By Gwen Nowaczyk
You can see it on the internet and hear it from professors, about how apathetic or “lazy” this college generation is. They speak about how we play on our phones all day, rotting our brains to mush and wasting our time with social media. Even fellow college students are accusing their peers of lack of caring as seen in The Ashbury Collegian.
But it is not just simply a lack of caring. There is the thought or belief that we are actively distancing ourselves from the world due to technology — a purposeful denial to the current events.
When seeing this and reviewing myself and the actions of my peers, looking at the movements and activism that are happening, the accusation of apathy is unfounded. Instead, college students are becoming increasingly more involved.
College students have been part of the majority when it comes to being active participants in the social movements that dominated 2020 and continue today.
The Black Lives Matter movement and the protests to save the environment, such as the School Strike for the Climate by Greta Thunberg, as well as other social movements are supported by college student and younger generation participation. In line with these movements, nearly 60% of college students said that it was very important to learn about new cultures and countries according to Inside Higher Ed.
Activism is also present on school campuses, especially at Flagler College.
There are many students at Flagler College who are involved in extracurricular activities on-campus and are actively participating in student life. The student body routinely works with the college and campus organizations like the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Public Relations Student Society of America in order to improve their education and college experience. Also found by Inside Higher Ed, nearly 40% of college students said that it was important or essential to become a community leader.
With social movements and activism, some believe the younger generation’s use of technology is a crippling addiction that distances them from the world or makes them lazy; but it provides a platform to bring people together, educate others about issues and bring serious concerns to the forefront.
The further spreading of awareness through the use of social media is a key player in activism and student involvement. Instead of being seen as a problem, it should be viewed as an opportunity.
It must also be acknowledged that students are earning their degree during a pandemic. Due to online classes, students often have to teach themselves their own course material.
There is an increased desire to be involved with the world. We have witnessed firsthand how quickly life and college experience may change — becoming almost completely virtual; opportunities and celebrations arising while being stripped away.
Students are continuously working to make a difference, be it big or small, both on and off campus. It is time that people acknowledge that this generation’s college students are not distancing themselves from the world, but working to change it.