Thursday, December 5, 2013

Generation Y or Generation Trophy?

Are you special?

Over at Huffpo "Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy" hit the blogosphere claiming that Generation Y GYPSYs (Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies) think they are "the main character of a very special story" and since they are the protagonist of their own story they are easily disappointed when everything doesn't go their way.

Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

Let's back up a minute here.  Who are these GYPSYs?  GYPSYs are "the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s . . [who are] also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y." So I guess that's most of today's traditional age college students.

GYPSY parents are part-Hippie, part-Yuppie.  Their grandparents are part of the Greatest Generation who grew up during the depression and then fought and won World War II - hence the "Pussies" comment from Gramps (btw, gramps says that about every succeeding generation).

GYPSY parents wanted good things for their kids, especially good things that came with less struggle than it did for them (again, hence the "Pussies").  They also were given another message growing up:  YOU ARE SPECIAL.  That's why I sometimes label GYPSYs, the "Trophy Generation."  Remember growing up and getting a trophy for being on the last place soccer team or the worst baseball player.  Remember getting a trophy for attending a science fair (even if you didn't enter anything).  Remember being told how wonderful you were by every cartoon character on television. Well, how did that work out for you?

Something else this article points out is that most of your parents didn't really know how their cohorts were doing, they were too busy raising you and going to work.  On the other hand, YOU know everything about all your cohorts due to social  media and since we only post good things about ourselves, we think all our "friends" are light years ahead of us.  Just keep this in mind - that "job" your "friend" got at CBS is really an unpaid internship where she spends most of her day picking up dry cleaning and getting donuts for the boss.

Don't you think when you hit the job market that all those special feelings you've been bombarded with as a kid will give you set of unrealistic expectations that could lead to disappointment? 

"The funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they're actually quite hard. Great careers take years of blood, sweat and tears to build -- even the ones with no flowers or unicorns on them -- and even the most successful people are rarely doing anything that great in their early or mid-20s"

Yikes! This post is becoming depressing....

Here's some advice:
 1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out -- just dive in somewhere.
2) Stop thinking that you're special. The fact is, right now, you're not special. You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.
3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.
Do you think that a childhood of praise is detrimental to an adult?  Do you think it could lead to unrealistic expectations?  Since most of this blog's readers are still in college, how do you think you'll cope with the "real" world?

22 comments:

  1. This article pretty much talks crap about the new generation. Older generations are saying that the new generation are pussies because everything is handed to us and we haven't had to work hard for it. The "GYPSY" parents influence this behavior by giving in. I personally think that the older generation is 'hating' on the younger generation because everything is easy now but at the same time i understand where they are coming from because i do feel like the new generation gets everything handed to them. If we do not stop it now then it is only going to get worse.

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  2. In a way, childhood praise is horrible. Yeah, it's nice to get almost everything so easily, although, I feel that it doesn't really get the new generation ready for their future. The author states, "remember growing up and getting a trophy for being on the last place soccer team." I have seen this happen, and know of people who have gotten trophies for not even doing anything on their sport team. This teaches the kids that even though they don't do anything, they will be awarded and moved forward. The new generation shouldn't be taught that they can get by without putting in any effort. People have told me stories about how they were able to get into the next level of classes, even though they had not received the grade in order to be eligible for the next level. I think that everyone, including myself, should try our hardest and follow the authors advice in order to cope with the "real" world.

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  3. I believe that a childhood of praise can bring forth different results in a child in this generation. The expected result with overwhelming praise would be a spoiled child, and in mass results of children it has become simply the "gimme" generation. Kids cling to this praise for just about anything instead of actually earning it, and as they grow it it'll break them when standards grow harder. My mom is a 4th grade teacher and she's at the core of spoiled children in a rich district, where parents actually do a lot of their work for them, but still want them to grow up to become engineers. Good luck with that, kids.

    At some point these kids are going to have their own personal breakdowns or breakthroughs. They need to grow up on their own and it's going to be hard. I was raised slightly spoiled by one parent, but not smothered, and sternly by the other, so I felt balanced. But college was still emotionally difficult just for other factors. It'll probably be hard for just about everyone growing up, nowadays, because we're so different from generations past.

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  4. Children should not be getting praised for losing or just showing up. They will growing up thinking that they barely have to put work into anything to achieve success. We all have to work for what we want. No one is going to hand you a big trophy when you do a task completely wrong at work.

