Are the millennials a snowflake generation? | Portsmouth High School

Are the millennials a snowflake generation?

Douglas Robb, headmaster of Gresham’s in Norfolk, wrote a blog about the millennial generation and how they lacked grit.

He blamed schools for engendering this feeling of entitlement and mollycoddling their pupils. Not unsurprisingly his views caused a minor media storm and a backlash from several of his former pupils. Robb said in a subsequent interview that a teacher applying for a position in his school asked him why he should take the job if offered it. Robb felt this was arrogant and reflective of how young people do not want to take jobs on the lowest rung of the career ladder.

I have been asked that same question as an interviewer a few times and I have a different viewpoint to Robb. I am encouraged that interviewees feel empowered enough to ask what PHS may offer a potential employee and I am proud to list the many benefits which are not necessarily financial but more about the ethos of the school and the quality of the pupils.

The millennials are not a snowflake generation. They have far more pressures than I did at their age. I was not worried about paying off student debt or being able to afford to buy a house. I was not concerned that every mistake I made had the potential of being shared amongst many people via social media. It is true I couldn’t contact my parents or friends that easily but this ready communication that is the norm today brings another set of problems. This generation are likely to be the first to be well into their seventies before contemplating retirement. They will work for a very long time and it is right that they are choosy about employment they accept.

I do think our teenagers are much more likely to question and challenge perceived norms and this is to be encouraged. They are informed not entitled.