Hey everyone! This is a post that has been written with the purpose of exposing an empowering generation Z. I was inspired to write this post because of a powerful speaker who I had the chance to hear at tea at my grandmothers church. This orator was Ms. Sharon Sewell, mayor of Bremen, Georgia. Mayor Sewell spoke to the women about a great need that the world has for women of all generations to share their knowledge with those younger than them, especially their knowledge regarding the Bible and the miracles that God has performed in their lives.
Mayor Sewell went on to give a little bit of background on the different generations that people tend to think of when generations are described. Such as, the Baby Boomers, the Silent Generation, Millennials, Generation Y and so on. When she reached generation Z, the most recent generation, she vocalized that Generation Z does not yet have defining characteristics. The next comment she said has stayed with me. “We do not yet know what will become of Generation Z.” I don’t know about you but to me that comment excites me because Generation Z has the power to create a name for ourselves that we are truly proud of. We have the ability to look at generations that came before us and understand why they made the choices they did, and then we can carry on with the wisdom of how we should go.
I was sure however that Gen Z must have some general descriptions, so I began to do some research. Generation Z are those of us that were born after 1996. Gen Z is known as being very technologically savvy because of growing up with frequent internet access, they’re also independent because of watching their parents and others struggle in the work force. This is a excerpt from Wikipedia that chronicles some characteristics that have been observed in Gen Z.
“A 2014 study Generation Z Goes to College found that Generation Z students self-identify as being loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible, and determined. How they see their Generation Z peers is quite different from their own self-identity. They view their peers as competitive, spontaneous, adventuresome, and curious; all characteristics that they do not see readily in themselves.
A 2016 U.S. study found that church attendance during young adulthood was 41% among Generation Z, compared with 18 percent for Millennials at the same ages, 21 percent of Generation X, and 26 percent of baby boomers.
Generation Z is generally more risk-averse in certain activities than earlier generations. In 2013, 66% of teenagers (older members of Generation Z) had tried alcohol, down from 82% in 1991. Also in 2013, 8% of Gen. Z teenagers never or rarely wear a seat belt when riding in a car with someone else, as opposed to 26% in 1991.
Research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation conducted in 2016 found Generation Z youth had lower teen pregnancy rates, less substance abuse, and higher on-time high school graduation rates compared with Millennials. The researchers compared teens from 2008 and 2014 and found a 40% drop in teen pregnancy, a 38% drop in drug and alcohol abuse, and a 28% drop in the percentage of teens who did not graduate on time from high school.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Generation Z is keen to look after their money and make the world a better place. In a quote by journalist Harry Wallop, he states, “Unlike the older Gen Y, they are smarter, safer, more mature and want to change the world.”
These studies help drive home the idea that generation Z isn’t a generation of reckless youth but a group of young people who are ready to change the world and themselves for the better. This post is a challenge to generation Z to really embrace these statistics and create a name for themselves that stands up against the negative stereotypes of young people and shows those older than us an example. I hope that one day in the future people will say, generation Z was a generation that saw what they wanted in their world and made it happen. Wouldn’t that be phenomenal?