Millenial Failure — the “Snowflake Generation”

Jasmine Prasad, Staff Writer

In recent years, Americans have seen high of college dropout rates; according to The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), the typical completion rate for four year colleges is only 35%. These rates coincide with the millennial generation, leaving analysts to wonder why, despite higher than ever admittance rates, more and more students are failing to graduate.
“Based upon the latest college completion trends, only about half of all students will leave college with a diploma,” successful businessman Bill Gates said on his blog “Gates Notes.” Not only does this spell tragedy for students, and their families, but it also results in a lack of social mobility.
The oversensitivity of the millenials, who were aptly named the “Snowflake Generation,” is to blame. The inability of the “Snowflakes” to deal with stress is what ultimately leads to the drop in graduation rates; according to “The New York Times,” students blame high stress on their inability to graduate.
However, the high amounts of oversensitivity of millenials is a learned trait. In an interview with the “Guardian,” Fay Weldon, author of “After the Peace,” states that the oversensitivity of millenials is not something that they should be blamed for, as it isn’t inherently their fault.
Rather, the fault lies with their parents — as Weldon states, “through the drug and money culture of their parents [they are] a product of what is our fault.”
Weldon observes that parents have failed to teach their children high self esteem. Simply “[telling] their children how beautiful and clever they are” has achieved the opposite effect: low self-esteem as a result of not being able to live up to such ideals. Subsequently, children who cannot live up to their parents standards participate in self-harm practices and fall into depression.
High rates of depression in millennials have sadly become an all too common trend. However, as Kyle Thompson-Clement from Acadia University’s newspaper, “The Athenaeum” points out, the soaring rates of depression are a result of microaggressions that millennials merely don’t know how to deal with.
Clement claims that such microaggressions (verbal or nonverbal insults that inadvertently or directly offend a marginalized group) have created disastrous effects on mental health because millennials are a generation underneath the “veil of ignorance.” Their ignorance is a direct result of not being exposed to enough stressful situations, which only promotes their perfect worldview.
The lack of ability to deal with situations out of millenial’s comfort zones also accounts for the abundance of sensitivity in the political world. Students now advocate for safe zones and for a politically correct culture.
The lack of exposure to differing opinions not only adds to the “veil of ignorance,” but it also prevents meaningful discussions necessary to preserving democracy.
While parenting styles account for a portion of the cause of over sensitivities, social media is also to blame.
According to Weldon, social media has become a driving force behind the rise of egomaniacal teenagers.
“[Obsession with] social media and selfies is only encouraging young people to focus on themselves,” Weldon said. “[Millennials] see themselves as the centre of the universe.”
Social media allows for yet another means to inflate faux self-esteem and thus lowers one’s competence in the world with regards to dealing with “stressful” situations.
As a result of soaring college drop out rates, the “Snowflake generation” has a multitude of resources available to them. There are classes, TED talks, and motivational speakers that are attempting to “teach resilience.” Hopefully, it isn’t too late for millennials to learn.