Allison McWilliams is assistant vice president of mentoring and alumni personal and career development in the Office of Personal and Career Development. She writes occasional articles for Inside WFU. This is the first for the fall semester. In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff from her professional experiences with students.
Each fall, when the new class of students hits US college campuses, Beloit College releases its annual Mindset List, the things that shapes that group’s world view and perspective. It’s a fun list, with many stabs to the heart as we realize how old the rest of us really are. Whether or not these “facts of life” shape who these young people are, one considerable shift is taking place that most certainly will: the much-researched and much-maligned Generation Y, or Millennial Generation, have graduated. Get ready for Generation Z.
Who is Generation Z? They are so young, it’s hard to generalize as of yet (though that’s not stopping anyone). But here are some things that people are starting to predict, based on what we know about the current economic, social, and political climate:
What does this mean for us, the mentors? A few key things stand out:
Generation Z is here. We won’t know for several more years what that really means, for us and for them. But our roles remain the same: help them discover who they are as individuals, make intentional choices and decisions, set goals and pursue them, and reflect on what they are learning and how to apply it.