A Lost Generation

Jake Heinauer, Features Editor

    All generations have their faults, and these faults are generally brought up with vigor by our predecessors. The generation of the sixties was known for its rebellious attitude and was infamous for the hippie-movement, the eighties children were known as extreme partiers, and the nineties kids were known for grunge. Some call certain generations lost; however, few are actually lost. Is our own generation, to a lesser extent, lost?

    No, this article is not a rant about how our awful our generation is for our addiction to technology and social media. It’s actually about how our generation lacks the ability to learn in class because we have been taught that getting an “A” in class or on a test is the most important thing in school. I will be completely honest: when I walk into the lobby in the morning, I’m not concerned with what I might learn and benefit from the day to come. I only care that my homework is done so I have points in ProgressBook, that I do well on tests, and that my essays follow the rubric/prompt, all in the name of having an A on my report card. As for actually retaining the information after the test…well, that is low on my list of priorities. If I’m not mistaken, most employers would not deem what our generation has mastered to be “skills.” At the end of the day, many students just want an A, so that they can get into the college of their choice.

    Even simple tasks, like reading, have become something we attempt to cut corners on, but why? Reading is supposed to be enjoyable; it is supposed to have a greater meaning that students should be eager to discover. But we are forced to read books, which we don’t even give a fair chance, because more often than not, the books we read are very uninteresting. Can we be blamed? Yes and no. On one hand, it is our responsibility to do the work assigned to us, but on the other hand, these assignments also give students a false portrayal of what reading actually is and can be: enjoyable. We have been taught that the most important thing is getting an A or top scores on standard tests, so we can compete on local, state, national, and global scales. We have been taught that these scores determine how smart and competent we are. In many ways, we are pawns, used by others in the name of unbeneficial and unnecessary games. So yes, we cheat ourselves, but why does it matter, so long as we have our precious A’s, and complete our readings?

    Perhaps in college we will learn or find our way. However, I think it’s completely possible that we will remain lost and then be criticized for our ineptitude. Whether we’re known as incompetent and lost or as a generation  of “yuppies,” only time will tell.

Student Survey

I asked 100 random students what they thought of our “Lost Generation.”

  • Would you rather have an “A” in a class or take a lower grade, but feel like you have actually learned?

have the A-75%                        actually learned- 25%

  • Is reading a hassle or something you enjoy, even for school?

reading is a hassle- 48%       reading is enjoyable-52%

  • What is your end goal for high school: getting into the college of your choice or learning valuable skills?

college of choice-84%            learning valuable skills-16%

  • Be honest, do you ever cheat, or do you always earn your grade?

I have cheated-45%               I always earn my grade-55%

  • Do you feel prepared for college, or do you feel unprepared?

I feel prepared-55%              I feel unprepared-45%

  • How much effort do you put into your studies?

no effort-5%                            some effort-66%                    full effort-29%