I was recently meeting up with an old friend of mine from ministry who is on staff at a California UC school. He does campus ministry down there. I was explaining to him some of the issues that I see our students facing when they leave our ministry and how I felt that teaching them about faith and life and how those two intersect was critical. He relayed to me that the single biggest problem he sees at his school is that it is filled with over achieving students who are anxiety riddled. And then he dropped the bomb.
This year of the 9 students graduating from his ministry from a UC, precisely "0" got job offers out the door. He expressed that these were not students who slacked. They did everything that they were asked and worked extremely hard to achieve. Neither were they in majors that one might expect a graduate to struggle in leaving school and looking for work. Say, Art or Sociology. Nope these kids were mostly in the hard sciences and technologies. His own sense was that many of them didn't know how to get out and look for a job and that they especially didn't know what to do when rejected for one.
I don't happen to think Millenials are lazy or immature or anything else. I don't regard some of their struggles in the work place as moral failings. Mostly they are just the product of the environment in which they were raised. But, I wonder how well these nine students would have done if they had worked a few jobs or had some professional training. Could they problem solve independently a bit better? Would they be able to deal with failure if they had faced rejection earlier in life? Would they understand what the 2-3 generations in the work place are looking for better if they had been around them as teenagers? I can't help but wonder this.
This is part of the reason I have started my jobs program for teens. My sense is that I learned the best life lessons about work, people, and myself in the 3 jobs I had before I left high school and the 3 I had before I left college. I learned tons about what I wanted to be and what I didn't want to be. I learned in several of them what I was good at and where I was doomed when I engaged certain kinds of tasks. Not many of my students get those experiences any more.
I guess I just feel like 0-9 isn't a good average from a UC school. I know, it's anecdotal. But, I don't want my students that leave my church to go 0-9. I want them to be prepared both for this life and the next.