The Current Generation in Response to Education

It is recommended to read the Editorial dedicated to respond to this Article after.

A worrying trend that I’ve noticed throughout my first year in highschool is: No one seems to care at all about learning or even paying attention in classes. Most of the time, students are using their phones, chatting with other students (sometimes across the class), playing games on the school laptops, or all three. In my classes, there’s only a handful of students that are passing, and about three who actually have As. What happened to our generation?

If I had to answer that question, then I’d have to say: the pandemic and quarantine. For more than a year, we had to stay inside because of COVID-19 and our terrible COVID protocols—no seriously, why did it take so long for us to have mask and vaccine mandates? And why were government officials trying to oppose them?! Anyways, all kids were forced to do online schooling through Zoom. Our Zoom schedules weren’t as strict as our in-school schedules, and kids had an easier time playing games, checking their phones, etc. whether they intended to get distracted or not. Over time, we got used to half-assing our classes and then goofing off on our devices, so when we finally went back to in-school learning, we had an unhealthy addiction to our phones. Teachers are now implementing phone collections in their classes to combat this, but kids are just lying about not having their phone or hiding it where the teacher can’t see.

Even then, some of the kids with passing grades aren’t even trying; instead, they just google the questions to find the answers. And the fact that most assignments are assigned digitally makes cheating so much easier. Sure, the chromebooks can be monitored by plugins that show what the student’s screen looks like, but they’re not trustworthy and rarely used. What if their screen is locked to the assignment or test only? Then students can use their phones instead. Our addiction to our phones aren’t just for social media, but also answers to our questions. Instead of taking the time and using critical thinking to come up with answers, we can leave the “thinking” to google searches. But this can apply to society as a whole, since technology is so integrated into our lives (thank you, COVID).

The pandemic also took away a year most of us could’ve used to improve ourselves. For me, quarantine took place when I was in 8th grade. That year is usually (at least I assume) when kids transition from kids into teens, acting more mature while gaining more freedoms. High school’s basically where and when we decide how our lives are going to go. However, since we never had the time or environment to grow out of being immature, our high school teachers are subjected to babying a bunch of middle schoolers. The education system even told them to go easier on us, but if anything, the lack of discipline is making things worse. Any backbone we had in middle school is as straight as a wet noodle nowadays, and going easy on us isn’t going to straighten it back out. At this point, are we going to even make it as adults when the time arrives?

To be honest, I don’t have high expectations for people around my age and younger. I’ve only been referring to my high school classes, but younger kids have also grown reliant on their parent’s/parents’ devices. It’s normal to see toddlers in restaurants using their iPad throughout their meal. By the time we’re adults, we’ll most likely be inseparable from our phone screens. I highly doubt we’re gonna be ready for adult life when it hits us in the face in 3-4 years, unless everyone realizes how f***ed we’ll be, and they actually try to improve themselves.