A lot of kids now treat youth like the goal is to party as much as possible before you get "old". They think college is just a great opportunity to party and goof off without responsibility, and even the time after college is often thought of as your prime years to take some time out of the system and just travel or live somewhere great and get drunk a lot. There's certainly some merit to this, when you're young your body is ripe, sex is amazing, the social scene is vibrant, you fit in, you can abuse your body and it can handle the punishment (sort of - there are pretty bad long term effects from very heavy drug and alcohol use which kids don't seem to realize). However, they think that somehow when they get to 30 and decide it's time to get serious that they can somehow just quit goofing off and walk into a great job. Of course that isn't true, because their resume sucks and they haven't been learning any employable skills. The girls who were crazy counter-culture partiers often marry a yuppie investment banker type at this point and get him to pay off their debt.
I think both ways are pretty equally retarded. They're both ignoring very clear benefits of the other side. Unfortunately it seems very few people manage both. I don't think they're inherently mutually exclusive, it's more an issue of mind set, it's much easier to have the mind set for one or the other than it is to be flexible & smart about when you're responsible and when you party.