Student Culture, Trends & Issues

Post-Modernity, Prolonged Adolescence, and the Perfect Mentoring Storm

perfect storm

This is a post I wrote for as a part of the official launch of my new book: Shaping Their Future: Mentoring Students Through Their Formative College Years.



I think one could easily build the case for this being one of the most challenging times in history to attempt to mentor—especially young adults.

And at the same time I think one could just as easily build the case for this being one of the direst of times for young adults—where mentors are needed now, more than ever.

Yes, we’re in a moment in history when postmodernism (despite your personal feelings about it) and prolonged adolescence (a new developmental period of life that has emerged between adolescence and adulthood) are combining to create a generation of young people who want to control their own destiny—but not really do anything with it, at least for now. They don’t want to be told what to do – and they have no real ambition to do anything themselves. They don’t want to be shown the way, but kind of expect the way to be made plain to them when they’re ready for it.

No, I’m not talking about all young people, but indeed many of today’s young adults are in this Not You—Not Yet state of being. They do not want to be led towards places of growth and maturity (by anyone other than themselves—not you), nor do they want to grow up and take on the adult-type responsibilities that come with growing up in life (not yet).

Read the rest of this post over at!


If you like the kinds of conversations you’ve found here at, then I highly encourage you to check out The 2013 Faith ON Campus Summer Institute — happening June 4th & 5th in Nashville, TN! This year I will be joined by author and leadership guru Tim Elmore for a two-day conversation about the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in mentoring this generation of college students! Find out more here. And find out how to win your ticket to the conference here.