While no longer in high school or college, I do have a child in high school. My daughter has a very hard time with the lack of respect, empathy, and disregard for education (seen in many of her peers). As a high school teacher, I have to agree. I am honestly worried about where we will be in five, ten, even twenty years from now. Not many of my students know what they are going to do with their lives (and I teach seniors). This mentality, while not universal, is widespread enough to instill extreme worry.
Outside of that, those who do wish to make something of themselves (like my children) are worried about paying for college and paying back their debt after college. Sometimes, it seems those worries are enough to stop many from even attending college.
It seems that we are in an age where new products instill laziness (I even saw a new bed which makes itself). Students feel just fine plagiarizing, copying work from others, or simply not turning it in (with no concern for failing). Essentially, we live in a world where many are happy with just passing.
The last part of my answer reminds me of the commencement speech "You are not special." All students get the same diploma, same cap and gown, and same recognition (even if they passed by the skin of their teeth). It takes effort to be special. I fear that too many of the students today are okay with not being special.
(Sorry for the rant. Your question posed refers to something I worry about a lot.)