Busted Halo

In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.


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November 26th, 2010

Millennials Aren’t All Navel-Gazing Narcissists: I Have Proof!


millenials-arent-all-narcisisitisIt’s the end of a semester-long course on Social Change at the University of Pittsburgh. Throughout the course, students mentioned the volunteer and social action groups that they were leading or participating in. So I gave them an opportunity to tell the class about their work.

It was inspiring.

We think American young-adults are too busy texting about the minutia of their lives to care about others? Yes, many are. But there are others that are making a difference:

  • A young woman helping food service employees push for better working conditions
  • A young man spear-heading a community service month for his classmates to help in their own town
  • A young woman gathering college students to mentor kids at a local public school
  • A young man creating interracial dialogue by recruiting membership in an “intercultural house”
  • A young man encouraging his classmates to register to vote for crucial midterm elections

And the list goes on.

These are the times when it’s a joy to teach.

The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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  • Harry Whitney

    Do I ever agree! I began teaching (again) at a local university. I went in with a bias that ‘millenials’ were lazy, unfocused, spoiled sons and daughters of wealthy/semi-wealthy Boomers or GenXer’s, who want everything and give nothing. Was I ever wrong!! I gladly and heartily bequeath my world to them. I marched with King; I protested war; I advocated ‘gay’ rights and gender equality. Millenials have simply absorbed all that–they no longer need to fight for it. They simply are it. I think they are wonderful.

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