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  5. As a kid growing up i had all the hand-me-downs. I had to be a good kid and work for what I wanted. I feel like in today generation everything is giving to them if they just whine or if there parents are wealthy. This will teach nothing for the kids, there going to spoil and thinking there better than every other kid because they have the newest toys. Another good point is kids should not get praise if they lose. Losing actually teaches you to be better because you want to put more work in so you can be the best. If they praise loser then they are not teaching the kids from right and wrong. We need to be hard-workers so in the future it pay off in the long run. Our parents are not always going to be there for us so we need to put on our big boy pants and try in life and not quit when the going gets hard. Not everything will be easy this separates us from men and kids.

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  6. Something that I kept thinking about reading through this article was how it is so true. Our generation are a bunch of sensitive people, with really sensitive upbringings. I did not have quite a sensitive upbringing, but it was nothing compared to what Generation GYPSY went through. As soon as someone defies all those fairy tale upbringings, being very concrete and blunt, our younger generation looks at that person differently. Do we, the younger generation, really know the people to surround ourselves with? Eventually, those younger generation people are rudely interrupted with the reality that it is all about you, and only you when you enter the "real world". So when you call someone else mean, are they really being mean? Or are you just being sensitive and oblivious?

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  7. I understand this concept completely. My parents have tubs filled with participation ribbons in the garage from the events of my siblings and I. However the participation ribbon was never exciting for me nor my siblings because all of the other kids had them. The ribbons that meant the most to me was the 3rd place medal I got for winning a cross-country race out of twenty other kids or the 3rd place scholarship I got in a speech contest. But my parents definitely did offer me more opportunities and niceties than their parents did. My mother encouraged my siblings and I to try different sports and clubs because her parents were not willing to support her and only allowed her to part take in clubs that she could get to and from on her own. I do suffer from a sort of "Protagonist Complex,"- which developed probably from the fuzzy feeling books and television shows I watched as a child. It is a common pattern for modern day media outlets directed at children for the main character to be the main protagonist and to not really suffer any character development. This can be seen especially in the film adaptations of Iron Man because in the film he suffers no fatal flaw or any real character development where as in the comics Tony Stark is a suffering alcoholic. Or in the Star Wars series, in the prequels Anakin and Padme just automatically become lovers without any true character relationship development whereas in the older, original Star Wars there is character development not only between Han Solo and Leia but also Leia and Luke and even Luke and Han Solo. Often modern books are written in the first person point-of-view and start first with the protagonist/main character narrating and leading the action and, instead of talking about other characters in the book to stay with one character authors will sort of 'jump narrators'. For example in the final books of the Twilight Series Stephanie Meyer jumps narration between Jacob and Bella. . In this style of writing it makes the protagonist/narrator draw attention to only themselves without really looking into how the other character operate. It often causes the main characters to sort of sound self absorbed and full of angst. And with all of this selfishness and raging hormones it makes the average teenager feel like they can connect to these protagonist characters thus making it a story all about the reader. Where as in the Great Gatsby, Nick the narrator, tells the story of Jay Gatsby from the first person PoV. This style is now some what unique in the current world because the narrator is not only talking about themselves. Instead it offers a realistic view of how the world actually works where sometimes stories are all about one person but can be told by another. Plus this generation reinvented and over used the 'selfie'. Overall this is by far the vainest and most spoiled generation yet, and I am a part of it.

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  8. i agree that there is this trophy generation. It seems more and more the younger generation makes everything out to be about them . What backs it up more is that they feel the need to Facebook, Instagram,Tweet and Tumblr all about their feelings and everything that is wrong in their lives or going great. The problem however with all this praise thrown at them is they lean no real life skill they are going to ditch anything that will be hard are not going there way and expect help. Fortunately for me i was not brought up with this trophy generation complex of "the world revolves around me. " As a teen i pushed myself to do sports and to make my own money. Early on my parents instilled the fact that to get things ill have to do it on my own and i think im more well off than the other people. if and when i have kids i will not praise them for small things and will teach them that the choices the make have consequences t5hat they have to follow through with.

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  9. I also agree that this is the trophy generation. It doesn't do a child any good to get praise for anything he/she does, or get a trophy for everything. A person has to learn how to work hard and find satisfaction within. I'm not saying never praise a child, but not for everything they do. They will grow up expecting it and have a hard time in the real world.

