How many times have you heard the phrase “things just aren’t like they used to be” or “back in my day” when talking to your parents about college, to which you probably respond “you guys wouldn’t get it.” It’s pretty obvious that times have changed since our parents were in college. It’s not that one generation had it better or worse than the other, they’re just different. Here are some things our things our parents didn’t worry about when they were in college.
We’ve all been there, you look up from your dinner and there he is walking across the dining hall. What if he tries tries to talk to you? Do you wave? Do you look away? Hide under the table? Our parents never ran into the problem of knowing who someone is, and what they look like, but never having actually met them. Today’s apps like tinder and others have revolutionized finding new people on campus.
With ways to capture the nights’ events at everyone’s fingertips. The likelihood that someone caught that embarrassing thing you might have done the other night when you weren’t quite yourself, is pretty high. Our parents never woke up from a night out to see their face plastered over everyone’s snapchat stories, and for that they were lucky.
There is so much pressure around social media and the sense of validation that it provides to people. So many people put so much energy into making sure they get the perfect post in order to get the likes instead of enjoying the actual experience. Our parents didn’t have the social pressures to document every activity for the world of social media to see and judge. While it is nice that we have the opportunity to easily capture the special moments in our lives, some people take this privilege too far.
Sure, there were still threats and dangers that our parents faced in college, but the severity and frequency of campus crimes has increased significantly in recent decades. School shootings were not a weekly occurrence. Sexual assaults and abuse is more prevalent now than ever before- or at least the awareness of it is… I doubt our parents thought about their own safety on campus as much as we do today. As they would say, “things just aren’t like they used to be.”
It’s so easy to lose your phone on a night out, if you haven’t done it yourself (congrats because how?) you’ve probably helped someone else search for theirs. As a generation that is so attached to their cell phones that they are basically an extension of themselves, it comes as no surprise that we are completely lost without them. So much of our lives are connected through our phones that losing them can be quite concerning. This is something our parents never had to deal with. While the technology of cell phones has great perks, losing your phone can really turn your life upside down. Our parents on the other hand grew up with landlines. They couldn’t lose their phones because they were attached to the walls with cords, talk about the stone age, am I right?
I’m sure there was still somewhat of a hookup culture in our parent’s generation while they were in college. I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on asking them about it to be honest, so I’m just going to go off assumptions for now. Social views on relationships, or the lack thereof, have changed a lot. The idea of casual sex and hookups has become more widely accepted than ever. This culture lend itself to issues surrounding sexual and emotional health. My mom always tells me about the sweet ways guys would come and ask her on date. Sounds nice, since most guys in this day and age will generally just hit you with a “U up?” text around midnight. (Not all guys, shout out to the chivalries gentlemen out there).
There are so many ways that technology has improved our lives and made things like typing papers and research so much easier than it was when our parents had to do it. We often overlook the ways technology can sometimes be very frustrating. Not only can repairs to computers be pricey, but it can result in the loss of basically your entire digital life (papers, resumes, etc). Ever had your computer crash and lost your whole paper the night before it was due? Or your hard drive shits the bed right before finals? Our parents sure didn’t. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to buy a new pencil than a new computer. It’s safe to say they were lucky they never had to deal with the stress of computer complications, but then again they had to write ten-page research papers by hand.
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