An associate professor at Penn State University Hazleton recently argued that colleges are treating young adults like infants and setting them up for a lifetime of failure.
Shane Ralston, an associate professor of philosophy, wrote in an article for Intellectual Takeout last week that university trends like instituting “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” are to blame for young adults failing to “develop perseverance and grit,” The College Fix reported.
Mr. Ralston said many young Americans today are living in “bad faith,” meaning they treat themselves as objects and not as autonomous or freely choosing agents.
“How are safe spaces, trigger warnings, parental health coverage until age 26 and living at home into one’s thirties signs of living in bad faith?” he asked. “In college, administrator-designed safe spaces create a false sense of security, denying young people the opportunity to experience the world’s uncomfortable realities (e.g. hate, sexism, racism, and homophobia) and make life choices accordingly. Trigger warnings about shocking or controversial class topics and materials, usually shared with students by professors, have the same effect: coddling the young adult mind.
“Parental coverage of health insurance until age 26 and living at home into one’s thirties create more cocoons that inhibit free choice,” he wrote. “There’s even a euphemism for living with the parents past an acceptable age: failure to launch. One out of three young adults (18-35 year olds) fail to launch, rely on mom and dad’s generosity far too long and deceive themselves into believing that they couldn’t choose to do otherwise.”
Mr. Ralston concluded his piece by saying colleges should stop coddling millennials and instead give them the room “to take exhilarating risks and to make defining choices in their adult lives.”
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