The youngest generation is changing the world
We are out for change. Whether we are called millennials, Post Millenials, the iGeneration, or Generation Z, those born at the turn of the century are proving themselves to the world. These high achieving, vocal, and ambitious youth are unlike any before them. The youngest American generation is creating waves on world stages, changing political environments they can not even vote in yet, and making their message clear. This is all through being vocal, whether its with a microphone or a tweet.
We were babies during the tragedy of 9/11 and the freak out of Y2K, and meer children through the Great Recession. We have no concept of life before the twin towers fell, which everyone speaks so fondly of, but of constant global terrorism and war. We saw technology take over with a snowball effect. In elementary school we craned our necks around the old brown projector, yet iPads replaced pencils before we reached graduation. Those who call us lazy, internet-dependent, or narcissistic are not paying attention. We grew up during national hardships and revolutions and came out strong, wise, and world-shaking.
The first and third gold medals won by Americans in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics were given to athletes born in the 21st century. Seventeen year old Redmond Gerald was almost late to the snowboard slopestyle final, after staying up all night binge-watching Brooklyn 99 with his roommate, but managed to take gold with a score of 87.16. Chloe Kim, holder of America’s third gold from this winter, listened to Lady Gaga and Cardi B on her winning halfpipe runs. Her story went viral, first for tweeting during her events, and again once her father’s journey as a South Korean immigrant was broadcasted. Eighteen year old figure skater Nathan Chen, and more than ten other Olympians under 25 have also contributed to Americans gold count. These teenagers made history on a global scale because of their hard work, but with their own 21st century stamp.
In a more tragic, but optimistic example, the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting are proving themselves, and their peers, to be important in the ongoing political conversations on gun control. Hours after a school shooter took the lives of 17 of their friends while they hid in closets and classrooms, the students took to their Twitter accounts, the news, and the streets, to express their grief and anger. These students are furious. They are not letting their trauma be swept away with thoughts and prayers by the media and politicians, like the 18 other school shootings that have occurred in 2018, according to Everytown for Gun Control.
Student Emma Gonzales now has more twitter followers than the National Rifle Association after her speech at an anti-gun rally three days after the shooting. The senior called out politicians, Trump included, for accepting donations from the NRA, and began the chant “shame on you!”. Her fellow classmates’ calls for change have caught the attention of the country, all the while they were attending their classmate’s funerals. Throughout the nation student-organized marches, protests, and school walkouts have sprouted in reaction to Parkland. On March 14th and April 20th students activists are calling for students to walk out of class and a March for Our Lives will occur on March 24th in front of the Ohio Statehouse. Show our legislators you care about feeling safe at school, and are ready for voice to be heard. I hope to see you out there.