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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Author Howe speaks of our generation

    Best-selling author Neil Howe said in a conference yesterday that “”millennials,”” people 18 to 25 years old, are more confident and team-oriented than people of previous generations.

    However, he said, millennials also feel more “”special”” and are more “”sheltered.””

    Howe’s research on America’s different

    The cell phone has become the modern extension of the umbilical cord.

    -Neil Howe, author

    generations gave insight to the participants of an all-day symposium organized by the UA Division of Student Affairs.

    In his speech, Howe explained how colleges including the UA are involving parents more in the past 10 years than ever before because of the unique relationship millenials have with their families.

    “”It used to be that kids would usually move away, graduate and maybe come back home,”” Howe said. “”Now, they don’t move back because they never ended up leaving.””

    Millenials also stay in touch with their immediate families much more frequently than in generations past, with freshmen calling home almost 14 times a week, Howe said.

    “”The cell phone has become the modern extension of the umbilical cord,”” he added.

    According to Howe’s research, people between the ages of 18 and 25 are less active than in the past, spending only six to 17 hours per week outdoors – something he attributes to an increase in safety awareness and multimedia entertainment.

    “”In the early ’90s, raising children became the No. 1 priority, which was reflected in laws requiring the use of safe playground materials and mandatory helmet-wearing on bikes,”” he said. “”V-chips, Amber Alerts, the TV rating system, video game restrictions – all of these contributed to an environment which sheltered the millenials.””

    Being sheltered by parents and society has resulted in a generation that feels more “”special”” or confident that everyone can be great at what they do, Howe said.

    “” ‘Not everyone can be No. 1,’ that’s something many from the Boom Generation would say,”” Howe said. “”But not the millenials – they believe everyone can be No. 1.””

    Howe also believes that growing up with computers and smaller class sizes have helped shape millenials into a generation who works well in teams.

    The speech gave Lynette Cook Francis, assistant vice provost of student affairs, insight into the needs of incoming UA students.

    “”What this all means is that we have to have much more robust parent programs,”” she said.

    Student Affairs already works at connecting parents with the university through newsletters and through membership to the UA Parents and Family Association, Francis said.

    “”I would say that it’s important to understand the priorities of this generation of students and their parents,”” she said. “”In Student Affairs, the important thing is we have to be able to work with both the parents and students.””

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