Youth Services Law

Waning Resilience a Problem for Colleges

Fragile young adultI almost missed a very important article in Psychology Today, describing the serious challenges that colleges face in dealing with students who lack resilience to deal with everyday life:

Recent examples mentioned included a student who felt traumatized because her roommate had called her a “bitch” and two students who had sought counseling because they had seen a mouse in their off-campus apartment. The latter two also called the police, who kindly arrived and set a mousetrap for them.

The author, Dr. Peter Gray, believes that this trend is a serious problem:

We have raised a generation of young people who have not been given the opportunity to learn how to solve their own problems. They have not been given the opportunity to get into trouble and find their own way out, to experience failure and realize they can survive it, to be called bad names by others and learn how to respond without adult intervention. So now, here’s what we have. Young people, 18 years and older, going to college still unable or unwilling to take responsibility for themselves, still feeling that if a problem arises they need an adult to solve it.

Eventually, those young people will graduate from college and will be our employees, still looking for an adult to solve their problems. If we can't change the trend, we will have a serious shortage of adults able to solve problems.

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