There have been so many reports about the strawberry generation, which is essentially people who are born in 1982 and beyond that “bruise easily” like strawberries. And just recently, we see a fresh grad who complain about the hardship and first world problems that she encountered while on an overseas grad trip to Japan. Many of us who are reading about her complain would just kill to be in her shoes, alas many did not even have the opportunity and financial means to go on a grad trip back when we graduate, and not to mention to JAPAN!
Other than the fact that many millennials these days are unable to take hardships and irritate us with their endless complains, there is also some typical traits that can be commonly found in some of our local universities which we make us roll our eyes…
PASSPORT TO TROPHY SPOUSE
We know of girls who openly confess that the ultimate goal of entering University is to be officially a GRADUATE so that they can “match-up” to their potential trophy husband. One even divulge to all that she grew up in single-parent family and that her mum had taught her from young that the key to good life is to bag a trophy husband and her route to achieving that involve not only taking good care of her physical appearance, but also going for surgeries to fix her flaws and some nips and tucks along the way. In addition to the physical façade, she should graduate from a university so that she can match-up with her trophy partner and not be frown upon by the partner’s family and friends.
She goes on to share that her “idol” is a senior who had graduated about 4 years ago and is now married to a trophy husband with 2 kids. According to her, the senior had got herself pregnant almost immediately upon graduation and had a shot-gun marriage. The husband was 12 years her senior and comes from a supposedly wealthy background. She was given a monthly allowance of $4,000 per month plus a no limit credit card and this was increased to $7,000 after she gave birth to her 2nd child this year. She has never worked since graduation and is a stay-home mum or more like, a tai-tai as supposedly there were 3 helpers in the landed house she stayed in with her parent-in-law, with 1 helper in charge of general housework and the other 2 helper in charge of taking care of one baby each. To add to that, her husband give her a 13th month bonus in December as well.
We do have to agree that the monthly allowance will easily surpass the average monthly paycheck of any university graduate though.
PRINCESS/PRINCE ON A PEDESTAL
There is another class of student or youngster which is undoubtedly the product of parents who pamper and over-protect their children resulting in the typical strawberry generation which is easily squashed, or more like jelly generation!
During the school term, these privileged kids get to enjoy personal concierge service at their disposal. That is, the parents got the helper a.k.a. maid to be stationed at the school campus to be at the beck & call of the child, buying them food and drinks, helping them to run errands etc. Some even goes to the extent of having parents and maids helping them to pitch in the preparation for their project submission. We do know there can be group work for project assignment but now it seem to have evolve to become a family affair with almost the whole family chipping in the school assignment.
STUDY UNTIL GO CRAZY
While we do not know the actual statistics, there are an increasing number of students who are unable to cope with their school load and have to take a gap year, or leave of absence for psychological issue. This is a real issue that is typically not talk about. Some of these students may have done very well academically in their JCs, secondary school years and feel pressured in their struggle to keep up with their cohort mates who may have come from even better academic background. On the other hand, they may also feel pressured from having to adjust to the different curriculum structure in university or even the sheer pressure of having to make new friends in the new environment.
Many of such students seek help from IMH and are advised to take a leave of absence from their studies, depending on their severity. While we do acknowledge the stress that comes with coping with a new environment and coping with studies, we are seriously stressed in thinking that if they are unable to cope in university, what would happen when they enter the workforce which would be undoubtedly be harsher and more cut-throat.
FOREIGN STUDENT TALENT
Another group who can easily anger us is the foreign student talent.
One PRC student lament that he is in fact coming to Singapore to study since our government is throwing him scholarship, when in fact his parents are rich enough to buy him a 2-bedroom high end condo to stay while he study here as he doesn’t like the idea of squeezing in with the others in the school hostel. He even goes on to comment that he can never ever imagine living in school hostel or HDB as the living condition and environment is too low-class for him.
While they are not Singaporean, I believe that there are many local kids who are equally accustomed to the privileges since birth and have the tendency to look down on others or shall we call them, arrogant and “HAO LIAN”.
While we can easily finger-point and roll-eye at these strawberry generation, we also have to ponder on who is the maker and creator of such traits. Yes, that is the parents themselves and it can be YOU who are at the same time making fun and labeling other people’s kid as strawberry. It is always easy to label others and pinpoint what other parents fail in their upbringing of their kids, while one does not recognize that you are in fact committing the same mistake in one way or another.
Hands up to those who are guilty of telling your kids any of the following:
- Ah Girl, the most important thing for a woman is to find a rich husband so you no need work!
- Ah Girl/Ah Boy, why you do this yourself? We have a helper at home so you no need to do anything ok!
- Ah Girl/Ah Boy, must study hard ok, if not mummy/daddy lose face!