For the last couple of years I've been noticing something about the last few crops of masters and doctoral students entering the program I work for. It is this: We are currently seeing a generation of the most spoiled, self-absorbed, arrogant little bastards EVER to enter higher education and the work force. The first thing they do on entering the program, before they've even finished a semester's worth of classes, is bitch about something. They get courted by our faculty, apply to the program, get accepted, get funded like I've never seen a group of students get funded, (most FULLY funded through fellowships and grants), and yet...and YET - the complaints about how the program is run, the classes offered, the program requirements, time limits, even the level of intellectual vigor - are all I'm hearing. We even had one, before he even started the program, complaining to a donor that he had not received the fellowship he thought he deserved. It got back to our dean, causing a whole lot of sturm and drang about the...what's the word, unfairness of it? Unfairness bollocks. This is just one small case in point - but it's indicative of the trend with this crew - they'd rather complain and claim phantom abuses than try to accept the possibility that SOMEONE out there MAY have been an eentsy bit more deserving.
Are we dealing with the first generation for whom there was ALWAYS a chair at musical chairs? Is this the crew that received a trophy for running the race, whether they came in first or dead last? Is this what happens when an entire generation is raised to believe that they are the center of the universe because mommy and daddy and Mr. Rogers say so?
I have been thinking about this a lot, and at first I was just wondering whether it was a function of my age - as in, 'oh, kids today - they have it SO EASY. They have no idea how to work hard, what it's like to not have everything handed to them, yadda, yadda..." And I was SURE I was just being and old grouch, letting my envy get the better of me.
But here's the thing: It's come to my attention that I'm not the only person noticing. They were recently profiled on 60 Minutes and I recognized them immediately. Seems they're called the "Millenials" and they are making me seethe. You little 'I'm special' fuckers, whose parents worshipped the shit out of you need to wake up and stop behaving as though the world owes you something just for being you. Sit down, shut the fuck up, and learn something.
I hope this little experiment has failed. Let's go back to trophies only for first and second place, winners and losers, and kids learning the lesson that the world does not revolve around their spoiled little arses.