Maddie LaPlante-Dube, Editorial Editor
Not to be the crotchety old senior, but kids these days are lazy as hell.
There are countless studies done by the Baby Boomer Generation on Millennials. Obviously, these studies essentially act as negative reviews of what actually is a paradigm shift in general world culture. It is rare that these studies will suggest anything positive about Millennials (I cringe at the word), especially in terms of commitment.
More and more, Millennials are revealing that they are uncomfortable with the lives that were forged by their parents — that is, lives that were stable, settled and built on their grandparents’ blue-collar efforts to find financial stability in the wake of the Great Depression. Millennials are uncomfortable with buying their own cars and houses, they don’t necessarily think marriage is a component of a full life, and they feel like staying in a job for more than three years is too long.
All that is fine, honestly. I even wrote last week on why I think marriage — the traditional idea of marriage — is outdated. And I see a lot of myself in these so-called studies (which in some cases appear to be nothing more than a list of complaints and whinings hidden under a blanket of skewed science) that describe Millennials’ “issues.” But if there is one thing I can grab a beer and bitch about with a Baby Boomer, it’s the Millennial Work Ethic.
Anti-commitment in large purchases or long-term relationships is one thing. But anti-commitment in something you’ve already committed to, like a class, club or job obligation, is an entirely different animal. I serve on the two executive boards for clubs on campus, one for which I am currently writing, and I also work as a UA and a writing consultant. In these four positions, it’s gotten hard to ignore a disheartening trend: Millennials don’t care about anything that doesn’t immediately benefit them.
There are plenty of theories as to why: first-world Millennials grew up watching the way technology immediately provided them with answers, entertainment, and an escape from the “difficulties” of their lives. The moment that self-serving convenience is taken away, they get upset. Here’s an example: a friend of mine went to Ghana over the summer with a number of Miami students and watched as they complained about the food that was generously offered them, about the lack of WiFi, about the heat.
As I’ve worked with students this year, I’ve noticed the way they shy away from anything that could require effort, or get really stressed when they need to expend that effort. I’ve seen how they try minimally on assignments in order to get things done instead of sitting and actually taking the time to absorb the information that is being offered to them. Miami has this incredible commitment to undergraduate teaching (see staff editorial) but Miami students can’t even reciprocate that commitment in their own studies. And it could be something as simple as sitting and reading directions for an assignment. These things simply seem beyond the general Millennial’s capabilities.
There are, of course, exceptions, and many of the students I work with are among those. But the general apathy about personal development for personal development’s sake is honestly unnerving, not to mention out of place, considering Millennials make up a revolutionary generation that is generally passionate about social issues, more so than any other generation. We’ve begun the LGBTQ+ revolution, we’ve uprooted the status quo (hey, hipsters), we are the most informed generation thanks to our intimate relationship with social media and the internet, many of us become entrepreneurs and more people in our generation will have college degrees than any generation before us.
We are redefining racial and sexual identity, we are unafraid to speak up and out and we don’t just ruffle feathers: we enact change.
You would think that a generation that can enact all this change could also submit an assignment correctly. But that’s none of my business.