College freshmen are more miserable than they have been in 25 years.
That's not an opinion: The New York Times is reporting this, based on new survey of more than 200,000 college students.
Why does life suck for these freshman? According to the author of the article:
In a couple of years you'll have to get a real job. And you'll have to pay rent.
Paying rent, especially in New York City, is awful. But what's worse than paying rent is the fact that you won't live in a dorm—surrounded, all hours of the day and night, by attractive members of the opposite sex. (Or, the same-sex: Whatever you're into.)
No one is going to 'force' you to read anything interesting—like philosophy or sociology. You're going to listen to the music you love a lot less. Colors will seem less bright.
But the worst part of all is this: People you know to be complete idiots will make a lot more money than you do.
You will run into them over the years from time to time.
And you'll have to pretend you like them—because that's what adults do.
They'll probably tell you about their 'careers'. If they're married, they'll almost certainly tell you about their husbands or wives. (And heaven help you if they have children.)
If your old college acquaintances are more awful than usual, they'll tell you about the beach house they just bought—and possibly even about their 401K or stock options.
It will make you wonder how you can even bear it.
Yes, as the great 20th Century philosopher Ally Sheedy once observed: "When you grow up, your heart dies."
This is called growing up, but in our youth oriented society, where the self-indulgent rule and the self-sufficient are suckers, it's no wonder these college freshman are so miserable. Maybe if the rewards for being a grown-up were greater and the rewards for acting like a self-indulgent teen well into your 30's were less, we would see fewer miserable college freshman.
Maybe these college freshman and their parents should take a look at Diane West's The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization to get some perspective on why they are so unhappy.