What Really Concerns the Class of 2020

College students. We’re addicted to our phones, too sensitive, and anti-social. That’s the general consensus on us. While we may check social media often and wear headphones while we walk, we’re also voicing our opinions. We’re reformers, we’re radicals, we’re political activists, and, although it might be naîve, we believe we can change the world. However, as we begin to enter the real world, there are many problems of great concern. I spoke with college students in the graduating class of 2020 across the country about their worries for the world and its future. Their voices are below.

“I'm worried people are living in echo chambers and are not willing to engage in civil debate with other viewpoints.  A general increase in civility would increase the caliber and effectiveness of our politics even though there are genuine ideological disagreements. Some of my other concerns stem from the actions of the Trump administration, specifically rolling back key landmark policies on climate change, immigration, and healthcare reform and failure to acknowledge or act on pressing social issues such as gun control and police brutality.” Kian Dahlberg, Washington University in St. Louis

Ronen Zvulun / Reuters 

“I am genuinely concerned about the utter lack of consequences for those who make unsubstantiated claims. Neglecting to hold elected officials accountable for making informed, responsible decisions can only hurt the public for generations to come.” Jenny Portis, Carleton College

“I am concerned about the ability of the public to critically analyze different sources of media in a world that is becoming more globally connected through the Internet where misinformation can be spread so easily.” Ian McCarthy, Carleton College

 Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP / Getty

“I guess I'm the most worried about the environment and how as a society we're living so unsustainably right now. As a whole, we lack initiative to get countries to work together for the common good of the earth. Often times it will not benefit countries in the short term economically speaking which leads countries to not really care. And I think that's one of the biggest barriers that we have to get past. That steps that we have to take to better our planet will not be the fastest, most efficient and economically beneficial way.” Mikaela Fleck, Loyola University Chicago

“I think the biggest thing I'm concerned about is how society is going to keep acting and how divided we've become. Everyone argues today about politics and who's right and who's wrong and that's dividing us as a society, but a lot of people don't look at the bigger picture. People don't see that we need to be united rather than divided in order to function as a good society. There's so much unnecessary hate and conflict in this world that it makes me sad to see people don't realize it.” Sabrina Woo, Boston University

The Defence Ministry / Yonhap via Reuters 

“I am worried that people will lose compassion and empathy; that they will stop listening and just continue speaking and never try to understand others.” Taylor Yi, Boston University

“I’m worried about people not being able to set aside their differences and have conversations about difficult social issues.” Chris Lindrud, Santa Clara University


There is much to be done socially and economically, but we’re just the generation for the job. Although we’ve been underestimated, I have no doubt we will continue to voice our concerns and act socially and economically responsible.


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