The Future in a Word
I have been speaking to faculty, administrators, deans and parents this last year about Generation iY, the second half of Generation Y. They are the young people born since 1990. Our research reveals there’s been a measurable shift between the kids born in the 80s and the ones born since 1990. What will Generation iY’s future be like? After talking with thousands of students about what they think, I received twenty-six predictions from them about their future. They represent phrases we could hear from adults in the year 2030. Some are tongue-in-cheek, some more likely than others, but together they paint a sobering picture of what life may look like for Generation iY unless something changes.
1. “I’m really tired.”
2. “I’m distracted.”
3. “I’m obese.”
4. “I’m on my fifth career and ninth job in a decade.”
5. “I’m overwhelmed, but I’m dealing with it.”
6. “I’m impatient. I make short-term commitments.”
7. “I’m finishing a marriage contract of three years.”
8. “I’m reinventing myself constantly.”
9. “I have no innocence.”
10. “I’m seeing a therapist.”
11. “I love and hate my parents.”
12. “I’m bored.”
13. “I’m spending money out of control—a quarter of a million each month.”
14. “I’m depressed.”
15. “I’m self-absorbed.”
16. “I spend much of my home time online.”
17. “I’m living in a greener world.”
18. “I’m intensely following the reunion tour of Beyoncé Lady GaGa.”
19. “I’m stressed. I have little time to rescue my soul.
20. I pursue instant pleasure and entertainment and will spend to get it.
21. “I’m medicated.”
22. “I’m living in a virtual world. (I plan to try a virtual marriage.)”
23. “I’ve learned to do things faster. My pace of life is accelerated.”
24. I experiment with preferences in gender and religion.
25. “I still want to change my world, but I’m cynical about the possibilities.”
26. “I’m a leader in society now, but I’m ill-prepared.”
That’s where you and I come in. We must be the Sherpa guides into this unknown territory. They are not looking for a “sage on the stage” with a lecture, but a guide on the side providing an experience and a conversation they can learn from. For a “compass” on what this should look like, check out the book, Generation iY—Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. This article is an excerpt form it. Find it on Amazon.com, or visit the site: www.SaveTheirFutureNow.com.Let me remind you. These were predictions given to me by current day students themselves. I love these students and was impressed with their candor. At the same time, we must read the handwriting on the wall. These typically optimistic even idealistic kids are seeing a gloomy future, feeling unready to cope with life after graduation.
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How can we lead students to a better future?