Not your grandma’s lifestyle

Mike DeMint loves being a Baby Boomer. “My generation has been one that accepts responsibility.

Alyssa VanHook

Mike DeMint loves being a Baby Boomer. “My generation has been one that accepts responsibility.”

Generational differences lie deep within the core values and beliefs that a group of people were raised with and that the majority share. As time progresses, the generations after them seem to have completely different preferences in life. One very important difference in the recent generations is the difference in how young adults start their lives and what they want out of them. 

According to the University of Southern Florida, research shows that early life decisions like further education, jobs, relationships and starting a family all rank differently as priorities for different generations. 

The Silent Generation, born between the late 1920s to the mid 1940s, is a generally conservative group of individuals who were strict and traditional in the way that they lived their lives. They grew up in a time after the Great Depression and were humble and hardworking people that lived as a nuclear family. 

Finding a partner and starting a family was a high priority. Men would work a respectable, long-lasting career where they would work up the ladder until they retired. Women were expected to stay home and look after their children. 

Their children, named after the boost in population after World War II, are the Baby Boomers. They were born between the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s and are the largest generation in US history. 

The American dream was promoted during their adolescence so these people grew up to be very self- assured with a strong work ethic. Boomers know what they want and aren’t afraid to get it- in work and their home lives. The traditional family life started to deteriorate with the Boomers and they have the highest rate of divorces of any generation. 

Generation X are the children of Boomers and were alive during the counterculture movements of the 1970s. They are more skeptical of authority and aren’t as focused on work as previous generations. 

Generation X has a better balance between work and family life than previous generations. This generation also started the shift in gender roles within a family. Women began working as much as men and began relying on daycare centers to watch their children. 

English teacher Jessica Martell is apart of the Millennial generation. “We got to make our mistakes before they could be captured on video and shared in an instant, and we got to develop our identities before “influencers” existed.” (Alyssa VanHook)

Millennials are currently aged 40 to 25 and are more independent than their parents and grandparents. This generation is the most educated outside of high school and is more likely to put off having a family in favor of having an established career. 

Millennials entered the workforce in the middle of the recession and its aftermath during the late 2000s. This majorly affected them economically while they were coming into adulthood. Most typically have an earn-to-spend relationship with money which differs from previous generations’ need to save money. 

Generation Z is just now entering adulthood and is considered the most unique generation to date. Currently aged 26 to 12, they are the second largest and most racially and ethnically diverse generation to ever exist. 

One contrast Gen Z will have with their older counterparts is the field of work they will go into. Gen Z has had the most exposure to technology throughout their lives, and is therefore more likely to go into a job involving it. Social media influencers, managers and marketers are just a few of the new jobs popping up with the innovations in the way we use technology. 

Gen Z also is projected to choose jobs with better assets outside of pay. Mental health days, paid time off, and companies with a good reputation are things that Gen Z will look for when finding a career. 

Thalia Sayre was born into Generation Z. “I like Gen Z’s style and way we use technology. (Alyssa VanHook)

According to a survey by Uncaged, the majority of individuals who are a part of Generation Z were more interested in finding their dream job rather than a higher paying one. College was also high on their priorities though getting a good job without a degree seemed achievable to them. 

Gen Z also seems likely to follow the footsteps of millennials and put off having a family. 55% of survey respondents said that establishing a career is more important than having children and getting married. 

In the past, traditional family roles with marriage and children were popular among young men and women. Focusing on the right career choices for a particular person appears to be the way young people will prioritize their lives in the present. Trends within generations come and go, but as time goes on they seem to be changing in a way that benefits an individual.