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American cit­izens once respected stu­dents of higher edu­cation for their ded­i­cation and ability to overcome obstacles. Fin­ishing college appli­ca­tions, com­pleting inter­views, moving away from home, and starting a new life all require a strong sense of inde­pen­dence and aptitude. However, more and more college stu­dents whine about slight dis­com­forts that are thrown their way. This gen­er­ation tends to shy away from things that every adult has had to deal with at some point in their lives. Its weakness is dis­heart­ening.

Col­leges and uni­ver­sities appeal to stu­dents seeking to chal­lenge them­selves and become wise and edu­cated indi­viduals. Sadly, however, college stu­dents increas­ingly com­plain that their edu­cation is too chal­lenging and uncom­fortable.

Hank Berrien of The Daily Wire recently released a story regarding uni­versity stu­dents’ com­plaints about pro­fessors banning laptops in class­rooms and requiring stu­dents to take hand­written notes and final exams.  

He wrote, “In 2017, the Cornell Uni­versity student gov­ernment unan­i­mously passed a res­o­lution urging the faculty to allow ‘greater freedom of student laptop usage.’” U.S. News ranked Cornell as the 14th best uni­versity in America in 2017. One would expect that for such a pres­ti­gious Ivy League uni­versity, stu­dents would respect a professor’s decision to make them write by hand. Berrien con­tinues, artic­u­lating student com­plaints that include every­thing from inability to read their own notes to their hands hurting from writing.

Yet another fright­ening trend among college stu­dents is their cry for so-called “safe-spaces” and “trigger warnings.” This leads people to asso­ciate a certain frailty to college stu­dents that was not pre­vi­ously con­sidered. The movement to censor any­thing that appears uncom­fortable, dis­agreeable, or con­trary to pro­gressive views makes college stu­dents believe that every­thing in the world will go their way. This con­tra­dicts the main purpose of a college edu­cation: to prepare stu­dents for their lives in the real world.

When asked about stu­dents’ increasing demand for safe spaces during a speech at the Uni­versity of Chicago, Van Jones, an American political com­men­tator and civil rights activist, said, “I think that’s a ter­rible idea for the fol­lowing reason: I don’t want you to be safe ide­o­log­i­cally. I don’t want you to be safe emo­tionally. I want you to be strong.”

Everyone has to deal with strife and dis­comfort. Jones dis­cussed the problem with stu­dents’ idea that they can avoid dis­comfort. He said, “You are cre­ating a kind of lib­er­alism that the minute it crosses the street into the real world is not just useless but obnoxious and dan­gerous.”

Social justice culture leads to intol­erance of opposing views. Many stu­dents are so intol­erant that they would rather resort to vio­lence than engage in the civ­i­lized dis­cussion that we should expect from anyone attempting to educate them­selves. This dan­gerous and divisive practice goes against the ideals this country was founded upon while making it harder to respect any stu­dents par­taking in the vio­lence. Almost weekly, stories on vio­lence and protests appear from the Uni­versity of Cal­i­fornia, Berkeley, the Uni­versity of Chicago, and the Uni­versity of Cal­i­fornia, Davis, and countless other col­leges. Uni­ver­sities have turned a blind eye to stu­dents’ violent protests, allowing them to effec­tively shut down the speech of con­ser­v­ative stu­dents.

When uni­ver­sities allow stu­dents to incite violent protests on school property, they fail to prepare them for the real world. Stu­dents will think they can con­tinue to live the same lifestyle after they enter the real world. The culture shock of per­sonal respon­si­bility, dead­lines, and the tasks that come with adulthood, which these stu­dents couldn’t handle in college, can serve as a rude awak­ening to the spoiled, del­icate, and poorly behaved minority of social justice war­riors. They are, in turn, making the rest of us hard­working and driven stu­dents look fragile and weak.

Liam Bredberg is a freshman studying the liberal arts.