By Skylar Fondren
Since the beginning of the pandemic some 5,000 years ago (just kidding, it’s only been about 2 years), the world has undergone some extreme changes. These changes have reshaped not only our future but also the people who will lead our future. More and more people are working and learning from home instead of wasting their time going to an office that will shut down after a new covid variant comes out. So, what does this mean for the younger generations that will not get to have the same experiences during their college years as previous generations? It means decreased motivation. It means students becoming apathetic and desensitized to the ever-changing chaos that is in the world today. Why worry about schoolwork when the news is telling us there’s no future? Why even go to college if COVID is just going to send everyone home? Teenagers are realizing that they don’t want to go into debt paying for tuition when they can learn whatever they want on the internet.
Now, I’m not saying that college is no longer relevant or a good choice. However, when students pay full price for tuition and then have all their classes over zoom, it brings up these kinds of questions. If you know exactly what you want to do and you know it requires a college degree to get your resume looked at, then college is the way to go. An added benefit of going to a community college is the opportunity to try out majors without spending as much money as you would at a four-year university. However, there are pitfalls to this upside.
When students feel no pressure to succeed, they may not put in any real effort. Online classes becoming mainstream has led to more cheating than ever before. Meanwhile, those that are going back to face-to-face classes have forgotten the importance of being responsible for completing schoolwork on time. There is little to no accountability for these students, and even when there are consequences, they are so apathetic to the world that they don’t care. Now, not everyone is like this, and these kinds of students have always existed, but the pandemic has definitely normalized this behavior.
I say these things from the perspective of someone who is similarly afflicted with this type of apathy. It is much harder to find motivation for anything these days. Fighting and distrust have become the norm, and many people have had to become numb to the world to survive. Seeing hate and chaos all around is not easy to process, especially for brains that are still developing. But, I don’t think that blocking it all out is the answer.
Writing is a great way to express your emotions, even if you don’t share your writing with anyone else. It is so important to allow yourself to feel. Mourn the future you could have had, but don’t give up on your new future. It may be overwhelming to handle at first, but it is important to find people who know what you’re going through. I know NTCC has made a wonderful effort to give students access to online therapists and counselors, partially because of the pandemic.
A community college truly is a community, but you will not experience the benefits unless you get involved. Find a study group or go to a tutor for classwork, do your homework in the library or talk to your teacher about what you’re struggling with. Communication is vital to success. If you are tired of feeling unmotivated or apathetic, search for the things that bring you joy, and then find a way to merge that into your studies. Your professors want you to succeed, all you have to do is try.