OPINION: “Your generation is so entitled.”


Courtesy of Maddie Mullenix

2020 seniors gave their goodbyes before schools were shut down from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chloe Wilson-Henline, Opinion Writer

When I think of Gen Z, I think of over-worked, underpaid people who are fighting for a better future for themselves. Is it selfish to want more? What is the problem with wanting to live a fulfilling, successful life?

Gen Z is driven, cares deeply about others, strives for a diverse community and is the most accepting generation to date. What could really be so bad?

When Baby Boomers think of Gen Z, they think of entitled lazy people who have no desire to work. The truth is Gen Z is in a constant state of anxiety while trying to make things right.

Only 45% of Gen Z report that their mental health is good or excellent. Factors like the rise in school shootings, student debt and joblessness contribute to Gen Z’s chronic stress.

Why is this the case?

Gen Z is in a constant battle of trying to undo mistakes from other generations’ carelessness.

I was born in 2001. In my lifetime I have gone through the aftermath of 9/11, the 2007 recession, the fight against terrorism, political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are told to just work hard and we can have anything that we want. As a full-time student, I am constantly trying to better myself through higher education. I also work to make sure I have money to survive, but it is just not enough. I work hard and try to do everything right, just like the rest of Gen Z, but why can’t I stay afloat?

The minimum wage in Ohio right now is $10.10. The cost of living has gone up 6.5% just this past year. In 1980, higher education cost the average American $10,231 annually. By 2020, Forbes said the price increased to $28,775. That is a 180% increase. People can’t survive in these conditions, and Gen Z is trying to fight back.

This generation is trying to use their voices but somehow always gets ignored. The stereotypes that are put on Gen Z put a limit on who will listen. People don’t want to hear from someone who they think is a whiny, entitled brat. Gen Z has shown time and time again that this could not be further from the truth, but we still find ourselves being ignored at every turn. But with every voice silenced comes 10 more ready to speak up. No one will be able to silence this generation, no matter how many times they are ignored.

Gen Z is fighting for better government officials to fight these problems. Starbucks employees are going on strike for better wages. Nurses are protesting for better working conditions.

This generation is fighting for people to care. You might think entitled, but I think empowered. An entire generation is finally standing up for what is right.

Chloe Wilson-Henline is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].