The generation of which I am a part, born in the 90s and continuing into the 21st century, has many stigmas attached to it. These need to be laid to rest.
We are the culture of technology. We live in the age of Apple, equipped with laptops, iPhones, and iPads, Twitters, Instagrams, Facebooks and Email. We’re connected to each other in every which way. We follow people online that we don’t genuinely care about yet fail to show those in the real world that we do exactly how much.
We live in a paradox. As the baby boomers and our parents create and develop a plethora of technologies and online applications, we get chastised for using them. The ‘lazy generation’ we’re called. But are we really?
With Netflix binge watching and the ability to communicate with people around the world at the tip of our fingers, we may not have to work as hard as our ancestors in some aspects. But in others, the human generation has never worked so hard.
My generation experiences a level of pressure none others have. We’re the ones that will deal with national debt in 15 years, the ones with outstanding college tuition prices, crushing curriculums and impossible job searches.
Generations who came before us laid a path for us, saying that they wanted us to “have an easier life.” And so we have it- at least in terms of laundry machines, microwaves, food preparation and home activities.
By doing so, by giving us an “easier life” in some aspects, they made others more difficult than necessary.
The pressure put on students for ‘the perfect GPA,’ is ridiculous. Schooling has become mainstream. The American education system has turned into one trying to verse its citizens on broad subjects that don’t determine knowledge or success. We’re falling behind China in terms of education, yet we’re putting the emphasis on success rather than actual learning.
My generation is taught to make straight A’s, to constantly prepare for the future. In middle school we had to push ourselves to prepare for high school. In high school we had to push ourselves to prepare for college (which set ridiculous standards for admission). In college we must now prepare for our future job. In our first job we must be successful and prepare for the one we eventually want. In that job we must prepare for retirement. In retirement we must plan for our grandchildren.
Well that’s enough. Preparation isn’t everything. Achievement isn’t everything. The 93 I made is no better than the 98 I could have. The pressure to be perfect, to accomplish something and be overly successful- well it’s ending.
Our parents cannot call us the lazy, technologically stricken generation if we are pushed to do better than they ever did. We cannot be chastised for using their inventions, for not getting a perfect GPA, when they left us with a nation in trillions of dollars of debt, having to live up to impossible standards. We are not lazy because we only know our multiplication by calculator, when we’re solving Calculus IV problems that many can’t even read correctly.
We live in a world that puts pressure on us to fight poverty, end world hunger and cure cancer; so sorry if I took a break from my seven classes and five extracurricular activities to watch Gossip Girl on Netflix. Let me remind you, I’m not the one that lived through the era of “make love not war.”
My generation is hard working, and if you have any questions about that, you’re welcome to read my transcript.