How We Can Help Students Survive in an Age of Anxiety

Aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. (Michele Eve Sandberg, AFP, Getty Images)

Today’s students have also lived most of their lives in the shadow of a systemic financial collapse. Some of us can still remember the extent to which the worldview of our parents or grandparents was shaped by having grown up during the Great Depression. While the Great Recession was objectively not as severe, it has led to a level of economic anxiety among today’s college students that I did not see even a decade ago. They do not seem to expect that their quality of life, economic or otherwise, would be better than that of their parents.

Then there are all the forms of social media by which our children are engulfed. Their mistakes are preserved and publicized. Their views are caught up in an endless cacophony of intense online disagreement. They are forced to compare the reality of their lives to the curated, excitement-filled, ultimately fictional existences splashed across Facebook pages.

And then, finally, there are guns. Always, there are guns.  —Chronicle of Higher Education

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