Bridging the Generation Gap

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Published on December 3, 2016

Here at Housatonic there is no doubt about the staggering amount of age diversity. Many students are fresh from high school, while others are coming back to finish a degree or learn something new. Due to this, students tend to group themselves together with the same age group and figure things out on their own.

Elizabeth Pereira studies after leaving work.

Elizabeth Pereira studies after leaving work.

Fellow student Elizabeth Pereira, who is also my mother,  can only work on her studies late at night when everything is calmer at her house. She is taking an online class due to her busy work schedule. She would like to learn more skills so that she can advance in her career, as she is a Business Management major. At night she will ask me to help her navigate the Blackboard website. She has said, “I can not figure out where to find a few things on the website and you’re younger and grew up on this technology.” Pereira even bought the book for her online class even though the PDF is offered right on Blackboard. It is easier to read and she can highlight key points for her papers.

Professor Fabbri notices differences in how older students adjust to his classes. “I’ve found that when it comes to the older students the great fear is that they have been away from education for a long time and they seem to have lost their confidence. But the great blessing is that they are eager to learn and they are very conscience about what they do. When they score high on an exam and their faces light up; you know that you pushed them in the right direction,” he said.

Housatonic is a home to a lot of different people. What’s so great is that at certain points, whether it’s early in the semester or right around midterms, people will come together and help each other. We are all going here for the same reason and are willing to push each other in the right direction and help each other through certain courses.

When I first came to Housatonic I didn’t expect to see such a diversity in age. I was coming from a school where everyone was fresh from high school. Housatonic has made a campus where anyone can come and feel safe and at home. It isn’t hard to adjust to how different everyone is. People just have to be more open to talking to others.