New Trends of Students

Campuses are always changing as the students trends are changing. Change in student trends are directly impacting the campuses. How are changes happening in students? Students are impacted by the global changing trends of economy, politics, media, culture, fashions, entertainments, use of Information technologies, online lifestyle and various social media as well.

Online lifestyle, off the campus: There is an unprecedented trend of, off the campus studies due to the Covid 19 lockdowns and restrictions. There is no face to face interaction among the students within themselves and with teachers. Everything has become impersonal. Exams are delayed, Academics studies and years are affected, and students have become independent from the control of teachers. Students can sign in to online class and do whatever they want as most of the times they are muted and their videos are off. Parents and teachers are helpless as students are highly dependent on mobile and internet for their studies. Even parents who were totally against their children using mobiles are now giving smart phones to their kids as classes are happening online only.

Social media: They use the online platform and social media like WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, twitter, telegram, signal etc. They take pride in having maximum number of friends and the likes for their posts and reposts. And most of the times, the posts are all self-centered as to what they wear, eat, cook, their fashions, their emotions, their own celebrations and so on.
Over use of smart phones affects health: Since they are with the mobile phones always we never know what they are using it for. They chat with their friends or strangers, they enjoy Tiktoks, various internet games. Parents and teachers can’t control the over use of the mobiles and internets. A few students said that except for timings of food & washroom, all the rest of the time is spent with the mobile phone. Their sleeping pattern is affected drastically as they stay awake late in the nights and the next day it is difficult to get up early. Many of them miss their breakfasts. They go for junk food as they use their mobiles for longer times. Also they do online order of food and all items of dress etc often. Doing exercises is forgotten in their lives, as they don’t walk, but use vehicles even for a short distance for any requirements. Hence health is affected to a great extent.

Independence: The present generation is becoming very independent. They want to be independent for making their own decisions. They don’t bother about the comments from elders. Generation gap comes in the way of taking suggestions from elders. Elders also don’t understand and often are very judgmental about whatever the youngsters do. Parents also often don’t understand them as they have their old mentality by being critical about dress codes, fashions and eating habits. Many a times they may not need advices, and they may want only listening ears, to be heard without being judged. Fun loving: They are a generation of fun loving people. They want to instantly gratify the senses and sensuality. They love fast food, online shopping. They are not bothered about morality or moral standards, rather they want only enjoyment and experience in life which is a post-modern trait. Reading habit has drastically come down.

Multi tasking: and doing multi skill courses is a trend to somehow get in to any job and make money. They make money through YouTube, Uber/Olapart time driving, online jobs/trades as well.

Also many are just planning to leave the country and go abroad with minimum educational qualifications. Consumer culture is tremendously affecting their lives. Credit card use and loans are also a very heavy burden on them. Misuse of credit cards and compulsive buying behavior are destructive facts in their life.

Indefiniteness & uncertainties: There is a lot of job loss and joblessness due to computerization on one hand and covid pandemic on the other. So students are also worried and anxious about their future and jobs.

Perverted sexuality: students are struggling in the area of sexual temptations, love affairs that end up in immorality that leads to extra marital affairs, sexual abuse, rape, teenage pregnancy, etc.
Loneliness & Depression: has become a common problem for many college students. Depression is one of the after effects of no social life. They can’t go out as they want. They are getting bored as there is no out-door games/sports possible. Picnics and tours are affected. They are fed up with the commands of parents to help in the household chores.

Suicides: Many even from premier institutions are committing suicide due to depression, thinking wrongly that suicide is the only solution. Who will understand them and guide them to the right solutions in life?

After analyzing the lives of students what are the solutions?

Open homes can offer care to lonely students who otherwise may not be able to change their dysfunctional attitudes and interpersonal relationships.

Cultivate the reading habits by encouraging them to read time bound.

Senior committed students and graduates who have a burden for them can help them by understanding them and being available to them.

Encourage believing students to find other students in their class, college and locality to join the online meetings as they all are available on net and it is convenient for them to join from their homes.

They should be given an environment of love, care, listening ears, and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Identify with them in such a way that the generation gap may be reduced and help given may be relevant and appealing to them.

Be accessible to them, any time they want help.

Teach them valuable skills of managing time and money as faithful stewards.

Teach them to seek God’s will about choosing life partners and fulfill the plans of God in marriage.

Give them live examples of faith and practice in different lives that they will be excited to live a life of faith rather than anxiety.

Show them role models of practical Christian living and a life of faith.

Jose Thomas is the UESI Staff in charge of Missions Cell (Training Department) based in Pathanamthitta, Kerala. Wife, Lizy Jose, Daughters Mrs. Jyothis and her husband Aroon, Jwala and son Jeevan.

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