We are the future. The decisions we make now will affect who we become and how we impact the world around us. In “Generation Y,” Brandi talks about the pitfalls of our generation. She makes it seem as if the world is doomed because of the leaders who will come from our generation. I disagree.
The first thing Brandi talks about is the problems at her small high school. “Brutality is very much alive here ... we too have cliques, drugs, sex, arrogant jocks with bad cases of homophobia, envious and mean girls, and a large number of students on anti-depressants.” I asked my parents if they were exposed to these things when they were my age and my mom, in her sweet Southern accent, responded, “Baby girl, that stuff was all around us. It just seems worse now because it’s constantly talked about. I had a friend who got pregnant when we were in college. She ended the pregnancy because she didn’t want her parents to send her away because she would have been an embarrassment. I and her boyfriend were the only people she ever told.”
I agree with my mom. All people hear about now is drinking, the use of illegal drugs, and promiscuity among teens. These issues were problems then, too, but now every TV show and newscast is flooded with conversations about “our” problems.
These issues have almost become acceptable. Now when a girl gets pregnant, she has options including going to “unwed teen mother school” paid for by the government. If it weren’t somewhat politically correct to condone teen pregnancy, why would we put day-care centers in high schools?
It’s true that there are many teenagers on anti-depressants, but is that so wrong? Would Brandi rather have her classmates depressed and walk into school with a gun? I’m not saying anti-depressants are the way to go, but at least most of the people around her are happy, even if medically induced.
“We are the stereotypical Generation Y. What is that, you ask? Today’s youth and tomorrow’s future, which is a frightening thought.” Why is this so frightening to Brandi? Is she worried that the jocks and preps in her school will take over the world? Maybe the “jocks with the bad cases of homophobia” will one day run for office as a right-wing Republican who will vow to uphold the sanctity of traditional marriage. Maybe those students currently taking anti-depressants will work to improve psychiatric medications. Maybe Brandi, the author of such a compelling piece, will become a great journalist for a large newspaper and write about (or criticize) what we become.
The idea of our generation as the future is not a frightening thought. The issues that affect us have plagued past generations. I don’t think we should be frightened by the future. We should embrace it and wait with anticipation to see what awesome leaders and changes are to come.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.