*note there are about 6 different names for the generation of teens/young adults right now*
Welcome to Gen Z.
We are the dreaded Millennials*, the horrid iPhone fanatics, the self-obsessed, and the persistent wanters.
Here, we have technology beyond your wildest 1980's childhood imagination. Did you want holograms? You got it. Check out Tupac at Coachella a few years ago. Did you want to have teleportation? What about the new city-to-city underground rocket that can get you from New York to DC in less than an hour? Coming soon. Did you want to travel to Mars? Sure, we have that, too.
Everything you ever wanted is now available because of this generation's drive. Gen X's dreams became our reality. We work hard to get what everyone wants, but at what cost? We have unbelievably high rates of anxiety that our grandparents scoff at as they pull out their iPhone X and post on Facebook about how kids these days are spoiled. An undergraduate degree means nothing now and school is more expensive than ever before. College Board reports college costs have gone up from $3,190 (calculated in 2017 dollars, due to inflation) for the years 1987-88 to $9,970 in 2017-18.
See the chart below for college attendance rates (calculated in Millions):
From 2012 - 2017 (in Millions):
From 1980 - 1990 (in Millions):
That's 12.25 million people in 1985 compared to 20.41 million people this past year (2017).
We have educated ourselves beyond what used to even be possible. Yes, we have endless opportunities and scholarships that we have to thank our parents for. I will never hesitate to say that generations before us got Generation Z to where we are, but everything we do is because we are fascinated with the world and our past. Everything we create is to impress the people who saw what the world was like before our innovation. This generation observes what our parents wanted/wants and makes it better. We have such an obsession with the past and the outside world. We are fixated on cultures and history. It's remarkable how far we can connect with the world. Maybe we take it for granted, but communicating with someone from Germany is so easy through Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc that it's second nature to fall in love with other cultures. We hang up Chinese Buddhist quotes, get Middle Eastern henna tattoos, wear strappy Israeli leather sandals, and tout Indian "joggers" not because we want to appropriate a culture but because we are interested in the way other people live. We see pictures of our mom's jean-overalls and want a pair like them. We see leather jackets, vinyl records, baggy ripped jeans, windbreakers, typewriters, clunky shoes, big sweaters, long hair, and more as us being interested in our own culture. Gen Z is big on individuality and "being yourself", but we really just observe others and take interest in them. We are well-connected, well-rounded, well-educated kids who love our phones and information. What's so wrong about that?
Brightly Colored Outfit
Lana Del Rey
The "boho" style
We are a generation brought together by hundreds of years of hard work and immigration and we are here to continue that legacy.
In reality, we are living in the same world our parents lived in. We dream of curing cancer, having a better climate, creating better international relations, building better infrastructure, removing nuclear threats, solving world poverty, and inspiring new audiences. The things we currently live through are the same things that our parents lived through, just in different ways. We make ourselves better so we can inspire the next generation. We are dreamers because we want our children to be doers. Thanks, Gen X and...