ross graduated from Dalhousie University in 2009, straight into one of the worst economies in a generation. Her degree in anthropology hardly made her a standout in a Halifax job market with an unemployment rate nearing 15 per cent.
“My only options were to go back to the job I didn’t want to go back to, work for a catering company, get a master’s degree, or just do something on my own. Which I guess was the moment I tapped into my entrepreneurial spirit,” she says.
She and some friends set up a farm stand on Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End neighbourhood and started selling her homemade, German-style bread. They conduct their business under the table, without concern for the legalities of zoning or taxation.
Scaachi Koul: it’s more depressing to hear this girl complain
When I graduated last month, everyone told me that it was the beginning of the rest of my life. This, they told me, was when it would all start becoming really difficult, and it would show what I was made of. I would come into my own.
But why didn’t anyone tell me I wouldn’t get everything I waaaaaaaaaaant?
Taylor Cotter, a 22-year-old American writer and editor, already has a job, an apartment, a 401k and financial autonomy from her parents. But she’s sad. She’s sad because things are working out for her. Cotter, you see, never had to struggle for her success the way others have had to. From her blog post on The Huffington Post:
University students connect with their childhood entertainer
Emily Slofstra, 24, is one-fourth of the Tra La Las, a band of Wilfrid Laurier University graduates who sing about the environment, income inequality and police brutality. “One of our songs is called Harper is the Root of All Evil, if that gives you any indication,” says the Occupy supporter, who grows her own veggies on an urban farm.
The Tra La Las attend plenty of shows in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. But without exaggeration, Slofstra says 65-year-old children’s entertainer Fred Penner gave one of the best.
Like so many twentysomething Canadians, she grew up singing along to hits like Sandwiches and The Cat Came Back. Now the man who crawled through the log on CBC’s Fred Penner’s Place each weekday from 1985 to 1997 has made a comeback by playing for people who heartily embrace his messages of sharing and environmental respect.
Stop being so cynical about young people
The Toronto Star ran a story recently about a 24-year-old “super intern” named Maeghan Smulders, who graduated from Mount Royal University with 29 job offers—all of which she rejected. Smulders figured if she was going to begin her career, she was going to do some research first. So ProjectONE12 was born, a postgraduate’s 112-day exploration into the world of unpaid internships. Smulders took stints in Toronto, Montreal and even San Jose, interning with 10 companies, all in the hopes of finding and landing her dream business job.
She did. At the end of her seven-month journey (which she documented online) she took a job at Beyond the Rack, a Canadian online retail start-up. “Being in all the different places,” she said, reminiscing about the project, “you get a taste for culture and you get a taste for not just the work you’re doing, but the people there. I really wanted to find an environment I could really grow in.” Don’t we all.
Many teens aren’t interested in driving
This summer, Sarah Mohammed is going on a road trip. She and three of her friends plan to drive from Montreal, where they live, to the Okanagan Valley. “We’re going to work on some orchards and vineyards in the Interior of B.C.,” says Mohammed, 23. The trip is to mark her recent graduation from the University of King’s College, in Halifax. “I just finished school and I want to do something different,” she says. But on the long drive west, Mohammed won’t be taking any shifts behind the wheel—she doesn’t have a driver’s licence. “Oh, I won’t actually be driving. I’m just being a leech,” she jokes.
That’s alright. You don’t want that anyway.
You’re young, in debt, not making as much money as you’d expected and the world keeps getting more expensive.
In many ways, our parents had it better: more jobs, cheap homes, less debt. Things that once seemed so basic, so average, so fundamentally middle class are becoming unobtainable.
Even if you’re making a bit more than the guy disappointed by $36,000 (which really isn’t bad), it’s a zero-sum game with those debt payments. Saving a critical mass of moolah is all but impossible in your twenties. Meanwhile, the big things in life require saving. Like a house and kids. And you need those things to be happy, right?
Wrong. To be clear, my goal isn’t to be political. If you want to resent the baby boomers for making all that money on real estate, if you want to march down the streets of Montreal, go right ahead.
John Geddes on “intergenerational inequity”
Republished from Capital Read,your source for Parliament Hill news and gossip on Macleans.ca.
I often find arguments about “intergenerational inequity” compelling. There’s an obvious injustice when governments allow deficits to accumulate into debt, keeping current taxes low and spending high, on the assumption that future taxpayers will somehow be in a better position to pick up the tab than the current ones. Same goes for underfunded entitlement programs.
But I don’t know if John Moore, over at the National Post, has quite figured out the situation in Quebec when he argues that the province’s seemingly endless tuition-fee protests expose an intergenerational imbalance of this sort. “Quebec has had low tuition rates for a half century,” Moore writes. “That means almost every living adult in the province, having already been afforded a plum goodie, is now wagging his finger at the first generation that will be asked to pay the tab. So who really is entitled here?”
Inflated expectations, not paycheques, are the problem
Twitter lit up today with graduates complaining of their dashed dreams of high-paying jobs. The conversation grew out of a letter The Globe and Mail published this week from a 29-year-old graduate who feels cheated out of the life he had planned for after university. Here’s the nut of it:
“I wanted the tailored suits, the chance at a high income, the BMW, the prestige, the respect, and the power. I wanted to be someone. I wanted to be able to afford to donate to charities that are important to me. I was considering children, marriage, the house, all of it. It’s not happening.”
Instead, this anonymous writer is resolved to making a disappointing $36,000. The Twitterverse quickly concurred—$36,000 is not enough to live on. Employers should pay us more.
After that, National Post columnist Matt Gurney, who is in late twenties himself, pissed off quite a number of the woeful Generation-Y Tweeters by arguing that $36,000 is actually pretty good.
Twenty-somethings value fame and money over community
Millennials—those born after Jan. 1, 1982—are much more likely than Baby Boomers (now aged 50+) to value money, image and fame than things like self-acceptance, community and the environment, suggests an extensive new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The research adds to the debate over whether those raised in the 1990s are more self-concerned and individualistic than previous generations—the Generation Me hypothesis—or whether they’re more caring because they tend to volunteer more—the Generation We theory.
The results support the Generation Me hypothesis. The study, co-authored by Millennials expert Jean M. Twenge, was really three studies in one. All three are based on surveys that captured the values of millions of American 18-year-olds and college freshman between 1966 and 2009.