I dislike surprises. I am finding this out more and more as life moves on. This is mostly because, as I get older, the surprises are often becoming less pleasant.
When you’re a kid, surprises can often be a wonderful thing! A new toy, a visit from a friend, all kinds of wonderous situations. However, as we get older these surprises are often far less savory. I think this is mostly because, as we age we become more independent, we start to plan ahead, and we do not enjoy having our stability messed with. Unexpected visits from family, surprise inspections at work, pop quizzes. These things induce stress not pleasantness, and contribute to a lot of constant worry.
Unfortunately, in a competitive world employers and society often judge us by how we stand up to the unexpected, how we react to a less than fair situation. Obviously with warning any of us could pass a quiz or do well in an inspection. We know its coming, we can prepare. But in those surprise situations they can see how we really are doing, right? Because we just have to act how we normally do, rely on our knowledge, us against them.
But is a stressful situation like that a good gauge of an employee or a students true value or knowledge? I tend to think that it is not, and props to those professors and employers that give the non-exact “Sometime this week” warning. At least we know its coming, even if we don’t know when, even if we can’t study or prepare, at least we have the advance warning to steel ourselves to it’s coming.
Where am I going with this? Well I heard something the other day that made me think. It seems that students today suffer 2-3 times as much stress as students 70-80 years ago. If your history isn’t the greatest then, allow me to helpfully add that during that time period this country was in the middle of two world wars and suffered through the Great Depression! Talk about stressful times! So what is there now that is so different? I really can’t figure it out, but I think that is definitely something worth investigating.
Perhaps the government should be spending money investigating this rather than overpaying our govenment executives and bailing out highly-paid CEO’s who’d rather watch their company go under than take a paycut from their ridiculous salary or, God forbid, sell their private jets! I welcome feedback on this matter.
Yours, as always,