Dear Baby Boomers and Gen X, The "Snowflake" Generation Is Stronger Than You Think
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Education

Dear Baby Boomers and Gen X, The 'Snowflake' Generation Is Stronger Than You Think

The Snowflake Generation is characterized by being wimpy and weak, I disagree.

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Dear Baby Boomers and Gen X, The 'Snowflake' Generation Is Stronger Than You Think
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The "Snowflake Generation" is a term most often used by Baby Boomers and Generation X to refer to people in their 20's and younger. All of my college friends and I fall under this umbrella, and it is very interesting to me that this new term has come into existence. Boomers point of view is they put their blood, sweat, but no tears (because of how obviously resilient they are) into everything they do. I don't know if I see myself as a snowflake, so I would like to dive in and take a closer look at why us "younger folk" may be more sensitive.

I think my family tree is a good example of how there are some shifts in values, economics, and culture in Pennsylvania (and possibly America). My great grandfather, part of the Silent Generation, ended his education after the 7th grade. His family owned a farm, there was no value in wasting time at school. No, I am not being a critic or insulting my great grandfather. He was a very smart and witty old man the little I got to know him in my life. He made the best decision for himself and his family at the time, there was absolutely nothing wrong with withdrawing from school to work on a farm in his time.

One of his children (my grandfather, Pappy, a Baby Boomer) has always done blue collar jobs. He has helped construct countless houses, worked with power tools, helped with gardening and so much more. For the most part, his one source of income was enough to support the family. My grandmother (Grammy, a Baby Boomer) dropped out of school to marry Pappy. There was more value in starting a family than education. She did however return and obtain her GED.

Now to my Mom (Generation X), she has worked her entire life, from this point on it takes more than one source of income to run the average family. She wants the best for my sister and me, and wanted to make sure we had nice things, and feel like we fit in at school. This shows the values of higher standards of parents wanting a higher quality of life for their children. Even though she wanted all this for us, it was not just simply handed these things. I needed to earn "nice things" or prove that I would value and take care of these items.

Now it is my turn to grow and develop in my course of life as our culture continues to change. Depending on when you "draw the line" for generation years, I could be a Millennial or Generation Z. I consider myself a "Zillennial". I feel as though our culture has had a stronger push in the importance of education, and continuing education beyond high school. High school's making students believe they will be worthless if they don't attend college. Countless times it was conveyed to us that we would face such terrible struggles and have difficulties to find jobs without college. Without deep diving into the countless problems with the education system, we will move on.

Young people growing up are now looking for colleges to go to while it may not even be something they want to do. CNBC.com says the average debt that a college student owes upon graduation is $37,172. Which I find this amount grossly unfair. For students who did not qualify for many scholarships or did not get a full ride, this number is almost insulting. Personally, I owe MORE than this.

This is only ONE struggle that younger people are facing right now. Our struggles are not better or worse than that of Baby Boomers, the struggles are different. I can not relate to what it is like working in a farm field from a young age. But others not in my shoes cannot relate to this financial burden I will be carrying on my shoulders for the rest of my life. We keep moving forward despite these financial challenges because our society has higher values for education and slightly less on the family.

Continuing with this "snowflake" metaphor, I think we are all snowflakes. Each generation, and person to person within each generation is different from the next. It is easy to overgeneralize a large group of people as "snow". That snow-pile is made up of individual snowflakes, all unique.

Yes, I am a snowflake, recently formed. I am beautiful. You are beautiful. Where we land in the greater scheme of things isn't 100% our choice. But the choices we make still impact where we land. I want to enjoy my time before the inevitable sun rises and melts us all.


Informational Footnote:

Silent Generation: born middle 1920's to middle 1940s

Baby Boomers: born 1946-1964

Generation X: born mid-1960s to early 1980s

Millennials: born early 1980s to late 1990's

Generation Z: born late 1990s to early 2010s

Gen Alpha: born early 2010s until middle 2020s

Snowflake Generation: includes some Millennials and Gen Z

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