Why is our Generation so Insecure and Afraid?

  1. In Todd Gitlin’s article, You are here to be Disturbed, he claims that students nowadays going to universities are scared of issues going on in the world and at their future campus before even arriving or having anything happen to them. He believes that society today is becoming to “thin skinned” and are letting issues get to us before anything even happens. One of the examples he uses is about college students, particularly females, and their fear of sexual assault. He asks his readers, “Is sexual assault on campus more common than ever, requiring new levels of preventive intervention? Or is the fear of rape, surely realistic up to a point, inordinate?” (Gitlin). Following this statement he also shows data stating that in our generation, anxiety is the number one reason students are meeting with counselors and that about half of the students end up seeking counseling help at least once while attending college. Giltin claims that studies have been shown to stating that anxiety issues in college students nowadays aren’t just about whole world issues, such as rape, or race issues, but instead are about more personal issues, like work and debt. Do you believe that this increase of anxiety in students is a big issue? Were you surprised to see the huge increase in data from previous generations to ours now? What do you think should be done to try to help students to not feel as anxious or stressed?


  1. In Lee McIntyre’s article, Willful ignorance on campus, he discusses how students on today’s campuses are less willing to listen to new opinions, and instead just focus on their own. He states, “Willful ignorance is when we know that there are other ideas out there, but we refuse to consider them. We believe in our own positions so strongly that no amount of evidence can persuade us to change it, such as when vaccine deniers continue to insist that the shot for measles, mumps, and rubella causes autism, despite a mountain of scientific studies that have discredited that view.” (McIntyre). In today’s society many people only have a one track mind of thinking about an issue, and think it’s only my way and no other way. What do you think about some of the points he made in his article? Do you see more people exhibiting willful ignorance around our campus? Do you think we should try to change this or do you think that having and sticking with your views without outside influences trying to change your mind is a good thing?


Can Generation Q, or the Millennials, really change the future?

  1. In Friedman’s article, “Generation Q”, he calls, our generation the “Quiet Americans” because we are, “quietly pursing our idealism at home and abroad” (Friedman). He then says, “But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good” (Friedman). How do you feel about this statement? Do you believe that our generation should be nicknamed Generation Q, because we’ve been “too quiet” trying to deal with some of the issues in the world?
  2. Friedman also leads to the point that he believes we could be the solution to a lot of the problems we face in the world today, like the ones he listed, climate change, Social Security, and deficit. He says that in order to do this, “They have to get organized in a way that will force politicians to pay attention rather than just patronize them.” “Activism can only be uploaded, the old-fashioned way — by young voters speaking truth to power, face to face, in big numbers.” (Friedman). Cameron Russel makes the argument in her article, saying that instead of our generation trying to get the attention of the politicians, it should be Friedman’s. “Perhaps you don’t hear our screams because we gave up long ago on a having a government that listens to citizens, or on the ability of that government to take on big business by kicking it out of the bed. Friedman should be shouting at his own generation.” (Russel).Do you think if our generation decides to speak up it will actually make any difference, or will these politicians still try to roll right over us, since we are already known as too young and too quiet? Whose opinion would you agree with more, Russel’s or Friedman’s?
  3.  In Cameron Russel’s article, ” Your Generation of Hypocrisy Begat my Apathetic one”, she seems to disagree with the views brought up in Friedman’s article. She says, “These articles (15 thousand Google hits on “Gen Y apathetic”) usually miss the essential characteristics of our generation because the writers can’t seem to imagine the world from our perspective.” (Russell). Does how “privileged and advanced” our generation is said to be really impact older generations from seeing how we perceive the world and it’s issues today?
  4. Friedman says that our generation is “too online” and that none of our problems can be fixed this way. However Russel argues about how beneficial being online can actually be. “Meanwhile, let us figure out how we can use these tools that enable mass distribution and organization of ideas. It’s likely that these will be the tools we need.” (Russel). Do you agree that being in an online world now may actually be a tool we may be able to use later, or do you think we should take a more physical approach?


Big Words:

  1. hegemony: political, economic, or military predominance or leadership, esp. by one member of a confederacy or unionizer other states
  2. accrued: accumulated or increased by growth; (esp. of interest, leave) built up over time
  3. subsidy: a tax levied on imports and exports, the income from which was granted by parliament to the sovereign to meet particular needs; a sum of money raised by this tax