The Work Ethic Pandemic

The pandemic is something that nobody saw coming.

It’s something that completely turned all of our lives upside down. For better or for the worse, it changed our relationships, daily lives and our view of the world.

Before I felt, everyone was stuck in an everlasting cycle of work, work, work, relax then more work, but now, we have all felt the freedom of free time. We have touched ground by doing things for ourselves rather than working for others due to our isolation.

What does that mean for our students though? This is a new generation that is being raised to be innovative for our future. But their biggest skill now is hiding behind a computer screen while searching through Google for that one easy test question.

Their work ethic is completely altered, diminished almost.

It went from an 8 to 3 school day, five days a week, to waking up two minutes before 1st period and laying in bed until the day is over. It went from passing notes with test answers during class to asking Google the most basic questions just because that’s easier than looking through your notes or even just using basic studying skills.

Now, we sit behind glass shields, surrounded by people we only saw as letters against a black screen, staring at the same screen we’ve seen a hundred times before. We shutdown and freeze because we’re tired. Our tolerance is down.

Before, when we would get bored during class, it was easy to simply get lost on social media or put on a movie. Now, we face a teacher who expects eye contact and head nodding, along with detailed notes just to prove that they have our attention.

They do have our attention, but when and for how long is a concerning question to consider.

Now, it’s not that our generation is lazy, to say the least, we have just forgotten how to work. Our cycle is off, school doesn’t feel the same and we all felt the relief knowing that, while at home, we had other options on how to pass a test or an assignment, rather than the knowledge that we’re forced to cram up in our brain.

Our work ethic is gone. Our energy is gone. It’s difficult to return back to normal when it seems like everything is different.

We have the freedom of what a break feels like. A break where it felt like we had endless time and no priorities after being stuck in a constant loop of school for years. When all we know is the school system, it’s easy to think that it’s the most important thing in our lives as adolescents.

No one has been off track like this before. It’s an eye opening experience that has changed the perspective of people forever.

When it feels like we have structure again, maybe we can consider going back to our old working habits. For now, there’s no normalcy, even with students and how they work for their future.