Fascinating if disturbing article in Psychology Today (from October 2015 – link below) discusses the anxiety many college students feel today, and how, and why, it differs from that of their parents.
Particularly illuminating to me, however, was a nugget near the end of the story:
“The best models of resilience may already exist on campus, although college officials may not yet recognize them as such. They are the more than 5 million first-generation collegians, many from immigrant families, some so poor they can’t afford textbooks.”
According to one first-gen student, Hung Pham, “Most of the conversations about first-generation students are deficit-based. They focus on what is lacking, what are the holes to be filled. It’s always about what’s not there. And that is never empowering.” “… For sure, he was not as prepared as fellow students for discussions of Marx and Kant. ‘But my work ethic helped bring me up to speed.’ Pham’s view of himself was transformed. ‘I realize now that I have valuable skills that others don’t.'”