Questions Students Ask at Each Stage of Their Journey

It’s been interesting to watch Megan grow up, from an elementary school student all the way to today, as a college student. I’ve watched her mature through the typical stages a kid goes through—where she seemed to almost change personalities and move between extraversion and introversion—through her teen years.


photo credit: Concordia University via photopin cc

Megan actually inspired the thought I’m sharing in today’s blog. Since 1979, I have taught students at a variety of levels—from elementary students all the way to university students. I’ve loved connecting with every age and stage of student, and have noticed that the questions they ask at each level vary.

This week, I’m attempting to provide some simple ideas to implement that will help you better comprehend Generation iY, the young Millennials born since 1990. In part three today, I want to provide a simple grid for those who work with students, to insure that the programs and plans you lay out align with what they value.

Programming for Events

When it comes to the agenda for a student-centered event, I have noticed:

  • Middle School Students – It should include 75% activity and 25% content.
  • High School Students – It should include 50% activity and 50% content.
  • College Students – It should include 25% activity and 75% content.

Identity and Social Networking

When it comes to where students derive their sense of identity:

  • Middle School students are asking: Do you like me?
  • High School students are asking: How do I look? Where do I fit?
  • College Students are asking: What are we going to do?

Values and Motivation

When it comes to interaction with peers, their values change over time:

  • Middle School Students value: How do I fit in?
  • High School Students value: Who’s going to be there?
  • College Students value: What’s the agenda?

Biggest Fears and Anxiety

When it comes to what students are afraid of most:

  • Middle School Students wonder: How many friends do I have?
  • High School Students wonder: What college is going to accept me?
  • College Students wonder: Where am I going to land after I graduate?


If you’re in charge of planning any event, course or activity, you’re wise to keep the target audience in mind. What would you add to this list?

Questions Students Ask at Each Stage of Their Journey