A lot of what I'm going to say about 20-something year olds might be coloured because of the ridiculous generation gap between myself and them.
And this often leads to hilarious interactions when I work with them in a team :
In one instance, when a classmate's boyfriend showed up to pick her up, I told her that her "BAE" is here. She told me to stop using that term because it's very mushy and she feels like vomiting when hearing that term. In response to that, much to her irritation, the other Gen-Ys in the team started using the term Bae to describe her boyfriend.
[ Much later, I found out that BAE is not a Korean term but an acronym "Before Anyone Else" ]
a) Gen-Y lower division are the best performers in the cohort.
Academically the Gen-Y lower division folks gets the best academic results because they did not lose any momentum from completing their previous degrees. Those from SMU are also very seasoned with SMU's class participation scoring system.
b) Gen-Y lower division are, unfortunately, the most unnecessary part of the JD Program
I am not saying this because I want to show disrespect for my classmates - Many of them deserve to be in the course more than I do.
I say this because I feel very strongly that JDs are not meant to compete against LLBs but to complement the legal industry with a separate set of skills. Having working experience prior to the JD programme should have been made compulsory for the good of the industry.
While I certainly admire and respect my younger classmates, I would have derived so much more from the program if the administration were to require two years into the corporate world before letting them start the course. Alternatively, those without working experience should be allowed to pay lower fees and take up a legal education as LLBs.
c) Gen-Y lower division is an uptight, neurotic and anxious mess.
I really blame the Singapore education system for making our youths so uptight. These poor guys gotta survive PSLE and the A level system before getting their first degree. If they mess up any of paper qualifications, the work place can be very unforgiving and they can lose access to the best jobs in the market. ( That being said, I also blame myself for occasionally being swept into this fervour, but those were not my proudest moments in SMU. )
The lack of experience in the real world creates the most neurotic and uptight bunch of classmates you can possibly have. For example, it is ok to start building a study group early but to do it the previous semester prior to the exams is clearly insane. Some working experience might be able to teach some students the value of "chill" and remove that piece of mahogany wood which is shoved up their asses.
This generation is also very quick to condemn others with foreign students being generally at the receiving end largely because of cultural differences which on hindsight, should have been celebrated rather than something which polarised and plagued my entire class.
d) Gen Y lower division will regret not changing their ways.
I sound like a really bitter uncle when I say this but I have backing in the form of the book The Complacent Class by Tyler Cowen.
If you think about it, my generation was the one which started out creating this mess. We were ultra-competitive and we knew that examination results have an implication on our career and life outcomes.
Youngsters today are different.
The proliferation of search tools and web apps now allow the younger folks a chance for more curation and customisation which unlocks different and more varied lifestyle choices. So a 20-something year old is not constrained by societal expectations as much as Gen X.
For example, in my generation, as an alpha-male, you want bag hottest chick in campus because that is what winners do. Most capable guy gets hottest chick. Today, you don't aim to bag the hottest chick, you use Tinder or any dating app to get something which suits your fancies. If want a chick that digs Overwatch and cosplays Zarya ( if you have actually a weird thing for Zarya *wink* *wink* ), there is an app to find chicks that look like Zarya.
The ability to live your life as a niche is a feature and not a bug of Gen-Y living. A customised career can be found with the right search portal.
One conclusion from Tyler Cowen is that a lifestyle of competing to be the best would eventually be supplanted by finding an ideal niche that suits your personal inclinations.
This is my final beef with my youngest classmates.
If my generation can be out of touch, it can be forgiven because we are in our 40s.
If folks in their 20s were to still act like the old fogies of my generation and be competitive as shit over getting the "best" jobs in a sunset industry where they might end up using their 3.7+ GPA to do electronic discovery, audio translation or end up photocopying documents.
The final joke is on them.