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Are you a millennial in your 30s? Here’s how you can learn faster at uni

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You heard of "Generation Y", but here's how to know if you are a millennial at uni. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Every generation behaves differently. Some learn faster, especially those who first grew up with the Internet.

We are talking about millennials. Dubbed Generation Y, they are just one step behind the true “digital natives,” (the Gen Zs) who are the most proficient ever at navigating the digital sphere. 

You don’t need to look far for successful examples of people in their 30s.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is the first millennial to enter Number 10 Downing Street. The social-media savvy ex-chancellor owns a 180 pounds smart mug and uses a Peleton exercise bike

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and the 11th wealthiest person in the US, is also a millennial. 

They’re just two examples of a generation set to be the most educated.

Over 35% of 29-year-olds had at least a bachelor’s degree in the past decade. Statistics also show that millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025.  

Plan to join them? If you’re a millennial and plan to pursue your a master’s degree or PhD, it can feel scary returning to uni.

But it’s not impossible — and with the right approach, you can learn faster than you did during your undergrad.

First, though, let’s take a look at who is a millennial:

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Milennials are the first generation to grow up with social media. Source: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

Who is a millennial?

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 27 to 42 in 2023) is considered a millennial, according to the Pew Research Centre

This means they would have experienced many world-changing events, which shaped their perspective. 

Take, for example, the 9/11 terrorist attack that shook America. Many millennials were old enough to understand the historical significance of that moment.

Less devastating but still as consequential is the Internet. If you grew up using the Internet, whether in your late childhood or early teens, you’re a millennial.

Best ways to learn faster if you are a millennial

Work in a team 

One study showed that millennials are team-orientated as it increases their chances of success when working on a specific project. 

Working alone comes with a greater risk of personal failure — something that shakes the confidence of millennials and makes them avoid.

They like being hands-on too.

Research suggests that “less lecture, use of multimedia, and collaborating with peers” are some techniques to cater to the short attention span of a millennial. 

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More than nine-in-10 millennials (which is 93% of those who turned 23 to 38 in 2019) own smartphones. Source: Daniel Barry/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

Use technology

Did you know how to exclude a term before searching for something on Google? Or perhaps you already bookmarked the best sources to upskill yourself?

You sound pretty skilled in using technology. So, why not put those skills to use at uni?

Try remembering all the tips and tricks in using Google Docs and Google Drive — they will help you learn faster even though you’re not as young as your other coursemates.

Not interested in YouTube, TikTok and Instagram? Don’t force yourself to be on it just because your younger peers are. You use the tech you like best.

Listen to your parents and professors 

Millennials are extremely relational, says Christy Price, a psychology professor at Dalton State College. 

You know this if you love having your parents showing great interest in your life. Or when your professor does the same. 

The psychology professor also states that millennials are more willing to pursue learning outcomes when instructors connect with them on a personal level.

With a low student-to-staff ratio, this is possible — when choosing a programme, look out for those with these features.

Price’s finding echoes the sentiments of another study which shows that millennials have an “unusually strong” relationship with their parents.

They act as role models and provide advice for their children as they go to college.