Students from Generation Z started heading to campus in 2013. While they already make up about a third of the U.S. population, they also think differently from the millennials who came before them, according to an article for Campus Technology.
The authors of the book Generation Z Goes to College, which surveyed more than 1,100 college students from 15 schools across the country, found that Gen Z students who lived through the recession of 2008 tend to be more career-minded. They also want to find ways to influence “structural problems” that impact their own families and friends, as well as communities around the world.
They see themselves as loyal, compassionate, responsible, and open-minded, and are motivated to help and please others. At the same time, they are concerned with education, employment, and racial equality. They have little interest in a political system they view as dysfunctional.
“Millennials were raised during a budget surplus and tend to be optimistic and hopeful. Generation Z is a lot more pragmatic and down to earth,” said Corey Seemiller, who teamed with Meghan Grace on the project. “Generation Z is a little more cautious when thinking about how everything is going to be great because they have been grounded in a sense of reality by their parents, who are by and large Generation Xers, who have been deemed cynical rebels in some ways.”