In this issue of eSandesh, we introduce a new feature, a series of interviews with ISW Youth tapping into their views on a number of contemporary and relevant topics.
By Tanvi Gahlot, ISW Youth Reporter
I recently held an online session with four teenagers to find out their opinions on the impact of Covid, social media and academics on their life. Joining me were Jayant Manem, a sophomore (10th grader), Aadi Dixit a freshman (9th grader), Tanushree Nekenti, a freshman and Prachet Mahawar, also a sophomore.
How do you think social media has affected teens, either negatively or positively?
Most of the participants said that they use social media for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. They felt it made teens more distracted and there might be occasions when it might put people in dangerous situations. On the positive side, it was a game changer in being able to connect to people you might never have met before and makes it easier to meet others with similar interests.
How has Covid impacted your education this past year and a half?
Jayant: It has made it difficult to get the education I wanted, in terms of understanding what was happening in class. Also, not only was it difficult online, but now that we are in person, it is hard to get back into the habit of in person at school since remote learning and in person learning are so completely different.
Aadi: Going off what Jayant said, when we talk about remote learning over Zoom it’s more difficult as teachers are experienced and trained to teach in person classes, which are quite different than online classes. This is another factor that makes it difficult for students to understand. Also, even if students were in a hybrid or in person model during Covid, there was a mask mandate. This made it difficult because teachers usually rely on facial expressions to get an understanding whether a class gets the concept or not.
Tanushree: I think that after having gone through COVID, I can say that in person learning is much easier than remote because we’re more likely to get distracted as online students. Even if we want to focus it’s extremely difficult.
Prachet: I believe that one is more connected with in person learning than with online. That’s mostly because there is a strong and easier student to teacher “bond” as the teacher gets to know a student well [in person]. Whereas, in an online setting the teacher can’t focus on one student at a time because the whole class is in the same meeting.
Do you have any plans after high school?
Aadi: Although I don’t have a plan set in place officially, I think I might take a year after high school to work and then go to college. Alternatively, I might go to college directly, my major will most likely be engineering (e.g., mechanical engineer, software engineer).
Tanushree: I am not totally sure about what I want to do in college. However, I know that I want to go to college, even though I am unsure of my major.
Jayant: I agree with Tanushree. I know I am going to college, although I am debating between going into the medical field or maybe the business field.
Prachet: I know that I want to go to college too, I just don’t have a planned major.
What is a skill that you believe school should be teaching us, and it isn’t at the moment?
Jayant: I believe we need more courses on business and subjects that wouldn’t necessarily be covered in high school; this would help extend people's knowledge on what each career field could essentially look like. Basically, more career-oriented courses in different fields.
Aadi: I think a big course that we should be learning is “how to pay your taxes” because in all honesty most high schoolers don’t know how taxes or personal finance works in general. Another possible course would be “job hunting” which could include how to write a resume, and how to perform well in interviews, because it is essential for getting a job otherwise what’s the point of going through schooling if you can’t find a job.
Tanushree: I think another big one would be time management, although it’s difficult to teach. I think it would be a good course for high school or even middle school students to take because it would help you as an adult.