School and education have evolved over time with our collective knowledge. The more we learn, the more educated each generation becomes, and the more people there are to be competitive against, the more stressful, difficult, and overwhelming school gets. On the other hand, we now have access to technology like the Internet, advanced studying techniques, and educational resources like never before. We must all try not to minimize any generation’s experience in education and just learn the best we can.
The biggest advantage students have over previous generations of academic scholars is the amount of technology they can utilize. The Internet makes research easier than ever. Handheld calculators make solving any equation trivial, given the skills to use them. Being able to contact professors and teachers at a moment’s notice makes communication about homework, studying, and other topics simple as can be. Remotely learning through video conferencing has made education as convenient as can be. Many would argue that the fact that students have access to computers, calculators, and the Internet makes school easier. However, the opposite is true.
The More Knowledge We Have
Every year that passes comes with an increase in knowledge. Think about just 50 years ago. Science has progressed so much since then. DNA testing, further evolutionary information, new physics concepts, and a myriad number of new literary classics to study. The content that we study and learn is different as well. Instead of learning cursive, students learn typing. Instead of learning road and highway signs, we learn how vaccines work. Furthermore, as we head towards a more science-heavy society, the workload will change accordingly. This allows each successive generation to learn more than the last, building upon the foundation they were raised by. This is only a positive trajectory!
Structure Has Changed
The amount of time students spend at school per day has increased over the decades. More homework is assigned than ever before by multiple teachers, especially in college. College education is more expensive than it’s ever been. College used to be practically cheap, being $400-500 a semester in the 1970s. With the increase in cost came an increase in competition, the size and difficulty of school curriculums and their campuses, and higher quality professors. Access to technology certainly helps mitigate some of these hurdles, but educators are well aware of the strength of technology and adjust their curriculum in response to it. All of this has compounded to make the experience of education extremely stressful, rigorous, and competitive.