JUDY WOODRUFF: While LaKeesha Perry longs for some peace and quiet, fun for 21-year-old Jonathan Reimer is a good political debate.
JON REIMER: I'm really, in fact, a hard core-- conservative-- Reaganite conservative, I guess you could say.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A junior at Villanova university, outside Philadelphia, he established a conservative newspaper on campus.
And while his views on social issues are rooted in his beliefs as an evangelical Christian, Jon discovered his true appreciation for conservatism the day uncle sam started taking his money.
JON REIMER: I got my first paycheck and looked at my paycheck and, "Wait a minute, half the money I made I don't get. How does that work? Who took my money," kinda thing.
And I was really bothered by that. And, you know, my dad sat me down and explained, "Well, you know, the government takes it."
"What do you mean the government takes it? I'm 16. I can't vote. How-- how do they take my money? Isn't-- isn't that what the colonists were crying about in the-- revolution?"
That was really, I think, the start of realizing where politics play a role in my life.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Even as polls show that an increasing number of Gen Nexters favor the Democratic Party, Jon’s views on the issues have remained constant.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Take Iraq...
JON REIMER: I'm still in support of it. I think that it is something that is extremely important to American security, American interests-- that we win, that we succeed.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: Gay rights...
JON REIMER: We really see it as something that God commands us not to participate in, and that it is sin.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Abortion...
JON REIMER: I'd say the pro-life issue is, I think, probably the biggest of our time. It's a very serious problem.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And how to prevent tragedies like Virginia Tech...
JON REIMER: All teachers should have guns. Think about it. There'd
be no more school shootings if every teacher had a gun.
FRIEND: I think some people may disagree with you on that aspect though.
JON REIMER: Oh yeah, for sure.
A strong parental relationship
JUDY WOODRUFF: His political views, where did that come from?
TOM REIMER: It's all my fault. (laughter) I'm very much for -- personal responsibility, laissez faire in government. Sorry, but gun control is a hit where you're aiming. So I'm from a very conservative background, those are things that we talked about.
It's something that he's grown up to appreciate and embrace and -- and that's Jonathan.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Jon's father, Tom, teaches cabinetry at a vocational
school,while his mother, Donna, works as a seamstress from their
Despite the financial burden of tuition, the Reimers decided to send Jon to a private Christian high school.
TOM REIMER: We early on talked about our children and we thought that it would be a good opportunity for them to go to Christian education to learn things that are consistent with our beliefs. And have opportunities to not only learn about academic things, but learn about history in terms of God's viewpoint. And we thought it was a good opportunity to reinforce the things that we believe at home.
NEIL HOWE, co-author, Millennials Rising: There was a demarcation in the early 1980s, when suddenly the environment for children shifted.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Neil Howe says parenting changed when the first members of Generation Next were born.
NEIL HOWE: That's when we first had the you know, the "Baby on Board" bumper stickers and the minivans with all the special ways of buckling the kids in. We suddenly were into family values, the idea that you need to protect these kids, you need to form barriers and walls and structure.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Structure for Jon Reimer didn't mean just attending
private religious school.
DONNA REIMER: We realize that peer pressure is a very significant
influence into a child's life. We checked out the houses where
our kids went to for their safety's sake -- physically, spiritually,
emotionally -- we wanted to make sure they were in a safe place.
JUDY WOODRUFF: To encourage Jon to stay true to his faith, his parents urged him to get involved with bible study during freshman year in college and helped him find a local church.
JON REIMER: It wasn't, you know, a forceful thing, but it was, "Hey, this is a trend that happens. College students go to college, and lose their faith. And we don't want to see that with you, and neither do you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The Reimers have largely let Jon make his own decisions in college. But for an increasing number of parents, that is simply not the case.
You've talked about parents being protective starting back in the '80s, having kids. Focusing on kids. What are helicopter parents?
WILLIAM STRAUSS, co-author, Millennials Rising: Helicopter parents
hover and hover and hover and annoy the people who are around
them, but provide essential services to whoever it is on the ground
they're trying to help.
JUDY WOODRUFF: They are a generational phenomenon, regularly advising their adult age children about school, social life and career. In extreme cases, helicopter parents will schedule job interviews and even talk to potential employers. It is a type of parental behavior that crosses socio-economic lines.
WILLIAM STRAUSS: In moderation, when a university or an employer figures out how to channel it, it's good, because you have the parental support, you have the wisdom and judgment of the parent there in the background.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But does it delay-- does it delay transition to adulthood.
WILLIAM STRAUSS: Yes, it does. And that is a criticism that people often make of millennials, that they are-- they're a little bit soft. That they don't understand what the real world dishes out.
Preparing for the real world
JUDY WOODRUFF: Even as he enjoys college life, Jon is also trying to prepare himself for life in the real world.
JON REIMER: [in butcher shop] About a pound... how does that
JUDY WOODRUFF: Footing the bill for his own tuition, Jon will owe almost $60,000 dollars in student loans when he graduates.
So he works every Saturday at a local butcher stand. And with an eye on the future, he interned for a financial service firm…a career he hopes to pursue.
JON REIMER: I guess really the-- something that's always appealed to me is the ability of money to change things, to change your life, to change the world. Money can have a positive influence. It's not just-- it's not an end, but it's a mean to an end.
I am looking forward to growing up. I'm looking forward to influencing, not just at college, but a larger world out there.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But for now, the real world can wait. Time for
one more hand... and a parting shot.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Is there anyone of the democrats you could ever vote for?
JON REIMER: Well, [Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe] Lieberman, but they kicked him out. So, not really.