Generation Z: What do You Expect of Me?
By Chelsea Moore
Photo Via Eric Abt
A new generation emerges, forged under the weight of instability, distress and responsibility; welcome to the minds of Gen Z.
According to behavioral scientist Matt Kleinschmit, Generation Z consists of “people born from 1995 onwards.” They are the students studying in ‘hipster’ coffee shops, the children with smartphones in their hands, the teenagers fighting for climate action; but above all they are a group of people that exist amongst events that they cannot remember.
“Disruption and change have been the norm” for Gen Zs, their childhood was/is consumed by “Gun violence, war, terrorism, climate change, gender equality,” says Leadership author, Robert Tanner. Born on the foothills of rapid technological breakthroughs, this generation has both shaped and been shaped by the increasing connectedness of the world. “Global events have and do influence how they see and react to the world,” says Kleinschmit. With infinite possibilities at their fingertips and their futures beckoning, this group of young people are defying the expected. They are often referred to as the “hardest working generation” and the most well-educated, according to Tim Sackett.
Information is shared and received more rapidly than ever before.
There is a constant bombardment of societal issues on young people and YouTube crash courses make self teaching accessible and expected.
It is not farfetched to say that there is an expectation to succeed thrusted upon Gen Zers due to the growing achievability of success. The question can then be asked; what do you expect of us?
The difference between Millennials and Generation Z is that the latter was raised in an economic boom while the former was born into a recession. This overarching conflict trickled down into the day to day living of the two and is fueling this new generation with a vivacious drive. Millennials and Generation Zers could not be more different, but much like cultural movements, generational thinking is often born out of the rejection of preconceived ideas and a drive to redefine.
Unlike Boomers, Gen Y, and Millennials, Generation Z expects diversity, acceptance, success, equality and recognizes the necessity to be an informed/active citizen. The question then can be asked again; what do you expect of me?
Dealing with issues such as climate change, women's rights, poverty, religious conflicts, and government accountability leaves this generation to take action, motivated by self-preservation. Raised in a world where stagnant living is no longer an option, Generation Z is defying the odds, taking the world in its fists as it's their futures that they’re fighting for.
So, in a world where tragedy lurks around each corner and ambition runs through the veins of youth; the question shouldn’t be “what do you expect of us?”, but instead “what don’t you expect of us?”