Generation Z: The Most Stressed Out Generation

A large number of students today can be categorized into “Generation Z”- they fall between the ages of 15 and 21. In a recent study on CNN, generation Z was categorized as “the most mentally stressed generation” for a number of reasons.

The study was broken into two categories, ages 18-21 and ages 15-17, who were then asked what the largest source of their stress was. A concerning number answered that some variation of the state of our nation was giving them grief.

This makes complete sense when we think about how overexposed our generation is to the horrors of gun violence and climbing suicide rates in the American school system. With such a strong and time-consuming connection with the internet, and the rising disorder within the US government, Generation Z is concerned for their future in such a terrifyingly violent society.

According to the study, a staggering 75% of the participants experienced some form of stress about the possibility of a mass shooting. A horrifying, but realistic statistic that showcases not only how common shootings have become but also how the lack of legal revision has not alleviated any stressors. When asked about how school safety measures were affecting their stress levels, 37% of students replied that the adjustments alleviated some stress. In the grand scheme of things, that still leaves 63% of American students who are still suffering under the weight of the gun violence epidemic. 63% of students who go to school every day and fear for their lives because they feel like they are not being protected by their elder generations. As they become more politically active, Generation Z should make their voices heard by voting (this Tuesday, November 6!).This can hardly be considered a “political conversation” of course because the concern is for people’s lives, not freedom.

Another significant political stressor is the state of the nation as a whole, according to the study. With the threat of losing rights as a human based on who you love or whether you identify as male, female, or somewhere in between, if you’re a person of color, or if you’re simply a human who fears the threat of nuclear wars sparked by obvious phallic metaphors, the state of America has been increasingly violent and terrifying.

The final significant stressor for Generation Z is their stress itself. With such an obvious connection to mental health issues as the world discusses the consequences of it more often, Generation Z should have no reason to fear for their mental stability, right? Of course, this would also assume that everyone who thought that they were mentally ill was able to actively seek help for themselves, which only 37% of the participants reported doing. So why is it so difficult to seek help? A number of reasons: the social taboo that comes with medicating or therapy treatment, or the romanticization of illness on the internet. Generation Z has it in their minds that it’s okay to be depressed or stressed because they bond over their pain, which makes it hard to want to lose that connection.

Overall, it’s important to help each other understand how we can alleviate our stress, whether that’s voting this Tuesday, November 6, or simply talking about the pain in your life.

For the full study, check out CNN

For short term stress relieving tactics, go to Healthline's 16 Ways to Relieve Stress.