School’s Out For Now, Maybe

The Class of 2020 has already made history before even starting life after high school. They are the first class to have the longest senior skip day. Actually, I don’t know if they are the first in education history, but stick with me. Students have experienced a major interference in their lives due to the pandemic. This has revealed how much school impacts and influences youth, from internet access, to learning styles, to various home environments. Instead of broadly speaking on how school has been impacted, I wanted to narrow the focus to real experience. In this video, I am joined with a very special guest, my brother Dantes, to discuss how seniors in high school maneuvered the second half of their semester, whether online-at-home schooling really works, and the layers of importance behind inter-generational conversations.

Well, senior year did not end on a high note for the Class of 2020. I think there is a lot to be said on how these students handled this unexpected shift. So much has been revealed within the inadequacies of some school districts, which some really did leave students hanging, and the abundance of some communities, which stepped in to fill the voids as best they could. Online education is not as simple as scanning a syllabus to a forum and expecting students to do the assigned homework. For those who are developing online learning platforms, either for brands, businesses, or schools, I hope you are including the needs of this generation. You will need to balance the priorities of a group of people who are the most tech savvy, have a very different attention span, and really want to feel connected with their class.

Looking at the bigger picture, I feel they are the chosen ones. I can’t tell for what yet, but there is a reason why they are called to experience this. Before 2020, this generation already understood the need to nurture the environment, was already comfortable with respecting identified pronouns, and already strive to balance mental health. They understand a lot more than others give them credit for. They have been exposed to a lot more since the time their parents gave them their first cell phone at the age of 8.

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Like Dantes mentioned in the video, his generation’s biggest fear is ending up like previous generations who are unhappy and not being able to do better than previous generations. For capitalism purposes, they are identified as Generation Z. I think that label will transform with time to illustrate the freedom and clarity they possess. Similar to how the term Millennials, my generation, no longer only refers to a group of people who created social media. My generation is leading the revolution all over the world. We decided to not hold “adulting” as an excuse to continue making a mess for the next generation to clean up. Before 2020, we already shook the table by creating unconventional lifestyles that did not rely on traditional gate keepers for news, careers, relationships, education, etc. We accidentally taught ourselves how to code through MySpace and later created after school programs to teach kids coding, arts, history, and tech. Millennials made mental health, travel, individuality, collective responsibility, and financial freedom look and feel cool. There is a reason why these two generations are so close and have so much energy at this pivotal time in history. Now, let me share some advice on how to handle these fears.

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In regards to fearing regret, I think everyone of every age can resonate with this. The thing I focus on to avoid regrets is intention. Everything worth having takes time. If you are intentional with what you learn and experience, there is no room for regrets. People tend to live a life full of regrets because they hold on to excuses. There is always some reason why they did not show up for themselves, why they were waiting for permission, or why they were too busy projecting. You need to prioritize your mindset in order to avoid this. The sooner you gain clarity on who you are, everything else will fall in place. That clarity comes from releasing yourself from others expectations, be it personal or distant.

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In regards to doing better than previous generations, this too is a recurring goal. We all want to make our parents and ancestors proud. Understand you already have by existing at this time. You are loved for who you are more than what you do. If you can create a reality where you are truly happy and healed, then our ancestors struggle was not in vain. If you can uplift yourself and those around you in a sustainable way, then our parents dreams have come true. You do not have to follow the rules because they were not written with your best interest in mind. Let go of what school tried to confine you in. You can color and think outside of the box now. Accept that you never stop learning in life. The stage is being set up for you right now, so take the time to create what you are proud to display.

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I am so proud of you Dantes. I am proud of the Class of 2020. I am so glad to have you as part of the team and am so excited to see you take the lead.

How has 2020 influenced your education plans? What have you learned from it? What do you enjoy or look for in inter-generational conversations? Let me know in the comments.

Also, what would you like to see Dantes and I discuss next? It has been so long since we did a video together. We want to do more before the time comes for our location to change again.

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Below you will find a list of Black-Owned businesses and initiatives you can support.

Remember to connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. I love hearing from you.

Freedom Agenda

Businesses

Nicole Crowder Upholstery

Oyin Handmade

Ooli Beauty

Education

List of Black Owned online book stores

Talking Drum Academy

Frog Tutoring

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