Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

Millenials. Generation Z. The lazy generation of kids who rely too heavily on technology and have no motivation or grit.

The buzzwords and feelings towards this generation from previous generations attempt to define and categorize us into stereotypically lazy kids who will leave a negative impact on the world. For anyone who feels that way, I say get a grip. The millions of kids my age are going to change the world for the better. We are the first wave of incoming adults who have had untapped, instant access to technology and information that can lead to groundbreaking progress as a society. Sure, we might not work as hard as our grandparents who worked for decades in a paper mill as my grandfather did. But it is because technology has thankfully enabled us to put in work with our brains rather than our bodies. Sending waves of kids into the sciences, business and politics rather than a factory or the army will lead to exponential growth over the next few decades. So before we are dubbed as “lazy”, I would like to define the term lazy in terms of work.

Laziness (also called indolence) is a disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to act or exert oneself.

To me, this definition seems solely based off of how much an individual exerts themselves physically. Nowhere does it mention a lick about how much work someone puts in on a given day. A freshman in college could spend a whole 8 hours in his dorm coding for a new website without seeing the light of day, but he is the furthest thing from lazy. I think this term is extremely outdated, and moving forward laziness should be a measure of how much work someone puts themselves through on a given day, whether mentally or physically.

This world is being impacted more and more by technology by the day in an exponential fashion. Sure, the farmers and laborers of the world are absolutely essential to keeping society going. But, I really think that it’s time for adults to not frown upon their kids playing video games and sitting at a computer for many hours in a day. Is it necessary to exercise, socialize, go outside? Absolutely. I’m a massive advocate of both socialization and exercise as I will discuss later on. But the beauty of today is that the world can be massively impacted from, say a garage (Amazon, Apple) or a dorm room (Facebook). Keeping an open mind to these things are crucial. To anyone who is discouraged or upset by their parents or anyone who say they have to get a “real job” or do chores, I say to never give up your passion for whatever it may be- computers, video games, music, or sports, as your impact on the world will be massively more widespread if you can reach a large audience by way of these passions rather than making $10.70 at your local restaurant washing dishes. I absolutely promise that what you are doing is meaningful.

I personally have never experienced this much, as I have very supportive parents who don’t really mind what I do as long as I stay on the right path. But if you have found something that truly makes you happy, I can guarantee that if you one day have the opportunity to do the same things you’re doing now only this time for money, you will give it everything you have. 10, 12 hour work days? Sure, it can be tiring, but you will never be discontent with what you are doing and you will work as hard as you can on it, and the term “lazy” will never come anywhere close to describing you.

Subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis


  • Christian Bonnier

    Thrive Global Campus Editor-at-Large from SUNY Binghamton

    I am a freshman at Binghamton University studying Accounting in the School of Management. I also co-host the Real Talk University Podcast where my friend Andre and I interview entrepreneurs to provide insight and advice to our college-aged target audience.