Generally, older generations love to hate on what the younger generations are up to, and if you're a millennial, you're definitely familiar with being on the receiving end of this...
Which is why, when Reddit user kabirbhatia04 asked teachers what positive trends they've noticed in today's youth, I grabbed my tissues and got ready to weep gently.
Here's what teachers said give them hope about ~the youths~ today:
1. Being a nerd is normal!
2. There's a wider acceptance of students with different needs.
"They know if a student is ‘special’ and will try to help that student out. They'll offer to walk them to the bathroom, or help them with their drawing, or very politely tell them to be careful with things."
3. Certain kinds of reckless behavior aren't "cool" anymore.
"My GF is a teacher and she is amazed at how uncool drinking and driving is. Kids are like, ‘That's stupid. You will kill someone.’ They literally make fun of kids who do it.
4. They're actually...neater?
"Kids are so much neater now, once they're about 8 or 9. They pick up after themselves, are sort of organized, and don't litter when they can help it. I've even had kids at work that couldn't reach the trash can, so they'll come up to the counter and hand me their trash."
5. They have more empathy for others.
"I asked my wife (primary school teacher), and she says empathy and adaptability are the two traits she has seen dramatically improve over her last 15 years. Kids seem to be better at putting themselves in another’s position and understanding their situation. Also, they seem to be much more flexible with changes, whether in the classroom or the outside world."
6. Like, honestly, they put us older adults to shame.
7. Being close with your parents isn't lame.
"Kids are openly kind and loving regarding their parents. I had a tough football player say in class once, ‘I love my mom, she’s my best friend!’ I see the old ‘Ugh my parents suuuuuuck!’ mentality falling by the wayside recently.”
8. Being a slacker isn't “in” anymore.
"I am a teacher at a high school in Missouri. All of the stereotypes you hear/see in rural high schools are still prevalent. However, almost every 'group' works harder academically. It is no longer cool to get F's and fail."
9. No one's bowing down to the jocks anymore.
"I teach junior high. The celebrity status of jocks is over: They are just one more social group on campus. Smart kids have more respect from their peers. Multidisciplinary excellence seems to be more valued than ever."
10. Their communication skills are honestly admirable.
"Not a teacher, but a former after-school care counselor. Even though it may have just been the school’s rules/conditioning, the kids were generally so good at apologizing, owning up to their actions, and being accepting of others’ apologies. ... They always knew to kindly and carefully approach whoever they hurt, make eye contact, and word their apologies in such a way that effectively communicated their apology for the correct reasons. And those being apologized to always knew to say 'I accept your apology' as opposed to 'It’s OK.' Kids in my day couldn’t figure those kind of communication skills out until at least middle school or high school."
11. They're conscious about their impact on the environment.
"The 8-year-olds I teach really make a huge deal about plastic. We watched the Blue Planet II episode with them, and since then they have been so mindful and really want to protect the oceans."
12. Acceptance and tolerance of people's differences is becoming more of the status quo.
13. They're aware of the dangers of misinformation, and they aren't afraid to question authrotiy.
"I'm a middle school social studies teacher. The students I've taught, whether at a school that was generally dysfunctional or at one that runs really smoothly, question authority and speak out against perceived injustices in a way that kids in my generation (I'm in my early thirties) did not. They are absolutely aware of the spread of misinformation and attempts to control people's thinking through propaganda, and they are massively better prepared to see through it than any generation before them."
14. Gender politics are important to them.
"I teach underprivileged girls in India, and it's really refreshing to see the feminism that naturally arises as a product of their education. They have begun to question the very roots of patriarchy that are present in our society, and that gives me so much hope for the future."
15. They're extremely career-minded...
"I found that kids these days are more aware of the needs of the job market and what they need to do to stand out. They are aware of internships and networks and hobbies that will help them get ahead more than my generation (millennial). They volunteer more as a result and pursue their talents/interests."
16. And dream of launching their own companies and projects one day.
"The whole start-up craze is definitely a great development. Kids have [seen] people who found successful multimillion-dollar start-ups in their twenties, and they are being inspired to dream big and work hard for the dream. The previous generations were more concerned about stability, climbing the corporate ladder, but I know way too many university-aged people venturing with their own projects."
17. And yes, they are meme masters...
"High school teacher here. The most admirable quality of the rising generation is their ability to take anything — and I mean anything — and turn it into a meme."