There are many stereotypes and clichés about student life, but thanks to the era they’ve grown up in, today’s students have some distinct differences from the generations that have come before. Here are five of the key trends we’ve seen in our research into this group, which may just change your perspective on what it’s like to be a student in 2019.
1. Education is their priority
While university might have been one long party in the past, that’s not the case for most students today. In our latest Youth Trends Report, we asked 16-24s to rank their priorities, and education came out on top, just ahead of health and career, and considered much more important than socialising or dating. This forward-thinking group want to make the most of the opportunity to learn and prepare themselves for success post-graduation.
2. They are smart spenders
The cliché about students is that they’re always broke, but while money management remains a challenge for many, they’re more clued up than ever about ways to save. They check online to ensure they’re getting the best deal for anything they want to buy, including looking for a student discount using handy apps such as Student Beans. This means they can still enjoy student life and buy the things they want and need, without breaking the bank.
3. They are digital natives
Today’s students don’t remember a time before the internet, and using digital technology is second nature to them. They don’t see a distinction between the online and offline worlds, and most activities, from socialising and studying to shopping, move seamlessly between the two. Friendships with fellow students are formed and developed online, and they’re just as comfortable making a purchase on their phone as a laptop or in-store.
4. They’re more health-conscious
For older generations, a typical student diet may have revolved around microwave meals and takeaways, and while students still love classic treats like pizza and ice cream, they’re more aware of nutrition and conscious of both their physical and mental health. This can manifest in many ways, from going to the gym or doing ‘Dry January,’ to taking a digital detox or using mindfulness apps like Calm.
5. They care about social issues
Although the ‘social justice warrior’ stereotype is a bit of an exaggeration, the typical Gen Z student is more aware and opinionated about world issues than past generations. Social media has made them well informed about everything from LGBT rights to climate change, and it’s considered cool to be involved in activism. This could be sharing a petition on social media, attending a public protest, or boycotting a brand whose values don’t match their own.
Click here to find out about opportunities to reach and engage this exciting new generation of students with Student Beans.