A balancing act for Millennials

1038e25c3328298d1339237bac7a0fe8

Arthur Levine has been studying the zeitgeist of college students since 1980, when he published an important study on the core beliefs and attitudes of students, “When Dreams and Heroes Died.”

But every 10 years or so Levine is forced to start again from scratch; a new generation emerges with completely different fears, hopes and convictions. His latest, “Generation on a Tightrope,” co-authored with Illinois State professor Diane R. Dean, is one of the most thorough studies of Millennial students to date.

The authors surveyed more than 5,000 students and 270 student affairs officers and conducted focus groups on more than 30 campuses. For Levine, one result stands out among the piles of data: This is the most practical-minded generation he has ever studied.

Levine entered the project believing 9/11 would be a shared, defining moment for Millennials, similar to the Great Depression and Vietnam for previous generations. But he quickly discovered that the advent of the Internet and the economic crash of 2009 were far more influential. “More of them feel that money is critically important than we’ve seen in the past. They pick majors that they think will earn them money as opposed to what they want to study,” explains Levine. “And, who can blame them? It’s a scary time to be growing up. This is a generation that works more hours while going to college than ever before — just in order to afford it.”

Strengths and weaknesses

Levine notes that, like every generation, Millennials have strengths and weaknesses.

“Race relations have improved dramatically. This generation tends to be wonderful at working in diverse groups. They are terrific at networking and building teams. However, they seem to be very dependent on adults — more so than before. They want someone to set the rules for them. And that could be a problem, because we’re entering into a period in which change will be the norm.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.