Now, I haven’t been a student of any sort for the last 12 years. But I can still clearly remember the search for the perfect set of photocopied notes, or books where a senior had scribbled their insights in the margins. I remember calling peers on the landline (yep) for explanations on why x=y or some such thing. And I remember how Facebook chats with seniors helped me figure out what I wanted to do, on the cusp of graduating college.
If we boil down this learning behavior, it looks something like this:
cliff notes/summaries + advice + motivation + peer-to-peer social networking
This type of learning is sort of a twilight zone, a liminal space between academic and non-academic existence. There’s no consolidating name or category to it. But like every experience worth its salt, it’s been packaged into a neat little business idea.
Business opportunities are being fueled by the typically Gen Z trait
And these business opportunities are being fueled by the typically Gen Z trait of switching rapidly between consuming and creating content. Want to learn about the First War of Indian Independence? Signing up to an online course provider is only one (and the most boring) way to go about it. Learners, instead, might hit up a YouTube video or an Instagram account where the cliff notes are set to a Billie Eilish song. Or follow a vlogger who records her whole day of tea-sipping and snack-eating with a 5-second wrap-up of a topic squeezed in between.