The Student News Site of Conestoga High School



Being Gen Z: era of student activism


By Aishi Debroy, Staff Reporter

As the decade is coming to an end, I have started to reflect on the negative stigma that has surrounded our generation. We are plagued with the preconceived notion that Gen Z is lazy, obsessed with our phones and overall “unprepared for the real world.”

Although there may be some truth in these accusations, I cannot help but reflect on the many milestones we have reached as a generation. There is an indescribable feeling to turn on the news and see that the headlines are filled with students my age advocating for something they believe is unjust with the world. I can only describe it as secondhand pride.

For example, environmental activist Greta Thunberg, at the age of 16, already inspired an international youth movement and educated millions on the effects of climate change. Her speech at the United Nations not only shocked our generation, but stimulated conversation among older generations. Her straight-forward and passionate, yet highly eloquent way of speaking, demands the attention of those in high-power positions. 

David Hogg, Emma González and the rest of the March For Our Lives student activists, organized over 1000 marches to condemn gun violence. Their condemnation of the National Rifle Association (NRA) has sparked a wave of social media conversation. 

These teens have one thing in common. They are not scared of anything, whether it be the press, politicians or even the president. That is why our generation has accomplished so much this past decade. This “brazen” character trait that we are often criticized for should be fully embraced. 

I feel completely inadequate hearing about these success stories, and the hardships many of these students went through to achieve the platform they now have. It is truly inspiring that they were able to command the attention of so many, and make them listen. Even celebrities and politicians are getting involved in these organizations, and it all started from a teenager.

We can learn from them. I surely have. The next time that I feel timid at school about defending my political opinion or speaking out against a rule that I find unfair, all I have to do is turn on the news or open a magazine, and I will find someone like me speaking up about something I was too scared to do. 

This is why I have high expectations of what we could do in the future. I expect a lot from Gen Z, because they expect more for themselves. We expect more than the impending crisis of global warming, thousands that die from gun violence a year and a government that continues to fail us. This is our future, and I am glad that we are taking steps to secure that it be one we want to live in.

Aishi Debroy can be reached at [email protected]

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