Bye-Bye Birdie, Bye-Bye Summer

There’s a famous song in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie entitled “What’s The Matter With Kids Today?” that bemoans the morality and mores of kids in the 1960s. I can’t be sure, but I bet every generation has said the same thing about the generation succeeding them and today it’s no different— there’s no shortage of articles defining teens today as entitled praise junkies with no attention spans or communication skills.

This summer I had the pleasure of working with two groups of young people; one, high school juniors from The Young Women’s Leadership Schools and the other, a group of 350 high school seniors (chosen from a pool of 3,500 applicants) at the United States Air Force Academy’s Summer Seminar, a program that immerses young leaders in the Academy cadet experience. And from my experiences with these two groups, I come with tidings of good news—there’s nothing the matter with kids today! The internet isn’t melting the minds of our youth after all—at least not any of the ones I met. They were not only smart, goal-oriented and eager to learn about good bragging, they were also very involved in social activism, donating their time and efforts to the causes they support. And it’s not just the kids in the groups I worked with this summer. A recent survey by TBWA found that more than half of young adults identify themselves as social activists.

Unfortunately, the Recession has hit this group particularly hard. According to this article in CNN Money, more than a third of recent college grads with jobs are working in positions that don’t require degrees (think retail, food service, construction).

So if your kids, nephews, nieces or neighbor’s kids are having trouble landing their first post-graduate job, give them the BRAG! Take-12 questionnaire for students. And if you could use some boosting too, here’s the link to the quiz for professionals on my website. Of course, if you’d like to have more than the quizzes, you can purchase BRAG! on-line as a gift for the recent graduate, or for yourself.

So what’s the matter with kids today? Nothing, as far as I can see! Thanks for the fun summer, millenials! I can’t wait to see all the great things you’ll do!