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  10. Yes, a childhood of praise creates a bubble which gets popped and collapses on the adult who was a victim to their parents' praise. Getting a trophy for everything is an absolutely absurd concept that this generation of adults and communities have adopted. How can a child be taught ambition if he or she is being awarded for losing. If children learn to be okay with failure when their young what's stopping them from being okay with failure as an adult? Then these children are praised with a paradox: you are special and you can do anything. These children end up stressing themselves out with unrealistic expectation that they do not have the ambition to come close to living up to. I myself am having a tough time coping with the real world because I believe I am special. Therefore, I don't try hard in school but still expect perfect results. Now that my bubble has "popped" I am gasping for air trying to cope with the harsh reality of life.

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  11. I dont believe a childhood of praise is detrimental, on the contrary it builds self esteem and self assurance that one can use to cope with lifes difficulties. so my advice is keep thinking your special and just keep it to yourself and show it off with your actions, it will most definitely leave impressions on those around you. Furthermore once one is out of college those who are ambitious and show a desire for success will find themselfs where they want to be or even better. I agree with the blog and ignore others, stay humble, and most of all stay hungry! school is only the theory to life but its your job to apply, fall and then apply yet again until you make it. learn from mistakes and dont forget to keep your head held high and your back straight.

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  12. Generation Y or Generation Trophy?
    I find this article very interesting. Yes, every family is raised different, but I agree that this article is spot on with the different generations. I believe that as technology has become such an influence in society it has weakened people and made us lazy. Back in the day when something was broken people would fix it themselves, how? they would look in a book or just figure it out. Today if something breaks your first response is buy a new one or have someone fix it for you. If you try and fix it you probably don’t look in a manual you go straight to youtube.
    I think because our parents didn’t want to raise us the way their parents raised them, causing our generation has been coddled for too long. It is sad how soft we are. Our parents have worked so hard to protect us and give us the best life we possible could have had, yet majority of us never have to work hard for anything. We have always been praised when we fail, given a trophy for showing up. That isn’t how life works those who work the hardest and are willing to make sacrifices usually prevail. Life isn’t going to pass us out trophies for showing up. If you want to succeed be ready to sweat and shed some tears or you are going to be eaten alive.

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  13. I somewhat agree that there are many people out there that feel entitled to everything nice in life. I have definitely seen it many times, but what i see more of today are people that do not believe in themselves. I think this is tied in with what was mentioned above in that we seem to know what everyone else is doing through social media but what we fail to realize is that they do only post the sugar-coated positivity.
    with that said, i don't believe a childhood of praise is detrimental to an adult. In fact it is often times missing in the families I have experienced. Now for those that do experience high levels of childhood "you are special" praises, I think it is fair to say that they have a huge reality check coming towards them once they hit the real world.
    I do not believe that I am special, but I know that if I work hard, I can contribute to society, I may not be remembered for it, but my life will not be meaningless.

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  14. This article was an interesting read because I do feel like my generation is having it too easy. I see people my age around college complaining about not having a new car or not having a high allowance because their parents are being “cheap”. See the thing that iratest me more is that I have been working since I was 10 years old, keep in mind that I am 20 years old now. I worked for my money; I knew the value that a dollar bill had. Now I see everyone next to me complaining about life. This generation sucks but don’t get me wrong, the ones who were babied their whole life suck. Life isn’t fair and I am glad my parents instilled that in me at a young age. Nothing is ever going to be handed to you and I believe this generation needs to know that.

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  15. I find this article funny because I have meet people who believe that mommy and daddy will always be there to help them whip off the dirt at the end of a hard day. When growing up I feel it is important for children to learn that they can't get everything they want. Tough love is the best love because it prepares the child for the real world no some fantasy world. I feel that my generation and the generation below me has it way too easy. Parents now of days will give their child whatever they ask for regardless of price. Young adults today don't know the true meaning of a dollar. With my other personal experiences I was able to get a few things here and there growing up but once I hit high school I realized that I would be in control of my own life and I could make it if I set my mind to it. This is my second year of college and with it soon coming to close, I am in the process of getting an apartment and it's scary. This is as close to fully becoming an adult as I have ever gotten. Having the responsibilities of paying the rent on time each month is a huge news flash. My years of living off my parents are ending. And although my parents are willing to help I know they won't be here forever and sooner rather than later I need to grow up. I believe young adults should start to become more independent at an earlier age. The world is not kind and she takes no prisoners. It's either you're ready or you're not.

