We Are Not the Lost Generation

Those of us born in Generation Z — 1997-2012* — have faced a lifetime’s worth of problems in the few years we have been around. Despite facing many setbacks, we always find a way to persevere. 

Our generation has had to cope with the ever-looming threat of school shootings, the pandemic, and toxic social media, to name a few. This stress has been shown to lead to higher depression and suicide rates. 

Although our generation has higher rates of mental illness than others, we have been part of a nationwide movement to destigmatize mental health. We are advocating for better treatment for mental health in our schools and communities. 

Older generations say we are lazy and have no clear path in life. Although we can’t speak for this generation as a whole, many of us are more active than we are given credit for. But it’s hard when every step we take forward gets pushed back by constant negativity. 

Even if all of us are not on the picket lines, it doesn’t mean we are lazy. Most high schoolers start our days before the sun rises, eat breakfast if time allows, and then go off to school. After that there might be sports or extracurricular activities, then we go home and do homework for hours every night, then it happens all over again the next day. 

But what is entirely new for our generation is technology. It’s said that we are digital natives. This label has some truth to it. We have grown up in the digital age where technology is constantly advancing. 

Our reliance on technology is frowned upon by some members of older generations. About 95% of teens have access to, or own a smartphone. 

However, having access to technology isn’t always bad. We can use it to stay informed. 

 We are different from the other generations, but that’s not a bad thing, because if every generation followed the standards of the ones before there would be no change. 

We are the most diverse generation ever recorded and that’s a great thing, because we are better able to relate to and empathize with people different from us. 

We are young, and much like what has happened to every other generation when it was their turn to be the youngest, we have become the target of older generations’ disapproval. 

It’s up to us to prove the negative stereotypes wrong. It’s up to us to take away the negativity and create a platform for our children and their children to be able to build upon. So we are all able to work together to create a better world. 

We are not lost. We are evolving.

*Some sources state Gen Z was born from 1995-2010