I was born in 2000. I don’t feel like I belong to a certain generation on its own.

I’m not really a Millennial, but I also don’t associate with Generation Z.

Many others are in this dilemma as well. In fact, the term “Zillenials” has been coined to describe us.

For a generation who are kind of like the middle child of generations, we have gone through a lot. We’ve been around for numerous historical events.

For starters, we were just starting our lives when 9/11 happened in 2001. Of course, we don’t remember what we were doing at the time, but we were alive and it had an impact on how we were raised.

Growing up, I remember constantly hearing about the wars overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2003, the Columbia shuttle exploded. Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the Haiti in 2010. In 2013 the Boston Marathon was bombed. I remember this one very well. I was in middle school at this point.

Fast forward six years, and the world is shutting down and we’re going through a global pandemic.

Almost three years later and we’re still dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19, but now we’re adding in the possibility of another world war as Russia has invaded Ukraine.

Each of these events have impacted us in so many ways, whether we realize it or not. I remember the earthquake that destroyed Haiti. I remember doing several service projects with my church to help them and just wishing I could do more.

Watching the news about the Boston Marathon as a 12-year old was scary. It confused me and hurt in ways I didn’t understand. I found myself again wishing I could do more.

None of these events (thankfully) happened close to home, but they still left a lasting impact on me and many others around me.

Each time, I found myself wishing I could do more.

I wish we, as a society, would have this mindset as well. It’s so easy for us to not even try to think of ways we could change simply because it’s not happening directly to us.

We are a generation that has gone through so much, but what if we were also a generation that changed so much. We’ve shown our resilience, so why don’t we take this strength and use it to improve our world and not just survive it?

Laci Sutton is a Nickerson senior studying nursing. She is the Collegian’s Opinion Page Editor

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