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  17. I think it's a natural thing for parents to make their children feel special. After all, it's not very satisfying to see your child losing a soccer game and coming home feeling angry and self-conscious about themselves. A parent who doesn't do anything about their child feeling defeated, in my opinion, is doing a bad job at parenting. True, there are some parents who shower their children too much happiness that frankly, they don't deserve. Point is, there should be a certain level where parents should be equally supportive, yet strict, on what they expect of their Generation Y child. We shouldn't be raised to be spoiled and think we are special for nothing. I agree that we should remember that becoming "special" isn't just something that pops up out of thin air. It should be worked for, so that people can recognize you for the accomplishments that you worked hard for. For me, I've been raised with this motive because I was only spoiled for a little while until around high school, my parents stopped praising me for the A+ I brought home, and instead criticized me for bring home grades lower than they know I can do.

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  18. I find this article very interesting because this topic is always brought up at family dinners and different gatherings. Every family is different and mine was a very fair family. My parents supplied me with everything I needed and some of the "wants" I had growing up. Looking around and thinking out my childhood, I did have it fairly easy, but my parents were always blunt with what they had to say to me. If I was doing something wrong, my mother would not sugar coat what she would say or how she would say it. In my household, my mother always tried to boost up my esteem and tell me that, "I could do no wrong," but fortunately, my dad was there to bring me back down and tell me the truth.
    I think that a childhood of praise could set up a child to face all sorts of criticism as a adult. My sister is a perfect example of that. If a child is told repeatedly that they are always right or anything to that degree they will not know how to react when they are faced with criticism. As I am learning, the real world is tough and nobody is worried about whether you succeed or fail. The world is busy and if an adult can keep up with the pace then they are going to fail, regardless of what their mommy said to them.

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  19. I think that too much praise in childhood can be detrimental to an adult. I feel that if you are always praised and not told what you are doing wrong, you're just bound to have unrealistic expectations. Such expectations could be that you were always told you are so good at everything and then waking up in the adult world and realizing you are not so good at everything. Maybe instead of praise, encouragement would be better. For example, we can encourage children to try their best and even if they aren't so good at first, they can keep trying rather than telling them they're so good at everything.
    Growing up, my parents would praise me for trying my best and continue trying if I didn't do so well at first. They would always remind me that it's okay to not be good at everything, but it's not okay to just give up right then and there without giving it my best shot. On top of that, my parents wouldn't really allow me to get what I wanted unless I earned it. I appreciate them for raising me this way because it makes me push myself to work hard for what I want and it reminds me that I can handle a situation even when at the time, I feel like I can't. As a college student, the real world is tough. I would say the best way to handle it is to try to keep up, keep trying your best, and be open-minded. Also remember that you're going to fail a lot, but the important part is to learn from those mistakes and pick yourself up.

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  20. This article made me feel some sort of way I stopped working so that I can get a better education and actually focus in what I am doing. I motivate my self and I was what this article class " trophy". The "trophy" is not just about receiving an award for just being there whether you loose or win. It's about team work and the work you have to put in. Childhood praise could be a detrimental to an adult if they allow themselves to believe who the wish to become, you can change as a person. Everyone becomes different from where they started off in their childhood. Depending on the type of person you are this can lead to an unrealistic expectation because those who were handed everything don't have a clue of what's to be done to get a career or even just a job. By having the mentality of everyone likes you and they want to give you an opportunity in this world is all CRAP ! you have to work for what you want to become and become self driven, to better your life. Life is not easy no one said it was !

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  21. While it is true that too much praise and hand-out trophies for just trying can lead to arrogance and whinny children, it is also true that complete neglect will amount to nothing. When you're a child, you need to hear that you are special, even if you are especially normal. Of course this leads to: when does the child need to grow up and realize life is not all about them? It's hard to say, but praise is necessary. I don't think the idea is in the wrong place, but the overuse of praise is what went wrong. No we don't need a trophy for everything, but the feeling of accomplishment, even for the small thing of team work, is necessary for development.

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  22. The article talks about how children now are being too pampered which is hurting their future. After reading this, i feel older generations are jealous that the newer generations didn't have to go through what they experienced. But i also agree that being pampered and being referred to as "special" by our Gypsy parents is hurting our outlook on how hard the workplace is.

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