I work in student support at a biggish university, and if we take how young people interact with adults as at least a partial reflection of what they think adults want, we really have created the most horrible world for them.
The pressure some feel to *never make a mistake* is unreal, and while I recognise personal and familial pressure from my own time in the degree mill, I do not recognise the apparent pressure to behave as the CEO of your own private enterprise from the age of 18.
Some caveats: 1) people who visit student services are self-selecting, so may not be reflective of the majority; 2) I am an authority figure by role if not by nature, so I don’t for a second think I’m meeting the uncensored person. The general picture might be brighter.
But the constant repetition of particular problems is striking, and the generalised fear that one mistake could cost you for the rest of your life is actively disabling for some of these students. It’s horrible to see.
(It’s also - speaking personally - very difficult at the moment to counsel someone through problems like this, because we’re all equally clueless about even the next three months.)
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