Gen Z, It's Time to Wake Up.
Generation Z is a relentlessly passionate generation. Generation Z is made up of some of the most insightful visionaries and innovative thinkers in American history. Generation Z is also the most ignorantly uninformed and self-seeking generation in American history. How do I know all of these things to be true? And, more importantly, how did I have permission to make the previous statements without risking being offensive? Well, it's because Generation Z is my generation. At just seventeen years old, I am a part of Generation Z-- and, believe it or not, proudly so. There's no other generation in American history that I'd rather be a part of, because no other generation before us has the exact same unique opportunity that we do. Generation Z has the opportunity to steer America back on course and make our nation a much better place for generations to come. Our generation will be the generation to make or break the nation. Our generation will be the generation to protect freedom, or to let it slip through our fingers. Will we choose the latter? I certainly hope not. That said, it's not all looking good for Gen Z, and that's why I'm sounding the alarm.
According to the most recent study on the matter conducted by the Morning Consult, only 16% of Generation Z (ages 18-25) are proud to be Americans. That's right, not even a quarter of young adults in America are proud to live here. This study was heartbreaking to me, a young woman who dearly loves her country and longs for a promising future of hope and unalienable freedom. I dove into this issue a little further, checking out more studies conducted correlating between my generation and our insufficient political involvement. According to Circle: Center for Information Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, a whopping 42% of Generation Z that was eligible to vote didn't vote in last year's midterms because they, and I quote, "Forgot or were too busy." Wow. Just when I had thought that I couldn't be more disappointed, I found myself proven wrong. How could my generation be so dismissive of one of our most basic, fundamental rights as an American? How could we so quickly take for granted the opportunity we have to make America a better place for future generations? The disheartening reality of the matter is that Generation Z, as a whole, simply does not care about politics. Now that we know that, though, we have the chance to truly be intentional about capturing the attention of my generation.
At this point, you're probably asking yourself the same question that I've been asking for months... how do we get Gen Z to care? The answer to our question is ridiculously simple: we make politics about them. We have to take an entertaining, relatable approach to politics if we want to capture and hold the attention of Generation Z. Social media is a realm where many young people spend a significant amount of their time, which makes it a powerful tool for engaging them in politics. One thing I've noticed about my generation is that we're quick to jump behind issues, but not-so-many of us attain reasoning behind why we believe what we believe. Young Americans who are informed, care about the future, and are even slightly tech-savvy should be quick to create and share content diving into the why behind what we believe. In order to sell patriotism to our generation and get them to buy into it, we have to explain why what we believe in matters to them and precisely how it affects them directly.
Another huge way for any student at any school in America to make a difference is by starting (or joining) a Turning Point USA chapter. As an official ambassador for the organization, I can say with confidence that there's no organization making a greater impact on America for freedom than Turning Point USA. Young Americans for Freedom is another wonderful organization for young people to plug in to. I'm not getting paid to promote either of those organizations, but they've equipped me personally to be able to go out and stand up for my beliefs. I don't take that for granted, and I don't want any other young people to miss the opportunity that I consider life-changing and invaluable. Any student is welcome to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will personally direct them on how to get involved with the pro-America organization of their choosing.
To any grandparents, parents or other adults out there who want to make a difference for my generation-- the role that you play in the battle to win over Gen Z is super important. Mentorship for young people is a crucial facet for America's success. It is up to the adults to guide the young people closest to them as well as they can. One of the most beneficial actions that adults can take is to prompt my generation to think for themselves. Your niece isn't sure what she believes or why she should even care about politics? Well, Sunday night dinner with her is the perfect opportunity for you to ask her about her opinion on an issue. Challenge her to form her own thoughts. Free-thinking is the first step to growth and will gradually spark passion for further youth involvement.
Without active engagement, Gen Z risks having their future determined by decisions they had no hand in making. What a tragedy it would be for a generation with such incredible potential to waste every bit of it because they failed to realize that the freedom they take for granted protects their livelihoods. We can no longer voluntarily jeopardize our own future. The moment to be bold, initiate difficult conversations, and speak without fear is right now. Although Generation Z's apathy towards our nation and the political world seems like an insurmountable obstacle, it's really a huge opportunity. I refuse to waste it, and I hope that you'll join me.