The road to college is often a stressful time, and it is no different for Millennials who are about to embark on the journey. Howe and Strauss (2003) defined seven character traits of this generation and how these traits factor into the college admissions process. The traits of the Millennial cohort include the following:
- Feeling special
- Being sheltered
- Having great confidence
- Being team-oriented
- Holding conventional and traditional beliefs
- Feeling great pressure
- Attaining high-achievement
Combine all these traits together and it becomes a formula for an incredibly stressful college planning time.
According to Howe and Strauss (2003), Millennials are different from Boomers or Generation X-ers in that they feel that “their problems are the nation’s problems, that their future is the country’s future” (p. 2). This is a responsibility that Millennials take on with great pride, but feeling weight of an entire country’s future is a heavy burden to bear!
Millennials experience greater pressure to succeed than any other generation. The good news is that Millennials also have the confidence to attain this success. But let’s talk about the bad news, because this is where stress reaches epic proportions: Millennials are less likely to rebound from failure. Knowing that failure always provides valuable lessons to future success, it is crucial that Millennials learn how to handle failure.
Millennials live under the assumption that long-term success is completely dependent on near-term achievement. This makes even the smallest step as important as the end-goal, which is great for work ethic, but not so great when a Millennial fails to meet his own expectations. One bump in the road seems like the end of the world to a Millennial.
We all know that failing one test, missing an extracurricular activity, or receiving one low score on a standardized test is not the end of the world; however, Millennials don’t always see it that way. It is important to make sure that Millennials do not become defeated by the normal and natural rite of passage associated with failure. Boomers and Generation X-ers can help alleviate this stress by having conversations with Millennials about how they are defining success and accepting failure as part of the journey.