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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

College today looks different than it did for our parents

Textbooks can now be condensed into a cell phone, making students reevaluate their use. CASSIE BROWN / ANTELOPE STAFF

Our generation is unique in a number of ways, but one of the biggest ways our lives differ from those of our parents’ generation lies in the college experience. Arguably, we face and have faced a greater amount of stress than our parents had at our age, mostly due to school-related issues. 

Starting in grade school, we have been pushed to meet sometimes unattainable standards through sports, academics, and status. In high school, we faced the pressures of scoring well on the ACT, and many of us were pushed into college as the only option for our future. 

This differs greatly from the experiences of Generation X. According to the Business Insider website, college acceptance rates were higher in the 1980s than they are now, which shows that it was easier to get in and there were not as many people looking to enroll. College education now is more expensive than it was when our parents were in college. 

A significant difference between the past and now is the technological advances made for our generation. In many ways, this has been good because it has given us more opportunities to learn in different and often interactive ways when previous generations did not have those opportunities. Advances in technology have also created obstacles that had never been faced before. Now, professors may assign homework and due dates when class is not even in session which results in added stress on students because there is just not a break from school. It is always there: in our computers, phones or any other device that can connect to the internet. This way, professors can even assign due dates for weekends and holidays, when that would not have been a possibility before. 

Students now are dealing with more distractions—especially through social media—that can interrupt and hinder the learning process. Online learning can be a double-edged sword because it works well for some students but not others. In addition, students on a screen may be more likely to give in to those distractions. 

Current college students are much more stressed, according to Business Insider. Even from just 2005 to 2015, the stress rate among students grew 10%. Many students work part-time or full-time while still attending school, which can be stressful.

Of all the positive and negative differences, one problem is that, due to the differences, our parents’ generation often cannot understand what we’re going through. This life is manageable, but not always ideal. As we continue college, more innovations and unprecedented circumstances will come about, and we will need to adapt and overcome despite the inconveniences because our generation really does have a lot of good aspects such as improved channels of communication.

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