Comparing the education of two different generations

Whether it be a teacher, a parent, or another relative, the older generation tends to think that the younger generation have life easier. It’s understandable that they believe we are the most privileged generation to date— smartphones, GPS systems and other surpluses of technology are readily convenient. Despite these new advancements, however, the two generations should not be compared in terms of difficulty in the classroom or in the workplace.

At some point, teenagers have heard the classic “When I was a kid I didn’t have this” or “You have it easier than I did when I was your age.” Parents also note, for example, how some of them walked several miles to school or how they had to stay after school and clean the classroom.

The comparison between the two generations is still not valid when it comes time to see which had it “harder” in terms of education or work. With new technological standards come elevated standards of education and perhaps even a harder curriculum. New resources such as laptops and tablets yield a higher expectation for quality work, thus making it perpetually more difficult for students to succeed. Online essays turn-ins and tutorial videos may be different from the old-school chalk and board style of teaching, but that does not make school any easier.

The workplace, along with education, also presents various differences. Sure, we have something like eBooks and Amazon, but according to White House statistics, we as millennials have also been handed the worst economy in 80 years. In fact, it is much harder to make money this generation than the previous generation, as Americans between 18 and 34 are earning less today in the workplace. This is why our parents should not shun us for having new technology and an “easier life”—new eras of living bring new challenges that may not necessarily be comprehensible by different generations.

If our parents understand us and we understand them, then it leads to tolerance rather than mindlessly competing against each other. We as teenagers should appreciate the hardships our parents went through and likewise, adults should grasp the new and developing age of education and work.

By Sara Corona, Photographer
Photo by Jeffrey Tran

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