ESSEX, VT – Sen. Bernie Sanders visited several Vermont high schools Thursday to hear what pressing issues were on the minds of students.

“It was an amazing experience to broaden our horizons as students and journalists so we can get some real-world experience in the journalism world,” said Katie Adams, a senior at Essex High School and an aspiring journalist.

Sanders said his generation didn’t have the same problems and challenges that today’s students have. “Much harder, much harder today to be growing up today than when I was a kid,” Sanders said.

Sanders asked questions of the students and appeared surprised by some of the responses.

“If you were to ask me what surprised me the most, I’d say it the kids who raised their hands about vaping,” Sanders said in a press conference after the visit.

Sanders is set to deliver remarks in Washington next week on the growing wealth inequality in the U.S. He said the younger generation will have key role in solving the biggest challenges the country faces.

“One of the problems about Washington D.C and the Senate is that we live in a bubble,” Sanders said. “See a lot of smart people and we talk to each other. We talk in abstract ideas. For me to do my job well, for any elected official, you got to go out with the people.”