At 18 years old, this world is terrifying. There’s a lot more to life than I could have ever guessed, and I feel as though my anxiety is this creature that hangs around my shoulders like a spider monkey, whispering into my ears every few minutes, saying, “Write that down in our list of scary shit.”
However, I think in 2021 it’s harder than ever to be a young person. It seems as though our generation has successfully made categories to shove people in and you’re judged heavily on what “type of person” you are. It’s hard being perceived, and it seems that’s all Gen Z wants to do. The type of clothes you wear, the way you talk, how your hair is done… All we want to do is make each other insecure and then turn around and preach about equality.
So what do you do when you know you don’t fit into any of those “categories”? How do you make friends when you know you’ll never truly fit in? What’s the point of trying to open up and be yourself when you constantly are made to feel like you have no sense of self due to not fitting into one of the boxes they try to shove you into?
I feel as though I have reached this point of acceptance about not having friends. I spend all of my time with my fiance and consider my dog my best friend. But I’m about to start college, and there’s a large part of me that hopes to get the experiences I’ve spent my life hearing about. Even if I decide not to go, I want to be invited to parties. I want people to sit at lunch with. I want to be able to call friends and ask for help on a homework assignment. How am I supposed to do that when I’m scared of talking to anyone and everyone?
As a generation, and the future of this world, we need to do better. We cannot preach about equality and fight for the acceptance of diversity without embracing those who don’t fit in. It is impossible to truly make a difference if we continue to rain down on our own parades and become our own enemies to a fight we are trying to end. Generation Z needs to learn to stand together instead of standing against each other, or we are no better than our parents and grandparents.