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Generational Disputes

READ THIS.

Go on.

Follow the links, too.  Read all that.

Done?

Okay:

It’s all well and good to tell people that college is their way into the high life, but unless you instill a sense of pride in your kids, it’s not going to matter where they go or what they do – they’re going to be unsuccessful because they’ve never received “payment” for all of the work you told them to do while growing up.

No, seriously.

You can’t ever learn the value of hard work unless you get some kind of reward.

When you’re told that the reason for college is to get a great job and make lots of money (and that’s what we ALL were told, make no mistake…even those of us in non-traditional majors, like my foray into instrumental music), and you work and work and work to make that college graduation happen, the next expected step is…a job.

We had a special class at my college for psychology majors just to describe how they will probably have a hard time finding a job…this was before the recession, even.

That class was the biggest part of my education at CBU.  I wouldn’t say that it took away my ability to give a crap about not having a job (because I do give a crap, and it bothers me), but it brought the reality of post-graduate life to the forefront.

When you DON’T have that sort of confrontation with reality, and are instead of the mindset that graduating from college is an open door full of unicorns and rainbows and hug paychecks, you have a tendency to fall even harder when you try to spread your wings.

That’s how you end up living back at home.

There’s no shame in it.  Lots of people do it, and it’s not that long ago in history where multiple generations of the same family lived under one roof.

But you’ve got to understand something:  when you teach us, and tell us that education is the most important thing in the world, we’re going to soak up what’s recited to us like little money-grubbing sponges.  Unless you include information that’s relevant to how the world works, we’re not going to go seek that information out for ourselves…we’ve been told that YOU have all the answers.  YOU are the one we have to pay attention to.

By demanding absolute authority, you’ve created a generation of financial, emotional, and social leeches.

You want to complain about my generation now?

Just wait.  It will get worse.

Our government is turning us all into expectant teenagers.  When teenagers don’t get what they want, they sulk.  With a country full of sulking teenagers, we’ll pretty much have a zombie apocalypse on our hands.

LIFE SUCKS SOMETIMES.  Just because there’s a trend of some sort that shows life being a black hole of fail for so many people, that’s not an excuse to rail on an entire generation of people who were just doing what they were told.  It is, however, a great excuse to give a whole lot of folks a reality check.

Don’t take away childhood, but make sure your child knows that they have a future ahead of them.  Teach them PRACTICAL skills, instead of just being proud of their A’s in school.  Teach them to keep up with money.  Teach them to cook simple meals.  Teach them to care for themselves.

Teach us.  If we fail after having all of our bases covered, then you can call us failures.  Until then, the blame rests on everyone.

 

4 comments to Generational Disputes

  • Brandon

    I don’t blame my parents for strongly encouraging a college education. Neither of them were college graduates, and they spent their entire working lives seeing the better positions and promotions go to the people with the parchment. Today, everybody’s got a degree, most of which are in useless disciplines (I’m a history major, so I can say that). A bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma: a basic educational requirement. That’s not the Boomers’ fault. It’s just the way things worked out.

  • Chris in Texas

    I got a BS in a totally useless discipline (political science), and it took me almost 3 years to find a real job. In that time, I learned how to WORK. Nights in a motel guzzling coffee and hoping I didn’t get robbed. Washing cars for a rental service. Marshalling aircraft and loading/unloading luggage in the heat of the East Texas summer.

    And I learned. I learned how to work in a team to turn a flight in 20 minutes. I learned to get the drunk hotel guests into the light so I can see if they have a weapon. I learned how douchey customers can be. And finally, after 3 years I got a job that required a degree. Actually, it was a job with a state agency, no less. And it has nothing to do with political science. But I had the piece of paper, and I also had 3 years of work experience to back it up. Guess which has come in handy more since then?

  • Been out of college for 13 years. Still waiting on my rainbows and unicorns.

  • Teach them to care for themselves.

    Which is why my parents taught me how to do everything from cooking to cleaning to sewing (busted pants are a drag) to how to fell a tree.

    They also taught me to push myself, which is why I’ll be the first in my family to get a bachelor’s.