It’s time to admire the resilient class of 2024

Students are graduating this week, and it’s time to celebrate their achievements! This is the Gen Z class that has undergone different experiences than previous generations.
This year’s class of 2024 is the one that started high school at the height of the pandemic. They experienced the surreal, sci-fi reality of an invisible yet real threat: COVID-19.
This class may have been aware of viral threats to their computers, but soon learned the most dangerous threat to humanity could be a virus in the form of an infectious disease. Who thought it could come true?
They spent grades 9 and 10 at home or learning through hybrid classes and had to pivot and adapt to new ways of communicating via Zoom and asynchronously. Some now remain more comfortable taking classes online rather than in person because they have been connected to a virtual world right from the start.
As a college advisor, I get to know Gen Zers quite well, and I admire how they can navigate technology far better than me or other people my age. According to research by Djafarova and Bowes, students at this age spend even more time on their iPhones and computers than the likes of Gen X, and ironically, they even seem to be aware that virtual connectivity can make them feel more isolated.
Perhaps due to the social isolation that resulted from COVID-19, this graduating class may experience greater culture shock when they go to college.
They will share a room with one or more students and will be required to collaborate with people very different from themselves. The reality of being on campus to produce real work may feel overwhelming if students haven’t set a schedule for studying or managed distractions.
The reality of facing exams can also give rise to fear and anxiety.
This generation may be the least aware of what to expect in college in terms of academic rigor. Post-COVID-19, for example, there’s a moving goal post about what constitutes achievement.
Parents and students are unsure about the number of AP classes their students must take to be competitive for selective colleges. What test scores are required? Will the credits count for college so that the number of years in college can be shortened? How many extracurricular activities must they do? Parents want their kids to do it all, not just academically.
Meanwhile, colleges can change their admission requirements on a dime, making students’ paths to college more torturesome. Hopefully, most of this graduating class has navigated their way through the college admissions process.
If so, they may now be dealing with the new FAFSA launch. Who thought that applying for federal student aid could become this painful? A new platform was approved in 2019 and developed over the last four years, but the software developers clearly needed more time to beta-test as there are problems hidden within the computations that go on behind the FAFSA form.
Many colleges are just now receiving and processing FAFSAs, so certain families, especially those who itemized or filed taxes with supplemental schedules, may have received incorrect aid indexes or nothing at all.
These young people are our future. They give us hope and teach us so much. By being online, they’re more aware of world events and have access to information quicker than we did when we subscribed to encyclopedias.
We should hope that the colleges will teach them how to think critically and discern truth from fabricated truth.
To the entire graduating class of 2024, Carpe Diem! Create your college experience! Do good!
C. Claire Law, M.S. CEP IECA Certified Educational Planner helps teens find schools or colleges where they can grow and thrive. Send comments to

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


Breaking News Alerts

To sign up for breaking news email alerts, Click on the email address below and put "email alerts" in the subject line:

Comment Here