I’m a Zillenial, and yes, I’m just as confused about it as you are.
Born in 1998, I’m a 90s kid who only remembers the mid to late 2000s. Being stuck in the middle of two generations is confusing enough, but growing up in the drastic technological growth of the 00s was a whirlwind to say the least. Shaped by *multiple* national and worldwide crises and increasing awareness of inequities on multiple fronts, my generation seeks to engage in work that can bring about lasting change.
That’s where I come in.
Over the past four years I have worked diligently alongside brilliant academics at the State University of New York at Geneseo, becoming immersed in research exploring the development of emerging adults in the context of intergroup contact and divide. In the summer of 2020, I was awarded a Geneseo Foundation Summer Research Fellowship where I worked to explore the role of values in impacting both intergroup (race oriented) and general bystander intervention behaviors (spoiler alert: it’s a thing).
Out of my excitement and genuine interest in how our identities affect our interactions and treatment of others, I became enthralled with the little known field of Peace Psychology and decided to orient my senior research seminar on the NYS Police Reform Executive Order given on June 12, 2020. After writing my final paper oriented in the historical foundations of police work and the role of positive intergroup dialogue in creating lasting systemic change, I was given the amazing opportunity to work with the Town of Geneseo, New York by attending public forums and relaying gathered opinion on both their reform plan and proceedings.
Out of that connection, a lightbulb appeared above my head and I started thinking more and more about the role of connection and communication in ultimately creating partnerships for lasting change. Born from this realization: a project proposing the implementation of a student liaison team who will serve as a resource to connect interested stakeholders who can fulfill the many needs involved with pursuing lasting systemic changes.
An Urban Dictionary Definition: The Zillenial
“A micro generation of those born from 1993-1998, graduated high school from 2012-2016.
Zillenials are the last years of Millennials and first years of Generation Z with mixed traits of both generations. They are too young to relate to the core of Millennials but too old to relate to the core of Generation Z. Zillennials were 2000’s kids and transitioned from teenagers to adults during the 2010’s. The youngest in 2020 are 21 years old.
Technology evolution was a defining part of a Zillenial childhood. They grew up while technology was evolving from Analog to Digital, experiencing both worlds, opposed to millennials / generation z who only experienced one type.
Some of the various things Zillennials can remember are:
- Waiting at Barnes & Noble as kids for the Harry Potter books to release
- A World before social media / smart phones were popularized
- The Popularization of smart phones during their years in high school (2008-2016)
- Using Gameboy Advance / Advance SP during their childhood
- Seeing car designs go from boxy 80’s designs to sleek 2000’s curves
- Liking mid-2000’s bands like Green Day, Good Charlotte, Franz Ferdinand, Black Eyed Peas, Fallout Boy, Panic! At the Disco, The Killers, etc.
- When “Crank Dat” by Soulja Boy came out in 2007
- The Release of the first iPhone in 2007
- Watching early YouTubers like: Fred, early nigahiga, Nalts, thewinekone, Daxflame, early smosh
- Being too young to understand or remember 9/11, but being born before it”