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In the News: Christopher Michaelson on the Decline in Happiness of America’s Youth

Christopher Michaelson, ethics professor at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, and author of the new book, Is Your Work Worth It?, recently spoke with Business Insider about the atypical happiness curve being shaped by young people in the U.S.

From the story:

To be sure, it’s no shock young people aren’t feeling great: In the U.S., the cost of living has shot higher since the pandemic, buying a home is often out of reach, our politics can feel beyond repair, and the climate crisis looms.

Additionally, some young people in the U.S. are having trouble landing a job despite a hot labor market, and to make matters worse, many of them are graduating from college with high student-debt loads, throwing into question the value of a college degree.

But even with those stressors, Christopher Wong Michaelson, a business professor at the University of St. Thomas and New York University and coauthor of the forthcoming book Is Your Work Worth It?, encourages his students to try to avoid some of the midlife traps that lead to the U-bend.

He told BI that expecting that we have to suffer through periods for the sake of career success or some future happiness can be akin to “allowing some of the best years of our lives to go down the drain so that we can prepare for retirement that might never come or that might not come in the form that we anticipated.”