The New York Times today has a column explaining how college students feel they deserve high marks just for putting in effort.

To these students, I say: grow up.

Real life does not reward raw effort. I will not pay you for building my house merely because you showed up every day and tried very hard. Customers will not buy your software simply because you launch Emacs from 9 to 5 and do your best to write good programs, and G-d forbid that my doctor got his M.D. because, dammit, he really worked his ass off in med school, way harder than anyone else, and that really ought to be good enough. That’s not to say that putting in more effort doesn’t count; increasing your effort increases your chance of success. But effort alone does not, and should not, equal reward.

We have to abolish the sense of entitlement we’ve created in our society. For too long, we’ve told children that their best is good enough. It’s time to drop the charade. Sometimes, your best effort and best intentions still fail. You weren’t smart enough, strong enough, or fast enough to succeed. Learning how to deal with failure when it happens, and not to let it trip up your life, is a fundamental part of growing up. We need to allow children to learn this life lesson sometime before college—something which these students never did.