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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    We can’t stop: Prioritize passions over pressures

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that an older generation must be in want of a good opinion about its children. The trope of grizzled old men and world-weary ladies rolling their eyes at young people has forever existed.

    Complaints have been modified over time, but they’re still being made. Elvis’s pelvis is simply lewd. Rock ‘n’ roll is the devil. Computers are going to be the death of us all. For the love of God, can you please just stop texting?

    In the past, older generations seemed to worry about the causes the younger generations chose to take-up. They watched their children, with halos of flowers upon their heads, protest war and the status quo.

    But now, they worry that we care about nothing at all. Hey, I wish I could try to save the world, but I simply don’t have time.

    Older people seem to believe apathy is our disease. We’d rather share via Instagram than involve ourselves with world issues. We’re not fully invested in what we do. Instead, we half-heartedly look out for ourselves.

    This “Millennial Generation” behavior has been discussed at length by talking heads and think-pieces. Recently, the New York Times published an opinions piece entitled “The Self(ie) Generation.”

    “This is not only the generation of the self; it’s the generation of the selfie,” columnist Charles M. Blow wrote.

    The conclusion he drew, like that of many others, is that we care predominately about ourselves and feel little for anything else.

    Could he possibly be right? I’m sorry to be a traitor to my contemporaries, but I think apathy does exist amongst our ranks. However, we aren’t apathetic for the obvious, unsavory reasons that columns like Blow’s proposed.

    Our apathy is not due to laziness — this is apparent after a short walk down the mall, past activists and flier-givers — but rather a need to be selective in our interests and activities.

    Students continue to fill their days with classes, work, volunteering and clubs. If they feel less dedication to their causes than did the flower children of the 1960s, it’s because today’s young people have too much to do.

    The present day, with its less than desirable job market and ever-present technology, has redefined success for us.

    In the past, a college degree virtually guaranteed a good job. Unfortunately for us, that’s no longer the case. According to, in 2012, 44 percent of college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 were working jobs that did not require bachelor degrees.

    The unstable job market has put so much pressure on us to do everything that if we weren’t just a bit apathetic we’d probably break down. We have so much to care about that actually caring about all of it might make us explode. Instead, we have to prioritize.

    Being successful no longer means dedicating oneself to a single cause. In order to even have a chance at attaining our goals, we need to be multi-multi-faceted.

    We have to choose between maintaining a perfect GPA, working, interning and trying to enjoy our lives through the chaos.

    I spend every weekday either working or in class. When I finish those, I race to club meetings, work on homework and futilely try to cultivate some sort of social life. I remain slightly detached from each because if I invested every part of myself into every activity, I would lose my mind.

    College can be fun, but our work never ends, even when we get home.

    We enjoy our fancy phones, but they make it difficult for us to get a break. New emails constantly keep coming, and failing to respond could mean messing up a group project or being unprepared for class.

    Are we a very technology dependent generation? Yes. But we’re not usually taking selfies, as people might think. Instead, we’re frantically scanning our emails, checking D2L and trying to organize weekend plans.

    The right amount of apathy is healthy. Remaining just a bit apathetic means being able to balance a billion aspects of our lives without falling apart when one thing does not come together. Because of apathy, we are able prioritize our responsibilities, even if it means some things that are considered important to others get pushed to the bottom of our lists. We aren’t the generation of the selfie, we’re the generation of the self-motivated.

    Brittany Rudolph is a sophomore studying English and art history. Follow her @DailyWildcat.

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