Generation Z’s effect on the world

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Generation Z’s effect on the world

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By Audrey Perry

One of the most noticeable attributes of the way of life of American Generation Z kids, is the environment we are growing up in. We are surrounded by political turmoil and events, that are starting to define who we are. These things include the recent elections, both presidential and local, the 122 mass shootings that have occurred since 1995, the beginning of our generation (Slate), natural disasters, and turbulent change in the fight for equality and rights in many aspects, as well as other significant events. All of these things bringing both positive and negative effects on the world around us. This is no different than the generations before us, experiencing their own trials and tribulations. And the same decision is given to us as has been given to our parents and grandparents. We have a choice to decide how we want to change and take care of the world before leaving it to the next generation. The next step is choosing how we want to leave a mark.

The American youth has had a history of being involved in change. From the 1899 Newsboys strike to the Little Rock Nine to LA Walkouts in 1968 and the Vietnam War Protests to the movements of today. It’s these movements that are shaping how we respond today. In recent years many students and young people have stepped forward in standing up for rights and fighting for justice, the most recent being the March For Our Lives movement. Following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students from the school united with students across the country forming walk- outs and protesting the injustices of the gun control system. Now over a year later, they are still continuing to work towards reform on gun laws to make the world a safer place.

There is a common misconception that because of your young age, there is little you can do to become involved and make a difference in the world we are living in. This can be manifested by our inability to vote, or become involved personally in politics, or not have the resources to start something without support. While youth can sometimes be at a disadvantage, there are many ways that you can become involved.

1. Know your beliefs and passions

2. Join an organization that aligns with your beliefs

3. Educate yourself and become informed

4. Call your representatives and legislators

5. Help others become involved

“I know there are so many amazing people all around the world standing up for what’s right. I also know there are people denying facts and not doing anything about our current state. I want to advise past generations that we can help the environment can carry on this world for future generations.” – Lydia Skold (11)

“I’m not confident but I’m hopeful for the future. I think what I can do for Gen Z is to just keep following what I believe will help. It’s important to stick to your own opinions and beliefs while also keeping an open mind.” – Leah Schartz (11)

“I feel confident in the future of the United states. Right now we are in a state where we can see exactly what we need to fix to ensure success as a nation. The last step is effort.” – Morgan Weis (11)

“I feel like our generation is using new technologies largely for good, and our upcoming political power and the new emphasis on voting in our generation really will make an impact at the polls… Even just having most of Gen. Z voting will give an advantage. We also seem more largely united than previous generations and that gives me hope for the future of the US government. I really think that encouraging people to vote will cause the greatest change–that’s what puts the change into effect in the first place.” – Jack Amen (11)

“I think that my generation is becoming a lot more understanding and tolerant towards groups of people unlike themselves when it comes to socioeconomic standards, religion, race and sexuality… We have to find a way to connect with the current leaders so that they know what we believe to better serve their constituents. All this being said, I think that Gen Z will have a positive effect on the future.” – Ainsley Frederick (11)

Lincoln High is filled with people looking to make a difference. The most important thing is making that decision for yourself and finding others around you to go and change the world. The look towards the future is hopeful. There are so many ways that young people can make change, and Generation Z already has a head start. Let’s learn from what has happened in the past, and in our lifetimes use it for the better, ensuring a future for us and the next generations.