Features & Profiles

A Teacher’s Guide to Gen-Z

By Bridie Strowe- Bolger

*Que: Do I Wanna Know, by Arctic Monkeys*

Have you ever been beaten by a wet spaghetti noodle by ur girlfriend bc she has a twin sister and u got confused and kissed her dad? That’s how it’ll feel to read this article and finally understand the culture of the notorious Gen Z. It has come to the Highlander Staff’s attention that many of you lowl-born boomers lack the ability to comprehend the true ineffable culture and humor, so we will lay it out for you simpletons in this article. 

This slightly destructive species enjoys the occasional promenade of pyromania, as well as a diet consisting exclusively of monster energy drinks. Our culture enjoys the advantages of the modern technology boom, resulting in an explosion of meme culture. But many of the boomers in our audience are asking, what’s a meme? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is an idea, behavior, or form of visual media that spreads quickly throughout culture, especially digitally, for the purpose of komedi. Not comedy, komedi. And no. We won’t be explaining this one as it escapes even our greatest minds in terms of reason.

Gen Z also has an affinity for updating older jargon to use in the conversational mainstream, so much of our “incomprehensible” casual language is actually quite easy to understand if you can decipher it through the time gap. The rest of Gen Z slang is pretty straightforward as well, such as “bussin’ ”, which comes from the root word “busting”. Bussin’ is typically used in reference to food; “This is bussin’” translates roughly to “This is really good”. 

Salty and Spicy: Two terms used to refer to a person in comparison to a food. Salty relates to an individual’s jealousy or bad-temper, while Spicy points out a generally sexual or dirty characteristic.

“SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESH”. Often spoken in a falsetto tone with a mimed syringe to the arm, sheeeeeesh is generally used as a way to refer to something as good, specifically in a conventionally attracted method.

And finally, “Boomer”. Arguably the most notorious Gen Z word, boomer refers to the second oldest living generation, the baby boomers. Essentially, saying “Okay, boomer” is a way of disrespecting an old person by pointing out their age. This term infers someone’s ignorance.

The motto of Gen Z is “Work to live, not live to work”. In our capitalist society, living is impossible without a job, and many modern youth feel the weight of reality in this sense. We are feeling the repercussions of inflation and problems caused before our time.

Gen Z’s culture is fueled by humor, and the explanation for this perfectly accounts for our collective identity, particularly in America. We have been raised in a world where we are told ‘we can be anything’, but this has turned into ‘we must be everything’, and it’s true. In this ‘modern’ world, we are plagued by human rights crises, global warming, government corruption, police brutality, war, racism, homophobia, transphobia, hate crimes, hunger, drought, overpopulation, and an infinite number of other issues. The stakes and expectations are so high for our generation, we can’t afford to simply ‘change the world’ as the entirety of humanity says, but we need to fix it! We inherit the problems of the generations before us who have ruined the planet and started petty violence over business opportunities, but who do you think will feel these effects the most in the future? Us.

Photo Curtesy by upworthy.com
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