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“Millennials Are Awful”

Millennials are stupid Millennials are ruining everything — brunch, the world, Applebee’s. Millennials are killing golf, diamonds, Applebee’s – again. These are just some of the phrases that pop up when I typed “Millennials” into the Google search bar. No we are not Millennials. Technically, anyone born after 1995 is considered part of Generation Z, […]

Millennials are stupid

Millennials are ruining everything — brunch, the world, Applebee’s.

Millennials are killing golf, diamonds, Applebee’s – again.

These are just some of the phrases that pop up when I typed “Millennials” into the Google search bar. No we are not Millennials. Technically, anyone born after 1995 is considered part of Generation Z, and not a millennial, but we still get lumped in with Gen X and Y in the notorious millennial category. It’s a lot more fun to say Millennial instead of Generation Z, I guess.  I’m sure that not only Google, but most of us students, have probably heard these sorts of phrases multiple times on the news, from our parents, grandparents, or complete strangers who pontificate about the “good ol'” values of their generation that we seem to lack. These phrases are said in hope that we will push our new opinions and mannerisms aside to conform with the prior generations.  We are unfocused, dependent, and narcissistic. Our humor doesn’t make sense, and we buy jeans with holes in them. The list goes on; you would be amazed at how many articles are written about how simply awful Millennials are.

Luckily, this is not one of those articles.

“I love you guys,” Mrs. Maureen Wanket says with her famous warmth. Why does she love us? Well, because of the “us” factor.

“Generation Z isn’t just in it for themselves,” she said, noting that we “are much less individualistic than [her] generation” because we build “[our] lives to serve the greater community.”

We aren’t perfect by any means, nor is generational tension some new occurrence. Seniors at CB occasionally, or frequently depending on the student, voice their complaints about how the underclassmen are a completely different breed of people. Natalie Toth (18) observed a difference in the students at CB,  noting that “the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors all entered high school with over a thousand followers, a sense of confidence, and a lack of awkwardness” which is very unlike “how [she] feels the senior class entered high school culture.”

This disconnect between even small age groups like seniors and freshmen demonstrate the real world contention between the generations. But it is important for us to keep in mind what we are capable of, what we will need to change, and how we can help each other do it and not get overwhelmed with superficial, rather than constructive, criticisms. These differences create not only challenges but new opportunities for our future.

Speaking of the future, Mr. Danny Delgado ’79 has observed that “[we] want to blaze [our] own path” for the future, “but [we] also are not afraid to listen and learn.” Although we are sometimes labeled as oversensitive and reactionary, Mr. Delgado has observed through his most recent years of teaching that we “tend to be okay with embracing the lessons of the older generations.”

For example, “prior Gen X and Gen Y members often fell into the texting or simple internet ‘language'” and have looked at the criticisms for the two generations before us and “absorbed the message that being articulate is not to be feared, but rather to be embraced.” Most importantly he has observed that “‘words of wisdom’ aren’t simply dismissed,” and are rather taken into consideration when faced with problems that will affect the world and the generations that follow us.

But where do we start? What will we use to make these changes?  Mrs. Wanket believes “millennials know how to use the pervasiveness and availability of information has been a democratizing force in our world.”  And not just on social media, although I do recognize, yes, we do tend to spend a decent amount of our time getting information, sometimes useless, on social media too. If we continue to use this information and the multitude of resources we have access to, we will be easily integrated into the new economy which is based on collaboration, narrative, meaning, design, and invention. 

Mr. Delgado and Mrs. Wanket are in agreement with the general problems that will need to be addressed by our generation. Considering where society is today, they predict we will predominately face issues of race, socioeconomic inequality, water shortages, and climate change. But before we deal with the problems themselves, Mr. Delgado has observed that there is a need for Gen Z “to address a general lack of ethics and changing morality among leaders and politicians” and recognized the “complete void of leadership [our] generation is going to be expected to fill.”

The respected CB science teacher challenges us to “confront [this] challenge” by developing “depth of character…confidence…and…fortitude to fight the inertia that exists within both our institutions, the electorate, and social norms.” In other words, we can’t expect to change things without putting time and effort into our development and relationship with the world around us. Mr. Delgado warns, “those who ignore history are destined to repeat it,” and in order to make this world a better place “[our] generation needs to grab this bull by the horns and embrace the potential it offers. But, [we] will need to do so with eyes wide open.” 

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