Kendra Velzen was prescribed a guinea pig for emotional support, and Grand Valley State University in Michigan agreed only to waive its policy of no pets in dorms, but refused to let her bring it to class or the cafeteria. Per Walter Olson at Overlawyered, the college settled for $40,000, and agreed that could take the critter wherever she wanted. After all, she needed it for emotional support.
Are you happy now?
Sociologist Frank Furedi asks whether college students are young adults or toddlers.
Even worse – according to a new report – they are pursuing a carefree lifestyle and apparently lecturers are shirking from their duty of holding their students’ hands!
A survey of anxious school teachers condemns universities for actually believing that ‘that young people are adults and can fend for themselves’. Apparently undergraduates are biologically mature toddlers! ‘18-year-olds today are a lot less robust and worldly wise,’ warns the report.
The message communicated by this survey, and its claim that because undergraduates are far from ‘robust and worldly wise’ they need support to make a transition to university life, is that young men and young women lack the moral and intellectual resources for becoming self-sufficient people.
Maybe if we just give every entering freshman a guinea pig?
Regrettably, the constant questioning of the capacity of young people to cope with life at a university has the character of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you constantly lecture young people that life on a campus is very, very stressful and that they really need support than it is not surprising that some of them will experience life through the prism of psychological distress.
As Furedi notes, until the 1990’s, college students would have rather stuck a needle in their eye than be seen anywhere near that mommies. Today, every professor can hear the whirl of the helicopter blade overhead as students complain that their bad grade hurts their feelings. Teacher as bully, the new frontier, except that teachers hate being called mean names too, so their foremost concern isn’t to teach, but to be liked.
Before any butthurt genius complains that it’s all his parents’ fault for years of breeding him as a delicate flower whose every whim must be indulged and whose emotional well-being is the driving force in society, at what point does the toddler take some responsibility for his own life and emerge as a young adult?
Sadly, it’s not upon entry to law school, where emotional distress continues to manifest itself.
Yes, life is hard, and the practice of law is hard. Your emotional well-being will be tested and, sadly, will regularly fail to meet the challenge. Is the solution to give everybody a guinea pig?
Much to the chagrin of young lawyers, they don’t find much comfort here when it comes to that bit of coddling they so desperately seek. They really hate it when they’re called entitled and narcissistic, not because they aren’t but because it makes them feel bad. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Are you the toddler Furedi is talking about? Are you the professor enabling the toddler? Are the parent who steps in at the slightest hint of emotional distress so that your darling baby will never have to grow up?
Ultimately, it’s up to the the young lawyer to decide whether his feelings matter more than anything else. You’re entitled to feel whatever you want, and the rest of the world is entitled not to give a damn about your feelings. You can wrap yourself up in your emotions and explain why society has failed to appreciate you, care about you, treat you with the respect your feelings require, but it isn’t going to turn you into a lawyer. And you may feel that you’re a lawyer, a wonderful lawyer, a brilliant lawyer, but it isn’t going to help you to represent a client. Hey, clients have feelings too, you know. But then, their feelings aren’t as important as your feelings, right? At least to you.
Or maybe you really don’t want to be a toddler in a lawyer’s suit, walking around the courthouse carrying a guinea pig? It’s entirely up to you. Neither your parents nor teachers can force you to be a toddler forever.