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Mending the Generational Divide: We Are Not All As Different As It Seems

(illustration by Kenny Ortiguesa ’22) Christian Brothers’ campus is brightly painted with various generations which is a part of the reason why CB is such unique place to be. Teachers, thankfully enough for the students, are not just apart of the Baby Boomer age but nor are they strictly part of Gen X. With the […]

(illustration by Kenny Ortiguesa ’22)

Christian Brothers’ campus is brightly painted with various generations which is a part of the reason why CB is such unique place to be. Teachers, thankfully enough for the students, are not just apart of the Baby Boomer age but nor are they strictly part of Gen X. With the student population at CB being strictly Gen Z, it is healthy for us teenagers to interact with individuals from each age range who each have grown up in different eras and have experienced various circumstances within their lifetime.

However, we are not all as unalike as one might believe.

Honestly, technology wise, we can all agree that Gen Z have been almost trained to work with smartphones. Despite currently living in a digital age, World History teacher Mr. Tom English explains that he would not want to be apart of Gen Z because of the modern and complex cyber advancements that cause societal concerns.

“With technology comes different challenges and I wouldn’t want to be in your generation — there are too many things pulling at you,” he says. “With my generation, you were at home or you were doing school work. It was a much simpler life and pressures were nothing compared to your pressures.”

Olivia Wetch (’22) shares, similarly to Mr. English, that no other generation will be able to contend with those who have grown up in the digital era.

“I think that our generation [Gen Z] is faced with a lot of pressures and issues because we grew up in a social media filled world,” Olivia states. “I guess millennials too, but Gen-Z has had to deal with a lot, and I am not taking away from others’ experiences but I do believe ours are extremely valid and not widely recognized because social media is frowned upon by older generations.”

These older generations that Olivia is referring to would be the groups that our parents, grandparents, and even some CB teachers fall into. Plenty of faculty here on campus, such as math Instructor Mrs. Courtney Hendry, are a part of the Gen X squad, which are the people that basically raised us Gen Z and Millennials. With Gen Z and Millennials being labeled as “the future leaders of the world”, a lot of stress falls on the backs of those who did bring us up.

“We [Gen-X] were always blamed for things when we were younger, which I think is the effect of the Boomers, but I kind of think it trickles down,” Mrs. Hendry says. “We almost feel responsible for Millennials and Gen Z. I think every generation is going to call the one below them lazy — Boomers called Gen X lazy, you [Gen-Z] are [called] lazy…take it with pride. You’re lazy…until it matters.”

Lazy until it matters — I’ll take that as a compliment. Truthfully, I am sitting in bed whilst typing this, but I understand the importance of my writing, so, I’ll do whatever it takes to get it done. Persistence and being vocal about change is a common factor amongst Gen Z, and I agree with Mrs. Hendry — my generation really does do something to make a difference when it is important.

Millennials and those of Gen Z are close when it comes to the cutoff years of each generation, yet, according to Huffpost, it is almost insulting to mixup someone who is a part of Gen Z with someone who is a Millennial. Those in the Millennial age have been given the title of “oversensitive” and “social media obsessed”. However, Millennial members will argue that those stereotypes should be awarded to Generation Z.

When we set aside the many stereotypes each generation is awarded (whether they like it or not), each and every age cohort has gone through their own individualistic hardship that makes them truly a unique group of people. AP Government and Psychology instructor Mr. Vince Leporini, who is also a member of the Millennial squad, believes that “there is some hostility between generations, almost like siblings that compare each other.”

“You guys [Gen Z] are the young pups that don’t understand and our parents think the same about us. There is some Boomer-Millennial battle royale, but its just the age old generational argument.”

And I have to agree: it all comes down to the age old generational argument which involves one older generation having almost a superiority complex over the generations beneath them. We are all like siblings who just bicker with one another because, honestly, we are just human beings trying to get by, which makes us more similar than one may think.

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