Saturday, May 6, 2017

Harvard Students Are Overly Stressed by a Fifty Cent Library Fine

Harvard announced it was eliminating standard fines of fifty cents/day for overdue library books. The fines were too stressful for students. Steven Beardsley, Harvard’s associate director for access services administrative operations and special projects, emailed: “We have witnessed first-hand the stress that overdue fines can cause for students.” That must have been very traumatic! Beardsley added: “Eliminating standard overdue fines and standardizing loan periods across Harvard’s libraries should help students focus on their scholarship, rather than worrying about renewing library books every 28 days in order to avoid fines.” The best and brightest, the future leaders of America and the Free World, the pinnacle of American higher education, cannot handle a fifty cent fine. They cannot handle a 28 day return period. They’re freaked out by $.50. Forget the $50,000 tuition and fees. Don’t worry about the parking tickets in Boston and Cambridge. What if they don’t pay a speeding ticket or fail to appear for a DWI? Do they understand what a bench warrant is? Wait until they face their student loans. What if they miss a car payment? Or rent? How about broken relationships? What will happen when their computer crashes? How will they handle a rejection letter from a prospective employer or graduate program? Maybe their helicopter parents can’t fly in to fix the 50 cent fine. Just wait to they have to join the real world and face real deadlines with real demands from real employers in a real job with real performance requirements. Perhaps the real problem is that their generation is not used to hard copy. They’re wizzes on the mouse and the IPhone, but they can’t adjust if it’s not available on Apple. Taking responsibility is a critical stage in growing up. Our generation was told to “suck it up,” “grow up,” “get over it,” and “deal with it.” This generation is told to seek counseling. And they do. 40% of Harvard’s seniors said they used the University Health Service during their 4 years. They reported stress at higher rates than the national average. 20-25% of the undergrads report using the mental health service each year. It can’t be the academics. The median grade at Harvard is an A- with the most common grade a straight A. 90% graduate with honors. The Harvard degree opens the door to graduate and professional schools and the job market. Too many are on psychotropics when they enter Harvard, or the nation’s other top universities. They’re missing out on fundamental life skills. Instead they’ve being encouraged in their self-indulgence. Whiners are coddled. Their sense of entitlement keeps growing.

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