It is typical to see older generations complain about the way us younger generations wish for a drastic change when they never had to deal with some of the struggles that we do now. It’s easy for them to say, “go get an education, get a job and buy a house,” since they could easily do these things when they were in their 20s. These things are no longer easily accessible to everyone; they leave young people with crippling amounts of debt and entering a workforce that cannot provide for them. The burnout that ensues after years of working up to a wage that finally allows them to afford a place to live leaves them with mental health issues that in turn, affect every minuscule area of their lives.
I feel that most Gen Z’s have watched Millennials grow up and struggle their entire lives. The number of headlines I’ve seen about Millennials being depressed, having fewer to no kids, struggling financially to pay off student loans, and more, has made me less and less enthusiastic about growing up, and I’m not the only one. Gen Z is hungry for a change, and we are actively making the changes that we want to see every day.
Gen Z makes up about 33% of the population, which gives us power in numbers, but we have much more than just that. Gen Z is a generation that has been and continues to be, one of change. Social media has been a game-changer in this way, giving us access to information, to content created by others that we learn from every day, and the ability to actively advocate for the issues that matter to us. We know more about the world each day and are constantly learning more about not only local issues but global ones too. The power that this generation holds and the young leaders we are producing give me hope things will change very soon. The hardest part is undoing the damage that the generations before us have done.
The kind of work that Gen Z wants to do has to do with their morals and their drive to change the world. This means working for companies and corporations that align with those values and working in careers that give them opportunities to take part in the things that are important to them. There is a kind of passion present when it comes to career choice, and it goes far beyond just what Gen Z wants to do for work; the 9-5 could come to an end with our generation, simply because it does not align with what is most important in life anymore.
This has been a topic far before it was one for my generation; Millennials have been tired of the 40-hour work week, spending all their time working and none of their time doing the things that remind them they are human beings. Most jobs entail unrealistic standards, unpaid overtime, no benefits, and low wages, so it’s no wonder people, especially young people, are becoming increasingly more aware of the fact that this is no way to live. People are beginning to find alternative ways to make money and support themselves, but not everyone has the same opportunity available to them.
Guaranteed Liveable Income
Many MPs and Senators in Canada have been fighting for a universal basic income, also known as a guaranteed liveable income, in the country. Seeing how CERB and other forms of government subsidy funds that were offered during the COVID-19 pandemic have helped Canadians immensely, it is something that we now see is most definitely possible, in a much better form, one that does not exclude anyone. The Honourable Senator Kim Pate has been “advocating for adequate income, not just basic income” among the Senate. I have seen young people advocating for this far more than I’ve seen people my parents’ ages and older, yet it is a motion that would solve a multitude of issues for people across the country.
Guaranteed liveable income is something I see coming into effect with Gen Z, which will create more jobs in areas that are enjoyable for people. I don’t think it should be considered controversial to fight for equality and equity and ensure that all Canadians have at least what they need to live. A place to stay, food on the table, enough to provide for a family, without having to work multiple jobs. Guaranteed liveable income would also prioritize people’s health, both physical and mental. It’s called a universal basic income, and we are fighting for it because it is obvious that the jobs people work today cannot provide the necessities anymore.
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Speaking out and Activism
If there’s one thing that could define Gen Z, it would be the way that we speak up and speak out. Names like Malala Yousafzai, Emma Gonzalez, Yara Shahidi, and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez have all been starters of change. Collectively, I’ve seen these individuals do so much for the causes they represent, whether it has to do with equality, education, gun laws, etc. Young people, and young women of color especially, have been the faces and the leaders of movements that have shaken the world, inspired people, and advocated for change. Our access to social media has furthered movements, like the #freePalestine movement recently. Although young people should be enjoying their youth, I feel that young people are forced to grow up, forced to fight against the systems in place in a way that no teenagers should have to.
Gen Z is a generation very different from others in so many ways, I feel we are a generation that looks out for everyone. We fight for what is right; we use our platforms to speak out against injustice in the world, and we choose our careers wisely, hoping to make a real change in people’s lives. I see so much potential in my classmates and friends; I see opportunities for women, for minorities, and I see leaders in the making. I see more young people involved in politics and using their voices to make a change. I see young people educating themselves on world issues, donating to places that need it, and taking the time out of their day to make educational content. I fully believe this generation will be the generation of change, and I am excited to be a part of it. Let us know what you think in the comments.!