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ARE YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS HAPPY?

felicidadBeyond answering this question, Universities should try and focus on analyzing that young people today are not the same as the ones that came before, and understanding the differences. We could, in fact, examine three different generations: the Baby Boomers, born in the 60s and 70s, a generation constantly seeking sustainability, and that believes happiness can be achieved through hard work; we also find what the world calls Generation X, one that expects a reward notwithstanding their youth in working years, mixing their personal and work lives, and centering their happiness in short term pleasure, and becoming wealthy.

Finally, we find the Millennials, this generation has a digital and collective mindset, adapting easily to change. Happiness to this generation is not represented necessarily by wealth, money, or social status, for them, happiness is “living happily”: connected to their work through passion, and finding sense in every thing they do. Currently, Millennials are the generation with more students in college population.

Having said this, the real challenge for Universities resides in the understanding of these generational mixes. Beginning with knowing and comprehending what each generation is, as a basis for creating learning processes that are effective, with students being motivated every day, leading to happiness and wellbeing in their professional and personal lives.

Even more so, colleges need to understand that most of their population are Millennials, meaning that they are very demanding students who live in a digital era, where everything is agile and constantly transforming. In this dynamic is where Universities should make an effort, Sergio Arboleda University, for example, strives for innovation in academic processes, and in the way teaching is developed in its classrooms. Efforts are made in being creative, and in anticipating that all information given in class is kept as up to date as possible.

Student’s Happiness doesn’t exclusively depend on their processes on a professional level, it is indeed a mixture of variables, directly connecting with their lifestyles and culture. It isn’t easy to answer if college students are happy, but it is definitely clear that the human being as a whole should be taken into account to be able to contribute to their wellbeing and happiness; it’s right there, addressing this point, that Universities must remain active and be in constant change, so they can make a difference in their student’s lives.

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