Monday, June 8, 2015

Cranky, not anxious

It is hard to read Anxious Students Strain College Mental Health Centers by Jan Hoffman and keep the cranky old Calvinist man under wraps.

Having reached the end of the story, my instinctive response is 1) too much narcissism, 2) too much indulgence, 3) too little transparency and accountability, 4) too many excuses, and 5) too many unfounded expectations.
Too much narcissism - The world is full of wonders and real challenges, why is how you feel of such preeminent importance?

Too much indulgence - What happened to "Deal with it"?

Too little transparency and accountability - Why are taxpayers paying to make kids feel better about themselves?

Too many excuses - Anxiety seems like the mental equivalent of lower back injury; a claimable but not easily falsifiable excuse.

Too many unfounded expectations - Are these kids really ready for adult life? If they can't handle the protected environment of University, how are they going to fare in the outside world?
Is this the consequence of constant self-esteem boosting through their first eighteen years, or possibly a result of ever-affirming helicopter parents?

Perhaps. Empirically, on virtually every measure, the world is a better place than twenty-five and fifty years ago. So why so anxious?

Perhaps the revenue hungry universities are letting in far more people than are prepared to obtain the full advantage of a college education at this early a stage in life.

I don't know. But the cranky skeptic seems to have the better position than the reasonable man who tries to interpret the article in as generous a way as possible.

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