“Oh, my, my, my, I’m the lone crap shooter, playin the field every night.” ‘Tumblin Dice,’ the Rolling Stones)
In the last post we talked about kids who are “rudderless (see “Rudderless”). This week we focus on the older ones, high school and college kids, who are rolling the dice in their attempt to avoid the pain.
The dice roll comes down to “should I face the current pain of my school work, or put it off for a later date (or never).”
Many choose the latter and hope that they get a good roll.
When college grades come out for the past semester, many of these kids are stunned by the result, having been in their ongoing state of denial.
“I don’t know how I could have failed,” reported 20-year-old, James, “I did my work.” Thinking that he was meeting his basic responsibilities, the reality is James probably handed in about 60% (at best) of what was required.
The truth is on a day-to-day basis, James kept avoiding pain, continually rolling the dice.
James’ lifestyle also caught up with him. Never going into the library (not sure that James knew where it was on campus), he probably spent about 10 hours or more tooling around the internet, texting his friends or playing video games (and probably doing too much vaping and edibles).
Another young man that I know attended a local college. After getting to campus Liam avoided going to class, choosing instead to hang in the student lounge filling his time on a range of social media sites.
The internet is a safe haven for these pain avoiders. YouTube, TikTok and Instagram can be quite the narcotic when there is all this painful and utterly annoying stuff like schoolwork out there to deal with.
504 Plans and various services are available at school if there is an identified diagnosis like ADHD, but unless the student makes an active decision to take responsibility for his or her own learning, the accommodations are essentially meaningless.
The two students mentioned above, did not avail themselves of any accommodations or services, even though their parents had spent a great deal of time and money to obtain a diagnosis leading to a 504 Plan.
Rolling the dice has its own inherent thrill and when you come up with the numbers you want there is a payoff (“Yeah, baby”); there are endless ways to stay in the shadows and avoid the pain.
Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D. 2022, www.shutdownlearner.com.
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