The degrading of this generation’s youth has become shockingly common. Between memes only ‘80s kids can relate to and Buzzfeed quizzes Gen Z’ers can’t even get 1/12 on, we’re incessantly fed the idea that us “kids these days” simply aren’t as good as the children of the good ol’ days.

Yes, with rapidly evolving technology, young children in today’s society have very different sources of entertainment. That doesn’t mean they’re spoiled and entitled. Yes, most children don’t have to “walk 20 miles with a 100-pound backpack in the pouring rain to school”. That doesn’t mean they don’t know how to work hard. Yes, past generations have fought persistently for the rights kids now have. That certainly doesn’t mean our youth isn’t willing to fight right now.

Ever since she started her “school strike for climate change” outside the Swedish parliament building at the young age of 15, now 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has become a respected Swedish climate change activist. Though she has selective mutism, Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Greta’s voice was clear, strong, and incredibly powerful when she spoke at the People’s Climate March in Sweden. This shows how Gen Z’ers are able to channel the obstacles in life positively, and are aware of the issues facing our society.

More so than past generations, Gen Z is full of kids with admirable entrepreneurship and business skills. As young as the age of 3, they are making millions off of YouTube channels. There are many kids who have started their own companies, such as 9-year-old Moziah Bridges’ Mo’s Bows, and 8-year-old Maya Penn’s Maya’s Ideas.

This generation’s youth is incredibly open-minded, in the sense that they are accepting of all people no matter what race, size or gender. They form LGBTQ+ clubs and support groups to make sure that everyone feels welcome in their community. Kids also take part in marches and protests to help fulfill rights that not everyone has.

Despite older generations’ negative perceptions, “kids these days” are motivated, hard-working, intelligent, compassionate, and so much more. We need to stop looking at children as spoiled brats, and start seeing them as a generation that brings a promising outlook into the future.

Aspiring journalist Harini Senthilkumar will be a ninth-grader at Eden Prairie High School this fall. She enjoys singing and writing.

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