People born in 1997-1999 are starting to be referred to as the 'Zillennial Generation,' (a mix of Generation Z and Millennial) and I couldn't agree with this branding more. Having been born in 1998, I've always felt like I never really belonged to a generation. I felt slightly too young to be a Millennial—some of them are in their late thirties—and I certainly felt too old to be a Gen Z kid, as some of their trends and hobbies are completely alien to me.
According to Pew Research Center, Millennials were born between 1981-1996. So, if you're like me, you just miss the cutoff to be one. And so, we're lumped into a generation whose members could have been born as late as 2015! Not to mention, they're a generation growing up with iPhones and idolizing people like Jojo Siwa and Jacob Sartorius. It's pretty aggravating when you think about it that way because neither of those things apply to us whatsoever, at least not to me.
That's why I'm excited about this new term, as my friends insist we're Milennials and my elders insist my friends and I are Gen Z. Well, this is right in the middle, and finally something that feels right. For 'Zillennials,' we weren't technically '90s kids, more like '90s babies, but we really identify with that time period and like to think that it was ours. We grew up with so many famous '90s shows like Rugrats, Full House, Hey Arnold! and many more. Children today don't know anything about these shows, except maybe their embarrassing reboots.
But we also grew up with the 2000s culture, too. Hannah Montana, That's So Raven, Wizards of Waverly Place—all 2000s shows! So, we really have a foot in both camps on that front. But I identify way more with my 24-year-old sister than my 14-year-old cousin who never had a flip phone and never grew up wearing gaucho pants, or rocked a sparkly Justice shirt and that monkey that blows pink gum bubbles. Like my cousin, most Gen Z kids know MySpace, Limewire, classic Club Penguin, or even High School Musical—all the things that defined our childhoods.
Today's kids are growing up with Instagram and Tik Tok, and doing a bunch of stuff I really just don't want to understand. But at the same time, I fit in with Gen Z in the sense that I don't really use Facebook (my sister still does!) and I don't really remember 9/11. Plus, there are a few words that I've picked up that not even younger Millennials have heard or use like 'swole' and 'bread' (you know, let's get this bread!) and even a lot of memes, too. So I know I do have Gen Z inside of me. See? Zillennial!
Also, Generation Z does deserve a lot of credit because they are proving to be the most accepting group of people. Kids today are growing up in a world where children can be activists, being gay is perfectly acceptable, and nobody should be judged based on gender or race (although, Trump has caused a bit of a slide back on that one). In that sense, I see a lot of this acceptance Gen Z shows in my friends and classmates, though young Millennials also tend to lean socially liberal.
The misfits have finally found a home! We are the Zillennials, the half '90s half 2000s kids who remember a life without smart phones, but can still keep up with the memes and new words that all 'the kids' are saying these days.