BEIRUT: Overachieving: a way to be unique and gain a place in the adult world when they think that Gen Z is a disappointment.
Blake Atwood, my professor in the history of media at AUB, says that each generation thinks they’re special, that they are experiencing the epitome of progression and the world will only get better after they’ve transformed it.
Some of Generation Z thinks that we have an advantage which the older generations did not have: a global perspective. “It would also mean that when the time comes for Gen Z to partake in the political activities. They would vote according to that perspective,” said 17-year-old student, Rami Suleiman, “our thoughts and actions can be more thoroughly evaluated. As of now, we’re only able to pressure the higher-ups. But later, we will share the power they have. We need to make sure not to lose this global perspective as our voices become more relevant.”
Transformation: is it really that easy with older generations putting minimal to zero hope in us, whilst we shuffle around our present problems? Gen Z’s quest is the existential vacuum or, so I’ve heard a YouTuber say.
Millennials have had strong role models while our definition of a model to emulate is very malleable. How can it ever be enough or valid? It feels like the age where everyone older thinks we’re so dependent and lazy, meanwhile, our truth is that we’re lonely and trying.
But this acts as a motive for Suleiman because he would want to refute those expectations to seek and achieve high standards. He said: “maybe because I feel like it's only natural to continue such a path, I also seek to impress them and show them that I am able to achieve more than what they did, regardless of my generation.”
We Gen. Zs try to establish ourselves in this overwhelming world of constantly shifting identities, politics that control our futures and the failing economy of our country; the failing expectations that we have of this country, and the hope that some of us latch onto while others book flights.
This generation in some way is constantly trying to prove itself. Even when I’m writing this I’m frightened of the older generations belittling what we face because of their notion that all of what they went through is far worse. Millennials and Generation X have also suffered such criticisms by their predecessors.
The Lebanese civil war and the July 2006 war were surely horrid and have affected the generations that were exposed. But how does comparing one generation’s struggles with the other benefit and aid?
Gen Z can’t make something of itself unless it rises beyond satisfying older generations. That’s as much as we can do, persevere and not spread any feelings of entitlement or superiority to upcoming generations. We exist simply and unapologetically--anything beyond that is pure fear of invalidity.
Celine Al-Jamil is an 18-year-old sophomore majoring in Media and Communications at AUB.
Annahar English is officially launching a teen-writing section entitled Gen. Z Voices and invites all students, ages 14 to 18, to submit essays, school-oriented news articles, life commentaries and more. No school assignments or poetry please, thnx. Tell the readers about what is on the minds of the youth of Lebanon. Send manuscripts for consideration to Gen Z editor Chiri Choukeir, firstname.lastname@example.org
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