A Millennial student told a post-secondary professor an interesting comment the other day.
The topic was about the recent mid-term examinations. The exam was basically a multiple-choice test. For each question the prof assigned approximately 90 seconds to provide an answer.
The test was scheduled for one and a half hours.
During the exam, the prof realized that the bulk of the students completed their test and handed it in to him in under an hour. Most students did not take the allocated 90 minutes to complete the test.
At first, he thought ok, they’ve studied, they’ve been paying attention, that’s all good.
Then he started marking the tests.
I don’t know how many students did well but statistically it appears most are doing alright but not great. Many are just getting by. Some fail. This has been the general consensus over the years.
The prof wondered why that is. After all, most of the students disappeared immediately after they handed in their test, and as far as he could tell, few, if any, bothered to review their answers at all before leaving.
Later, the Millennial student he was talking to gave him an interesting insight. She said:
You don’t understand Millennials. We just wanna get it done.
It was my partner who told me this story. He was the prof in question. As he was talking to me, both our kids, tween and teen, were sitting nearby plugged into their devices.
As he repeated the above statement, we both automatically looked at our 13yo.
He’s still a kid, but the Millennial’s statement describes him perfectly.
And it makes me wonder. It makes me wonder how, or why, this hurry to ‘just get it done’ has become so prevalent with youth today.
Is it the texting, the instant gratification of all things technology? Is it the tweeting which is limited to 280 characters? Is it the horrible adulteration of the language by these kids who shorten and turn into slang every word they type with their thumbs? All in the name of ‘getting it done quickly’?
I worry about this. I see it too with simple things like chores, homework, other things we expect which they don’t want to do, don’t feel like doing, don’t care about.
Side note: They don’t behave this way with the things they enjoy doing.
But with the day-to-day obligations or expectations…their objective is to get it done as quickly as possible.
For me it’s a constant struggle to get them to pay attention, work with pride toward an accomplished end result, or at the very least complete the work. It’s almost a given that if they’re on kitchen duty (don’t get me started) I will have to go in and finish the last bit after they run off. Doesn’t matter how many times I illustrate to them what my expectation is of a kitchen that is cleaned up entirely, not half-assed as seems to be the standard (to them).
I don’t know what the answer is. Do you? What can we do?