Allowing Kids to Feel Lonely Corinne Masur

In an op-ed in last week’s Sunday New York Times, Frank Bruni talks about the shock that many – or perhaps most – college freshman face when they get to college.  Having been sold on how much fun college will be, on how they will have “the time of their lives” by nostalgic parents and teachers, they are stunned to feel…lonely.  And not just at first. In a survey of 28,000 college students on 51 campuses by The American College Health Association, more than 60% said they had felt “very lonely” in the previous 12 months.  Nearly 30% said that they had felt that way in the past 2 weeks.

What gives? Continue reading

The Importance of Failure


Dr. Corinne Masur

Last week in The Sunday New York Times there was an article describing how college students need to to be TAUGHT that it’s okay to fail occasionally. Smith, a prestigious women’s college, offers a presentation called “Failing Well” during student orientation, which gives out a certificate saying, “You are hereby authorized to screw up, bomb or fail at one or more relationships, hookups, friendships, texts, exams or extracurriculars or any other choice associated with college…and still be a totally worthy, utterly excellent human.”

Evidently many 18 year olds are getting to college having suffered very few disappointments or failures of any kind. Or they get to college rarely having had to handle disappointment on their own. They are simply unprepared for this experience. Residence life offices are inundated with students who come in sobbing that they did not get their first choice of roommate, that they got less than an A- on an exam, or that they got rejected from a club.

How did we, as a society, or we as parents and educators and mental health professionals allow this to happen? We simply have to ask ourselves this question. Continue reading

Competent Children: Part 3

Dr. Corinne Masur

Recently, Judith Shulevitz wrote in the New York Times that college campuses are now barring speakers who might “invalidate people’s experiences” or who might speak about the use of sexist or racist language. She described how “safe spaces” are being created at schools during such lectures where students can come to play with play doh or bubbles or listen to soothing music. She says, “safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being bombarded by discomfiting…viewpoints.” Continue reading

University Land

Dr. Corinne Masur

With a huge amount of terrible news in the news recently, the WORST news regarding the deterioration of American values I have read involves the arms race amongst universities to provide the coolest attractions on campuses so that more kids will apply. According to the New York Times, when LSU surveyed students in 2009 to find out what they most wanted in their new recreation center, the one feature that beat out all others was a lazy river. Yes, a lazy river – like those found at amusement parks.

Since when did college and theme parks overlap? Continue reading