This is the mantra of some of today’s teens. They ask, “Why do I need to do this?” “Why should I do this?” “What’s in it for me?”
This type of thinking is somewhat healthy to prevent wasting time but it can also be detrimental.
Entitlement is a common theme among sociologists who discuss Millennials (ages 14-36) and Homelanders (ages 0-13 years old). It can have a negative connotation. This description of these young people extends from the common sentiment amongst them of only doing what benefits them rather than what may help others. While no one wants to waste valuable time, it’s certainly beneficial to have a balanced perspective on life and what you allow in your life. On that vein, entitlement, or the deserving of special privileges or rights, is not very healthy. Here are some practical ways to avoid feeling entitled or how to encourage students who may express entitlement.
- Be thankful for what you have. Always give thanks that your situation or circumstance is not worse than what it is. Many people would be thankful to trade situations with you any day of the week.
- Write down what you are thankful for and what you want to accomplish in your life. Be crystal clear about the college you want to attend, the career you want to enter, and the type of life you want to have. Always write down the vision you have for your life. Ensure you do all you can to accomplish it. Say no to things that distract you from your vision.
- Participate in a service learning project or do community service. This is a great way to not only give back to others and earn community service hours but also to give you a different perspective that can help you or other students to be grateful.
Entitlement, although not the most popular perspective to hold, can lead to positive outcomes if students realize where they are and how to overcome it. With a few action steps, you will see tremendous change in perspective.