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The Importance of Education for the Current Generation

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This generation has set records for college attendance, and while that seems to be a good thing, allowing more people to get educated, it also causes students not to value their education. Students are no longer getting the choice, college is just the next step. Parents think this is setting them up for success, but it actually allows for “students to graduate less impacted by their education than they ought to have been”. Students go into college not cherishing the opportunity they have to gain knowledge eliminating many of their ignorances, instead they see it as a nuisance and not worth their effort. People no longer want to “invest too much in assignments – for life is elsewhere. The professor saves his energies for the profession, while the student saves his for friends, social life, volunteer work, making connections and getting in position to clasp hands on the true grail, the first job”. It’s because of this lack of motivation that has swept over the millennial students, and their professors whose job it is to force these students to value the education they are getting, that this generation is being set up to fail in the “real world”.

When looking into the current education system, a major issue is making campuses safe places, and therefore censoring students from touchy materials. While schools always have rules to prevent hate speech, they used to challenge the students to discuss diverse subjects, whereas now they focus on students emotions, trying to protect them from possible mental triggers. By working to protect students from things that might be triggering for them or even things that make them uncomfortable, the schools are pushing students to be scared of the world around them making them unable to deal with everyday situations that challenge their own personal beliefs. While there are people struggling with PTSD and serious conditions, by treating everyone as though they have mental health issues, students are set up to “acquire their fears not just from their own past experiences, but from social and learning as well”. By hiding students from sensitive topics, universities are keeping anyone with a mental health issue from pushing past it, while you have to be cautious, completely removing these conversations from their lives will make their fear constant rather than working to return to normalcy.

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In my high school, the administration worked to avoid trigger warnings, but as they were concerned for the students they were not able to break away from giving them. With constant warnings it became easy for myself and classmates to not participate in discussions that could be hard to hear. Looking back on this, I have huge regrets on letting my fear get in the way, because I heard these conversations were some of the most interesting and powerful. I might have skipped certain talks because I was scared of what emotion it could bring up, but there were others who simply wouldn’t go because they didn’t want to listen to the speaker, and this is the challenge when it comes to trigger warnings and making controversial talks optional. While it’s normal for schools to want to keep their students safe and comfortable, by doing so they are causing more damage than good.

Besides the school systems hindering students success, the students are also interfering through their lack of appreciation and dedication to their education. As the media world is expanding and days become busier with things to do, students are working to multitask or take the easy way out. A huge cultural change is that people now choose not to engage in activities as much as they did in early generations because while doing schoolwork there are new sources of distractions because the internet is at our fingertips constantly. It’s become easier to click off your work to go explore the internet when you planned on just checking an email. With everyone going a mile-a-minute, “there is a large cultural consequence to our ability to concentrate on things that aren’t immediately engaging”.

People lose sight of the fact that sometimes you have to learn about subjects that don’t necessarily spark your passions, but help to lead you to achieve wisdom. When this happens humans decide to shut down their brains to save their energy for subjects that interest them, by doing this they choose not to focus on discussions that could change their point of view. As technology has advanced and our culture has shifted, the current generation has formed habits that hinder their education. Through the lack of attention and an over use of censorship, students struggle to obtain the knowledge that will help them to flourish once out of school leading them to a place where they will refuse to have contradictory ideas and where having controversial conversations with anyone who might have opposing views is looked down on. Whether taught purposefully by teachers and parents or if its one’s subconscious mind, these habits lead the current generation towards major setbacks when they go to enter the “real world”.

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