Generation Y problems discussed

Yvonne Smith, professor of management, presented her lecture “Millennials, Personal Accountability and the College Classroom” Monday in the President’s Dining Room. Smith discussed the Millennial generation, made up of those born in the years of 1980 to 2000. Smith cited a study that measured the academic performance of the Millennials. / photo by Nicole Ambrose

Cody Luk
Staff Writer

Professor of Management Yvonne Smith laid out some of the problems of the Millennial generation during her lecture “Millennials, Personal Accountability and the College Classroom,” Monday in the President’s Dining Room as part of the Faculty Lecture Series.

The Millennial generation, whose birth dates range from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, is also known as Generation Y.

For the majority of the lecture, Smith discussed the characteristics and problems of Millennials. One of the common traits is being more open-minded than previous generations.

“They are more comfortable with multiculturalism and they don’t see a problem with interracial dating and marriage,” Smith said.

“They’re comfortable with women in leadership, and this occurs in my classroom as well. But Millennial men tend to be more conservative about family gender roles.”

Millennials are also comfortable with technology; however, there is a tendency for them to take anything from the Internet as legitimate sources.

Smith said this issue needs more awareness and concern.

Work-life balance is important to Millennials since they tend to be competitive and desire progress. Although they seek a good work-life balance, being able to achieve it is another story.

“Now, with texting and other technology, you can literally bring your life to work,” sophomore accounting major, Martin Luke Galvan, said.

“It’s a lot harder to find that work-life balance.”

A common example of a problematic work-life balance lies within the classroom, in which the students’ need of referring to rubrics when completing assignments distances them from a needed level of ambiguity and flexibility.

Rubrics are also difficult and time consuming for professors to create for every single assignment, Smith said.

“However, the problem is that work-balance is a key generational value. In the classroom, it leads to a disconnect between flexibility and ambiguity,” Smith said.

“It’s a problem because Millennials mistrust ambiguity.”

Millennials also assume they will get good grades in school and get promoted at work with minimal efforts.

They also become aggressive and blame others when they do not receive the result they desire.

“I’m like that too because I always thought I deserved an A until I got one B in high school,” sophomore accounting major, Sherlock Dal, said.

“So that’s why the lecture was spot on.”

With high self-esteem, it is common for Millennials to perceive themselves to a greater level than reality.

They are at risk of easily becoming narcissists since they often feel good about themselves even when they should not.

Millennials often receive homework assignments that are about themselves, such as essays about why they love themselves. However, this did not happen in the previous generations.

At the end of the lecture, many students and faculty members shared their personal experiences.

Students reflected upon the ideas in the lecture and how the information is relevant to their lives.

Faculty members discussed the problems of Millennials and many mentioned how different their youth was in comparison.

Cody Luk can be reached at

Nicole Ambrose

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