A Blizzard of Snowflakes

Infantile skittishness on campus is not confined to just politically correct and so-called diversity issues, as bad as that is. As a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out, college students are now literally flooding mental-health centers on campus year round for anything and everything.

Here's some of what the Journal found. 

At Ohio State University, a clinical psychologist holds a well-attended 'Beating Anxiety' workshop twice a week. To defuse anxiety, the students are advised to exercise, get more sleep, and refrain from "catastrophic thoughts" brought about things like an upcoming physics exam or if my friend doesn't text me back right away, does he/she does not like me anymore?

It gets worse.

"On the same day as the 'Beat Anxiety' workshop at Ohio State, the counseling center also put on its third annual "Recess" event. On a grassy lawn, there are tents where students can make balloon animals, blow bubbles and play with therapy dogs and a large colorful parachute. This event is designed to help students relieve stress and introduce them to the counseling center services and staff in a fun way." 

If you're like me, you're probably puzzled by this childish display and horrified to think that these people are allowed to vote. But the last line in the above quote might be the true reason for this "Recess" -- that is, it's to drum up business for the counseling infrastructure that is growing like topsy at colleges and universities across the nation. 

And growing it is. The Journal reports that Ohio State has seen a 43% jump in the past five years in the number of students being treated at the university's counseling center. To handle this surge in demand, 12 additional staff members were hired, bringing the total providing clinical services to 65. 

And please don't think Ohio State is an outlier. The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) experienced a 36% increase in demand for counseling service in the last seven years. At the University of Central Florida (Orlando), the increase has been a whopping 12% increase each year for the past ten years. 

A 2016 survey by the American College Health Association found that 17% of college students were diagnosed with or treated for anxiety problems during the past year, and nearly 14% were diagnosed with or treated for depression. 

And speaking of demand for counseling services, don't think that this trend will not manifest itself more strongly than ever in mandated health insurance policies. Move over cancer and heart disease; make room for anxiety and depression counseling -- the Snowflakes are here. 

What accounts for this trend on campus? 

The counseling 'experts' say that more students are coming to college with long psychiatric histories. (Oh brother!) And then there' are reasons like the economy, the cost of college, student debt, social media, and "a so-called helicopter parenting style that doesn't let adolescence experience failure" that is creating anxiety in the students.

Whatever the reason, the Snowflakes are descending on our colleges and universities like a blizzard in Buffalo. Laugh at the Snowflakes if you want, but this is not funny. Culture leads politics, and these ever-so-sensitive souls will soon be influencing the path our society follows as their generation replaces the previous generations.  

One can argue that a process akin to natural selection will see to it that only the more robust among the current college generation will rise to leadership positions. I say yes and no. 

First off, we live in a democratic republic. This means votes count. Do you think America would have disgraced itself with the election of the likes of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and maybe now Hillary Clinton if much of the voter bases hadn't already been dumbed down and corrupted starting in 1960s? To one degree or another, the Snowflakes will help decide who gets elected, and their bias will always be towards softness, accommodation, wishful thinking, and avoiding conflict and difficult choices at all cost. 

Secondly, it may be true that Snowflakes are not likely to rise to the pinnacle of leadership. But we have to realize that there are many thousands of leadership positions scattered throughout society, not just the high-visibility ones seen in the media. All organizations and institutions have leadership positions within them at various levels. And there, many a college-educated Snowflake will be imbedded with his/her ingrained outlook on life. That cannot help but affect things. 

The question I cannot answer is this: Are the Snowflakes a harbinger of what lies in store for America, or will they be melted by the reality of life and thus mature and grow up so as to function as responsible citizens in a representative republic?