Gen Z students will make a positive impact on FIU

The newest batch of FIU freshmen, all of which are a part of Generation Z, attended orientation this summer. Tamica Jean-Charles/PantherNOW

Viharachard Dorval/Contributing Writer

Generation Z is Generation smart, or at least Generation well-informed.  

These students, born between 1995 and 2012, have never known a world without the internet, allowing them to connect globally and access information in droves. Now that these digital pioneers are ready for college, it will be fascinating to see how they impact the world.

The differences between these students and previous generations were evident when FIU welcomed the incoming Fall freshman class to its mandatory orientation.

Having attended my own orientation five years ago, I recall the surge of fear and excitement beaming off the wall as my peers and I trembled in anticipation for our future. Many of us had no clue what we wanted to major in but looked forward to the experience of it all.

But something about this group was different. The chatter among students seemed direct and decisive. Conversations about FIU graduation rates and post-graduation salaries depending on their major took precedence over the newness and wonder of it all. Each time an advisor or peer counselor mentioned something about the school, students were ready, phone in hand, to fact check or challenge each piece of information they received. Throughout the remainder of the orientation, I realized how prepared a lot of these students were, maybe a little too prepared.  

Gen Z will likely be the most influential and well-informed generation yet. Likely affected by the mistakes of previous generations, they’re fully equipped with knowledge of the past and high, yet practical, hopes for the future.

Even so, it’s surprising that most post-Millenials are still pursuing college, according to a study done at the Pew Research Center. According to a Federal Reserve analysis, as of August 2018, student loan debt is around $1.5 trillion. College has also gotten extremely competitive with test scores and GPA varying from university to university.

So why doesn’t the so-called “information generation” use this information as a cautionary tale to skip college as a whole? It’s their critical approach and determination to make their mark on this world. What they lack in experience they make up for in access to information. They can  break down what degree will secure a well-paying job post-graduation, how to have and build credit, and what the cost of living as a college student is.

From using innovative hashtags to offering fresh perspectives on inclusion, this generation’s level of influence and activism will no doubt affect college campuses. Gen Z may have its naysayers who question their level of maturity and work ethic. But they will set out to debunk these myths by using the very thing that sets them apart from past generations: an unprecedented amount of resources matched with a practical view of success.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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