Frightening the Snowflakes

It seems a Cambridge University professor had the effrontery to warn new students of a class of his—Physical Sciences—that life is hard and that it’s harder when you’re stupid.  For instance, this in an email that he sent to his incoming students:

Remember that you are NOT at any other uni, where students do drink a lot and do have what they regard as a ‘good time’—and you are NOT on a course, as some Cambridge courses sadly are, where such a behaviour pattern is possible or acceptable.

Oh, the wailing and bodice rending that resulted.

Student Minds Cambridge, a “mental health” activist group:

We are very concerned that this could be extremely damaging to the mental well-being of the students concerned, and potentially others as well.

And a Vice-Chancellor of nearby Buckingham University, Anthony Seldon (late of Cambridge):

Frightening impressionable undergraduates into believing that work alone is all-important is irresponsible, unkind and wrong-headed[.]


On the contrary, what’s damaging to incoming university students, what stunts their mental development, what’s frightening regarding “impressionable undergraduates” is coddling them, rewarding them for their precious snowflake-ness, and thereby trapping them in a sense of victimhood, instead of confronting them with the difficulties of serious learning, the sterner difficulties of life in the real world, and teaching them how to cope—and especially that they can actually cope.

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