Hi JB, I used to have students when I was a professor, but I walked away from academia for reasons that take too long to explain unless you mosey over to the article on the Russian Olympic whistleblowers where I actually wrote it all out there.
But anyhow, I have seen over the course of my life engaged with social policy and politics that young people are just more ideological than older people. They think in black and white, because they don’t understand they have to compromise with huge swaths of the country who don’t agree with them. I think it is always good to have some idealism to propel you toward making big changes. But pragmatism is far more valuable for making change in the long run.
A professor I had back in graduate school had us read about the four kinds of change. There is stable change which is the incremental, usually within the system. There is revolutionary change, which usually dismantles the system. There is status quo, where there is almost no change. And there is cyclical change where there are alternating statuses. Young people haven’t been around long enough to realize that most of the change in our country is cyclical, the Republicans dominate and then the Democrats do, and they each implement their policies for a time. Layered on top of that is incremental positive change that I personally think progressives are responsible for giving us. Americans are not really revolutionaries by temperament. We did it once for the country. We were forced into it over slavery. Otherwise, we want a nice even keel of change. Young people don’t realize this. They want to turn the world around all at once.
Oh goodness, I’m rambling. Way more than you wanted to read, I’m sure. Best wishes!