What I’ve Learned About Millennials From Being A College Professor

They text in class because that’s where the reading is, I guess?

They think it’s perfectly fine to come to class five, ten minutes late every week and expect it to be perfectly fine with me, their grader.

Any grade less than an “A” is a problem. Well guess what: if you did all the reading on time and wrote your papers without spelling mistakes and generally participated in class discussion, you could get an “A,” couldn’t you?

They like to use words like “wait” and “um” a whole lot, and in class discussion they like to jump start their ideas with phrases like “I feel that…”

Books are over. Everything is on a Kindle or an iPad. And you can forget course packets. When I was an undergrad you had to buy course packets in addition to the reading. Now PDFs of the articles are put online by the library = free.

They love to protest any and everything.

They really do take on too much — too many classes, too many student groups — and are overworked most of the time. I don’t remember my college years being so busy.

As faculty, we forget that sometimes students are young and that they do have a lot of stuff going on in their personal lives and are figuring out how to deal with it all. We should cut them some slack, but they shouldn’t abuse the privilege.

There’s always the one super high fashion type of girl who looks like she just stepped off the catwalk and floated through a perfume parlor before coming to class today. I wonder what her life is like.

And there’s always the guy who is loud and talks the most and who thinks he’s the smartest. This is the one I always want to sleep with.

They really have no idea what I do. But even still, they are genuinely fascinated by me and my life and that’s when you’re reminded of how different you really are.

They seem to spend a lot of time online, even in class.

The gay ones are on Grindr, which means I shouldn’t be on it when I’m on campus?

That they don’t know I can tell when they aren’t paying attention in class.

Sometimes they look my age but they are really 10 years younger — scary!

That I already feel old because some of the cultural references they make are starting to blow over my head.

Some of them haven’t heard of Grace Jones. GRACE JONES!

They have no writing skills. I’ve been a professor in public universities and Ivy League ones. They can’t write, probably no fault of their own. We just don’t value or teach writing anymore.

That they have hopes and dreams just like all the rest of us old fogeys.

Speaking of which, that they are more often than not controlled by what their parents want and less by what they really want to do with their lives. Sometimes I want to tell them that it’s OK, you don’t have to please mom and pop all the time.

Lots of girls wear leggings as pants.

That despite all the difficulties and all the mess, if you throw something challenging at them, they’ll go with you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Shutterstock

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