6 concerns of college students and my response, part 2

i’ve broken a major rule of blogging these last two weeks. last monday, i posted part 1 of my response to 6 fears and concerns of college students today as outlined by dr. tim elmore. the unspoken blogging code is that you post part 2 the next day.

yeah, that didn’t happen. and there’s a reason.

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i was busy launching this bad boy. at the time of writing, we are at 58% of our goal. if you haven’t had the chance to jump on board, i’d love for you to partner with me!

(end shameless plug)

and so, finally…here is part 2, addressing the second 3 concerns as listed by elmore. this second verse is the same as the first: i will share a few of my thoughts and then i would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are currently a college student.

4 // they don’t see the world in black or white, right or wrong.

i’m not really sure this is a fear or a concern. it’s more of a characterization. and generally speaking, it seems to be true. college students don’t seem to sure about what to stand for. elmore says this generation wants to possess values, but there has been very little need for them to sacrifice for what is right.

and when no sacrifice is required, the value of what is right diminishes and the line between right and wrong gets a little fuzzy. and because, as elmore points out, life has been relatively sacrifice-free for this generation, they don’t often think in terms of black or white, right or wrong.

5 // their career plan involves “one big break” instead of steadily plodding up the ladder.

i don’t think this generation has an aversion to hard work. i think this generation has an aversion to what they feel is menial work. and unfortunately, there are times when climbing the ladder is going to feel menial. couple this with an “microwave” culture — where everything is ready in an instant — and you’ve got trouble.

i think what college students desire is value. it’s the proverbial forest for the trees; it’s hard to see the value in menial work, but students often fail to think long term about any given situation. working hard and completing the seemingly menial tasks earns the right for greater responsibilities and opportunities. like i said, college students don’t mind hard work. i think they simply sometimes forget that you occasionally have to work hard at that which is menial.

6 // they want their life to count.

i couldn’t agree with this statement more. however, we need to decide what “counts.” i think many college students want to accomplish something incredible that gives their lives great value and meaning.

however, does it “count” when you faithfully provide for your family? does it “count” when you invest in your children? does it “count” when you serve your customers well? does it “count” when you invest in a dozen young boys on a little league team? does it “count” when you are faithful in little things?

i think it counts. and so i feel we must help students today realize they don’t need to cure cancer or write the next great american novel to lead a life that counts.

question for you: what do you think? are elmore’s observations accurate? what about my responses? i’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are currently a college student.

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One thought on “6 concerns of college students and my response, part 2

  1. The point about college students not living in a black & white world & not having much sense of right & wrong really made me think. As a current college student and a former RA I have seen first hand how students clearly know what is right & what is wrong but they CHOOSE to ignore that. The reasons they choose not to do the “right thing” could be a number of things. But understanding the reasons behind it is extremely important for people/leaders wanting to help. it is not that college students don’t know what to stand for I feel like instead the issue is the fact that they do not truly see nor feel the consequences of their actions. Not only their actions but also the actions of the people around them, so they don’t feel the need to own them. I have personally witnessed students do things they know (& admit) to be wrong, harmful, and even illegal simply because they can justify it by saying it is ok. (They are not doing them b/c they believe them to be right or moral but simply b/c they can!) Why do they believe these actions to be ok or acceptable? Reason 1) Others are doing it so therefore it MUST be ok.As students some of us accept the judgement of our peers as a compass. Which leads to 2) As students we live in a culture that contradicts what we KNOW to be right. We are constantly being forced to CHOOSE our own path & the main goal is to be a productive citizen & “good person” yet we are told that if we choose not to it is ok & we might even be rewarded. 3) College students tend to not take responsibility for their own belief system b/c we are not expected to. How many times are college students discredited as being “too naive”, “too young”, or simply “too inexperienced” to know what is right from wrong & it is made ok when we choose wrong b/c we are young and that is what we are suppose to do. 4) It is easier to say things are not black & white than it is for students to face up to knowingly doing the wrong thing or even just messing up. This simply builds a bubble that protects students from experiencing any real consequences so they continue doing what they want to do & justify these actions with being misunderstood b/c every situation is different. I don’t mean to ramble or sound super strongly about this I just think it is time that as college student we take responsibility for our actions and own up to the reasons we make them instead of making excuses.

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