Sally Zhang checks her Instagram for a reply from a company she’s partnered with. “ I just started making things that I thought looked cool and then people started following me.” Zhang said of her ever-growing following of 92 thousand.

The world has changed, and the people living on it have changed as well. Each generation in America possesses its own qualities that separate it from the generation prior and the generation to come. Everyone has heard about baby-boomers and millennials, but what about today’s teenagers, the students of Dreyfoos? What about Generation Z?


It is unclear when Generation Z really started, some say the mid-1990s, and some say from the year 2000 onward.  Nonetheless, current Dreyfoos students are encompassed in both. The qualities and characteristics that make Generation Z unique are still widely unknown, but there are certain traits already appear that set Gen Z apart from Millennials.


According to Sparks & Honey, a “24/7 culture newsroom”, Generation Z   of our time period is most similar to the Silent Generation of the early 20th Century. The biggest trait, according to demographers, that Gen Z has that Millennials lack is an entrepreneurial spirit.


Visual sophomore Sally Zhang is one such entrepreneur, with a successful Instagram account with 92 thousand followers featuring poetry from various writers on the web she has partnered with a clothing company called White Market USA, to make herself a profit.  


“I make money without actually having a real stable job, so that’s obviously something new to our generation,” Zhang said. I can use technology to my benefit and make money off of it.”


Despite Gen Z’s relations to both Millennials and Baby Boomers, they are in fact most similar to the Silent Generation. Both were born on the eve of global conflict, Gen Z was born in the aftermath of 9/11 and have grown up in a world combatting terrorism, while the Silent Generation was born on the eve of the second World War. Both generations suffered through recessions, and both seem to be more realistic in their career goals as a result.  Jobs like doctors, lawyers, and biologists have replaced dreams of being famous astronauts, actresses,  or singers.  According to Sparks & Honey, 72 percent of high schoolers want to start a business. In the “Social Media Generation”, that’s easier than ever because opportunities are just knocking at the door.


That was what happened with Zhang. “A clothing company just direct messaged me and I see some other accounts also making money on [Instagram].” Zhang said.


Generation Z is also more multicultural than any previous generation. There has been a 400 percent increase in mixed marriages, and multiracial youth is the fastest growing youth group. According to the 2010 census, there has been a 50 percent increase of multiracial youth, this may explain why Gen-Zers care more about social issues,  such as race and gender.


Younger generations are often blamed by older generations for ruining everything from the housing market to dating rituals to our economy.  But Baby Boomers fail to realize that growing up today isn’t a constant swarm of coddling and self-entitlement. Instead it is a cut-throat chase to a thinning top tier.  As the Internet continues to gain popularity, many jobs we are training for may be gone by the time it is our turn to join the workforce.


Generation Z is fascinating in that the environment they grew up in is completely different than any previous time. Children are more worldly than ever before.  This creates a sympathy with other countries that no other generation could feel in as much detail.


Today, the Internet has broadened even a child’s world view.  While past generation’s lives were only as broad as they could afford to pay for an international call, today sites like Omegle can put you in contact with someone anywhere around world in seconds.


.Growing up in the 21st Century, like in any time period before us, is exciting, but frightening.  While excited, many are riddled with anxiety about the future.  The world we are growing up in is a new one, and what becomes of us will be unprecedented.