A recent poll shows that 92 percent of college freshmen still maintain a positive outlook on their future despite current challenges such as the pandemic, a global recession, and humanitarian crises.
NBC News and Generation Lab asked 1,108 incoming college students attending either two-year and four-year colleges on their current views on life. A total of 92 percent responded that they are optimistic about their lives, while 28 percent said they are extremely optimistic.
Around 92 percent of respondents have confidence they will secure their dream job after graduation, and 88 percent have set their sights on getting married and having children.
“I’m super optimistic about my life because, if I can go to college and have all these opportunities in the midst of a pandemic, I don’t think that there’s much that can stop me,” said 17-year-old GRCC student Kelsi VanOrder.
However, opinions seem to shift when the future of the nation and the world are discussed. Only 60 percent of the students believe that the world has a good future while a meager 48 percent remain optimistic about the United States.
“The more personal you get, the more optimism you get,” said Cyrus Beschloss, founder of Generation Lab.
Mental Health and Trust
Respondents may have shown a surprising positivity during these times, but they’ve also admitted that the past year hasn’t been easy. In the class of 2025, 62 percent shared that they have experienced anxiety in 2020 while 58 percent who suffer from depression admitted that the pandemic made their symptoms worse.
In terms of trust, the closer the relationship is to the student, the more trust is expressed. Approximately 93 percent trust their parents and 66 percent trust local elected officials. However, far fewer young people express trust regarding state elected officials (55 percent), the President of the United States (48 percent), Congress (43 percent), and the national media (36 percent).