By Mac Pomeroy
My dad is one of the greatest people I have ever known, but also the most headstrong. Along with being a constant rock to lean on, he is a constant thorn in my side. Just like most middle aged men, once he sets his mind to something, he rarely, if ever, changes it.
This leads to plenty of disagreements between us — nothing too serious, and we still get along great. However, one of these disagreements include our opinions on my generation: Generation Z and millennials.
Just to clarify, millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which is when Gen Z began. So, despite being born at the beginning of the millennia, I am a Gen Zer. Although they’re two separate groups, both have very similar criticisms.
According to my dad and other adults of the older generation, people born in the millenial and Gen Z lack the etiquette of former generations. Claims include that we are rude, ungrateful, caught up in our phones, overly offended and, in general, just a “bunch of soft pansies” compared to those before us.
I won’t deny that perhaps some of these claims are true for some. However, society often spends so much time focusing on the flaws of the few that it ignore the great qualities of the many.
Yes, we are heavily involved with our phones and technology, but that only means we are able to connect to each other more.
Millennials and Gen Zers take full advantage of their cellphones and are able to keep in touch with their friends, despite busy schedules.
For instance, one of my friends is in the ROTC, has a full time school schedule and works a long job. But, through apps like Snapchat, we still manage to talk everyday.
The younger generation also embraces its imperfections. Some may say we are “soft” or “lazy,” but really we have learned to take a stand against discrimination.
Yes, prior generations’ members worked hard and didn’t stop but sometimes also burnt themselves out and neglected self care. Unlike what older people (such as my loving father) think, millennials and Gen Zers work incredibly hard. We work for our grades, hold jobs and have families and friends.
However, we are more likely to stop if the workload becomes too much. We can identify if something isn’t worth the personal damage and stop, even if it’s just to find another solution.
Those of younger generations often prioritize their own mental and physical well-being and don’t glorify overworking.
Beyond all of this, the biggest reason I like members of my generation is that we accept others more willingly than generations before us.
Walking around campus, you can see there is so much diversity in YSU’s student body. Yet, we hardly seem to notice the differences of those around us. Instead, we see the similarities.
Since starting my college career, I have seen this more and more. Many of my peers are willing to go out of their way and help and befriend others, regardless of the differences among us that older generations viewed as strange or bad.
For how strong-willed my father is, we agreed on how welcoming my generation is. He is turning 52 this week and for all that I say about him, he isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind. In his eyes, we had started to achieve a better reputation.
To me, our generation’s willingness to accept and welcome others is why I feel that we shouldn’t be given the bad reputation that often falls upon millennials and Gen Zers. This is why I will never feel like I was born in the wrong generation. I am exactly where I want to be.