As the world starts to re-emerge from lockdown, restrictions starts to ease and some sense of ‘normality’ resumes. And while students haven’t exactly loved the online learning experience, they could be set to be the best placed of all generations. As best as you can be placed when coming out of a global pandemic, that is.
And although students are struggling just like anyone else, and want guidance from brands – commentary from professionals suggest that while it may be tough now, they’ll be one of the least affected generations as a whole. So, why is that? We dig a bit deeper.
I can remember way too many Boomers explaining how frustrated they were that kids now have phones at primary school. That iPads exists in pretty much all schools. That e-gaming is legitimately a multi-billion dollar industry. Yet for all that hysteria about technology, this pandemic has proven why it’s so important.
Students, and wider Gen Zs, are the most tech-savvy generation the world has seen so far. Video calls? Yep, they were already doing them daily pre-coronavirus. Remote working? They’d certainly know how to set themselves up with minimal fuss. The pandemic has simply proven that tech-familiarity is a skill within itself that will have increased value in the years to come. Something students now will have as a minimum.
Less Life Concerns
While graduations have been sacrificed and social outings have become non-existent, a vast majority of students won’t have much of a problem with debt – or other more ‘adult’ life problems. Likely no (or not as many) loans to pay off, others aren’t really dependant on them, and they will largely be able to pick up the pieces when the pandemic eases off.
They’ll feel the current pandemic from a more life experience perspective, but ultimately their lack of multiple wider life concerns means they’ll be able to plan and bounce back better.
Living At Home Has Never Been Better
Expanding on the above is the idea of living at home. The student culture in Australia is naturally quite different to the US, Europe etc. Meaning often students are living at home while studying, or have only just started to move out. And there’s never been a better time to be living at home. While moving back home might be a big transition for Gen Ys and Gen Xs; Gen Zs are still in the social age range where it’s considered quite normal to be living at home.
So they essentially have a backup plan that many others might not right now, and the comfort of knowing they can reassess and rebuild from a safe space.
We know that students have a vested interest in political, societal and global issues – and that they won’t stay quiet about them. So their wider interest in cultural topics means they will have a greater understanding of the impact of this pandemic. They’ve technically lived through 9/11 in 2001 (even if they were quite young), the Financial Crisis of 2008, and now the Coronavirus of 2020.
They’re battle scarred, yet barely allowed to drink legally overseas. Arguably this insight will make them more prepared for future problems, and their greater emotional tact means they’ll have a strong foundation of experience to lean on.
The moral of this story? Students are doing it really tough now, but they are placed well to bounce back strong.