Generation Z is a generation loosely defined (depending on who you ask) as being those born after the year 1998. Thus, the older side of this spectrum share some experiences and generational overlap with Millenials, despite being defined with considerably different attributes. The oldest members of this generation are either in college or college-bound, while others are struggling through middle and high school. I, Carlisle, am of the former party, being a nineteen-year-old university student. So, here are some important findings regarding what it means to be a Generation Zer (aka, a “Genzennial”), along with some personal experience.
Generation Z is not ready to throw in the towel. Generations before us have done exceptionally well in hurting the American economy, leading to a an astonishingly low 23% approval rating among Genzennials regarding the direction of the United States, and 24% believe that our economy is doing any better.
Despite this response to the state of the United States in its current dispensation, my generation is not prepared to give up. We may be pessimistic, but we are also pragmatic, and are willing to do what it takes to achieve what we want. According to a national study in 2015, a whopping 78% of those in Generation Z believe that the American dream is attainable. We are convinced, despite our dismal outlook on our nation’s current mess, that the possibility of a social order where individuals can attain the heights of their fullest stature and be recognized by others for what they truly are is not a preposterous proposition.
Studies find that we are a throwback generation, aiming to intertwine elements of the past from generations before us into our highly tech-integrated lives, resulting in a syncretic generational phenomenon where Generation Z becomes a community of conservative-leaning patriots.
There is a concern, however, that our voice will be ignored. Generation Y (those notorious Millenials) have been perhaps the loudest generation to date, and their predecessors, Generation X, who proceeded from the Baby Boomers, have been one of the most ignored. Will generational silence prove to be an event that skips every other generation, resulting in the societal ignorance of Generation Z in favor of the generation thereafter, presumably the newly-born Generation Alpha?
We, the Genzennials, are mostly the offspring of Generation X, and sadly, although we want to change the world so much, we may very well be ignored just like our parent generation. The world has spent so much time investing in Generation Y, that it is unlikely that they will ever lose their power until the entire generation fades into oblivion.
And although Generation Z is looking to be larger than Generation Y, Generation A, which is just now coming into the world, is predicted to seriously eclipse both of us. The extent to which we, the Genzennials, influence the world is, therefore, one of the most important elements in the ever-changing socio-political landscape of the modern world. History books will be written and names will be remembered as the decades continue to come; but who will write the history books, and whose names will be remembered? Only time can give us an answer, and only we, the young generation of today, can possibly affect the outcome.