Dear Gen Z:
2019 marks a year of Generation Z’s graduation from college. And for those that are not familiar with generation historiography, each generation gets a title and the most recent one is labeled Generation Z.
Simple definition: Generation Z (or Gen Z), also known by a number of other names, is the demographic cohort after the Millennials. Demographers and researchers typically use the mid-1990s to mid-2000s as starting birth years.
Now, for those that criticize or are offended by some of the negative attributes that mark Gen Z, that “insult” actually manifests one of the attributes of Gen Z – offending. Gen Z’s are easily offended. They grew up in a pampered world where they received trophies for showing up to practice. They negotiated with their parents on rules, regulations, and curfews. They grew up with an iPad instead of a pacifier to shut them up. Or a video game instead of a soccer ball to entertain them. They more or less ran the show, and the parents would act like children and walk around being “Yes People” to their offspring. But now, the real world hits, and it’s not going to be pretty for some of the Gen Z graduates.
The real world has rejection, it has conflict, it has challenges, and inevitable failures, and this will be a harsh reality check for this graduating class. I can only wonder if the historiographers that have already predicted these behaviors will be proven correct. When this population enters the real world we’re going to get a front row seat to their plight. Will their adoral prescription increase cause their anxiety growing up was met with pharmaceutical drugs as a solution versus learning how to manage stress? Maybe. Will they have to adapt to real life stress by incorporating habits like working out, or meditation, or changing ones diet, or sleep routine? Probably. Will full blown melt downs occur and result in taking a leave of absence from a job that they probably will struggle getting to begin with, and find it hard to maintain cause in the real world work force, Mom and Dad are’t there to ask the boss to give you a raise that you probably don’t deserve.
Ok, ok, if this sounds harsh to you or “offensive” then you are probably part of the problem. You might be a parent that played into the Gen Z society of pampering, and now has a kid that is going to struggle in the real world. And if you are a Gen Z young adult, you might want to rethink the definition of adult, cause growing up pampered makes it hard to survive in adulthood. You might be hit with shock or discontent when you realize that life is not fair. That bad things happen to good people. That failure is a blessing. That rejection is an opportunity. And technology is not everything.
Happy graduation to the class of 2019. I wish you the best, truly, and when I say that take it with a grain of humility, cause you’re going to need it moving forward in this world among the rest of the generations that proceed you.