A tweet I saw today inspired this post.
My husband is a little older than me and it’s just enough to put us in different generations. He’s in Gen X and I’m a Millennial.
My husband is sort of a bleeding heart. He’s passionate about causes and politics and is skeptical of authority and people in power. He’s always seeking balance and keeps his work and home life separate. He’s a little rebellious and believes in giving our daughter freedom.
I love all of that about him.
I’m definitely more high-strung. I’ve always been ambitious and I do a lot of work at home. I have a long list of side hustles. I’m all about multi-tasking and I’m the queen of the helicopter parents.
I think we fit the stereotypes pretty well even though there are really only five years between us.
Enter Gen Z
Almost two years ago I took a poetry class at a local university. It was in-person and just before the pandemic.
I was nervous. Times have changed since I first went to college and I was by far the oldest person in the class. Most of my classmates were just barely young adults.
As the semester went on, I became more and more impressed with these young people. They were so considerate and respectful. This was probably most visible to me when it came to pronouns. When I was younger, a person’s pronoun preference wasn’t really considered, but these students not only introduced themselves with their pronouns, they would ask you for your pronouns if they were unsure instead of assuming. Could you imagine the heartache this could have saved people if students did this when I was younger? It was amazing.
I was so impressed with their writing as well. These students were open, thoughtful, and articulate. When they shared their poetry, they were wise beyond their years.
I was extremely apprehensive about sharing a poem I wrote about being an atheist, but apparently, it was only a big deal to me. Everyone was supportive and many came up to me after class to compliment my poem. Is Gen Z more secular? I really don’t think that would have gone so well when I was younger.
Obviously, you can’t judge a whole generation by just one college class, but the tiny glimpse I got of Gen Z was incredible. Everything I was impressed with came so naturally to them. These were obviously things they were used to and expected.
Maybe these generation stereotypes aren’t always true, but you have to admit the time period you grow up in is going to affect your values.
The good news is I have hope for the future.
What generation are you in? Do you fit the stereotypes? How about the rest of your family/friends?