Dear Mr. Stephens,
I read your letter to the class of 2012. And while I graduated about two years ago, your letter was rather thought provoking.
To begin with, it’s not very nice of you to not congratulate those students that spent the last four years doing simply what society has told them they have to do. They went to elementary school, then middle school, then high school, and then they were told they have to go to college if they don’t want to starve and die, yes?
“through exertions that-let’s be honest-were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtained a debased degree”
So to that I ask, whose fault is this? Clearly we’re not the ones that put together the curriculum. The college system was not something we created. We were simply being advised by those before us and now many of us are dirt poor and in debt, perhaps for no reason.
As for our president, I can’t say that I voted for him. Because guess what? A lot of us still believe in the importance of working hard despite the the stigma that our generation has been given of being lazy and entitled.
Yes, many of us are, but there are others that are not. So please, I’d prefer it if you didn’t generalize.
But while we’re on this subject of entitlement, once again, I’m going to ask, whose fault is it? The sense of entitlement our society seems to have adopted is simply a byproduct of policies implemented by previous presidents that many of you, in previous generations, “voted for with such enthusiasm”.
As I reflected on the other various issues that you have with us young workers, I’ll admit, many of the points you make are valid. Perhaps we are the least knowledgeable graduating class in history. But really, who’s teaching us?
Yes, I agree, our competition is global. But it’s not just the competition of us young workers, it’s your competition too. So we ALL better “shape up”.
You then go on to say that to read through our CVs
“is to be assaulted by endless Advertisements for Myself. Here you are, 21, or 22 years old, claiming to have accomplished feats in past summer internships or at your school newspaper that would be hard to credit in the biography of Walter Lippmann or Ernie Pyle”
Mr. Stephens, with all due respect, we HAVE to make even the most minute accomplishments seem of the utmost importance, because how else do we get jobs?! The requirements for entry-level jobs these days are absurd!
But yes, absolutely, I agree that there will always be a market for people that are capable of thinking for themselves.
I’d like to conclude this letter by saying that as of late, this conversation about young workers entering the workforce seems to be an “us against them” conversation.
I think that’s dumb.
Because rather than being a conversation of attacks against generations, it should be one of collaboration. We should be trying to figure out what we can learn from one another. We should be trying to learn each of our strengths and weaknesses so that we can work together to better society and to help others.
So how about we ALL “tone down our egos” and “shape up our minds”?
What do you think? Let’s call it a truce?