More Than Half of Recent Graduates Are Not ‘Emotionally Prepared’ for Professional Life – RedState

More Than Half of Recent Graduates Are Not ‘Emotionally Prepared’ for Professional Life – RedState

A recent study by the Mary Christie Institute produced concerning results about America’s young people: over half of them report mental health issues, with depression and anxiety overwhelming the psyches of recent grads attempting to find their place as adults in the workforce.

Young women are struggling more than young men:

More than half (51%) of young professionals surveyed reported needing help for emotional or mental health problems in the past year. 43% screened positive for anxiety; 31% for depression. Women reported worse mental health than men, with 68% of males self-reporting good or excellent mental health, compared to 45% of females.

The Mary Christie Institute is a non-profit founded in 2003 that is “dedicated to improving the emotional and behavioral health of teens and young adults with a particular focus on American college students,” according to their website. They describe the stunning pressures and amazing changes that our youth have lived through:

Young professionals who graduated in the last six years have come of age in an anxious and uncertain time. From the proliferation of social media, to political and cultural divisiveness, to the epic changes brought on by the global pandemic, these young people have seen the norms of human behavior rewritten in real time. Employees in their mid-twenties were in grade school when the smart phone was introduced. Many of them learned that the same technology that brought instant connectivity and learning opportunities could just as easily distract, addict, or alienate.

Furthermore, the COVID pandemic disrupted the lives of so many in their teens and early 20s. I won’t compare it to war, because they weren’t sent off to foreign countries to kill or be killed, but the damage was severe nonetheless:

About half of these young professionals had their college trajectories significantly disrupted by COVID-19, as experiences and milestones (including graduation) transitioned to virtual modalities. Many of them also started their first jobs from home and still may not have met their co-workers in person. The pandemic accelerated the mental distress students were reporting in college…

And we haven’t even discussed social media…

Many of the respondents felt that college had not prepared them for adult life; is that in any way surprising considering what we see our academic institutions focusing on these days?

Here are some of the sobering findings:

  • More than half of young professionals (53%) reported that they feel burnout at least once per week.
  • Nearly half (45%) of young professionals believed their work environment has taken a negative toll on their own mental health in the previous year.
  • Nearly half (46%) of young professionals described their financial situation as always or often stressful.
  • More than one third (39%) of respondents said their college did not help them develop skills to prepare them for the emotional or behavioral impact of the transition to the workplace.

It’s tempting to be the old curmudgeon, and to call those starting out adult life “snowflakes,” and to bash them for being weak-minded and narcissistic. In fact, the Daily Mail, a publication I normally like, did exactly that, blasting out a headline about the study that read: “What a bunch of snowflakes! Almost half of recent college graduates are not ’emotionally’ prepared for a 9-5, damning survey finds.”

While I often agree with Daily Mail’s takes, I’m going to part with them on this one. I have seen firsthand the emotional devastation caused by the Orwellian COVID response undertaken by our leaders. It’s hard to overestimate the mental toll that comes from having as many as two years of your crucial formative teen years taken from you.

Add that to that the constant guilt being taught—you’re a racist, you’re causing the death of the planet, you’re at fault for the sins of your ancestors hundreds of years ago (or conversely, you can never succeed because everyone’s out to get you)—and it’s no wonder you’ve got a generation of anxiety-ridden, stressed out teens.

One of the reasons I got into writing for RedState in the first place is that I saw what all these forces were doing to my own kids, and while my wife and I have tried like hell to minimize the effects, it’s not been easy. My son will never get back the college graduation that was taken from him, my daughters will never know what normal high school was like. We—or should I say they—sold out our young for the benefit of our old.

It’s tempting to say, ah, America’s youth—what a bunch of wimps. But I fear we did this to them, and I fear for their future.

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