Generation Z: The Unwritten Rules

Although I truly believe that my generation are passionate, intelligent and ready to make an impact on our society. We are still young. We are allowed to make mistakes and to be frank, have fun. As long as we consider the consequences of our actions and learn from bad decisions, our journey will be a positive one.

My next blogger, James, takes a controversial stand point on his university experience so far and the unwritten rules of ‘going out’, crappy reality TV and even a little bit of feminism.

“University, a word that many of us use on a day to day basis when we talk about the past year of our lives. The whole university experience is a great one, but it has brought to my attention certain trends that do concern me.

We are a generation of excess, the more the better, the bigger the better, the more outrageous the better. Of course, the first year of university for many people seems to be about partying, getting drunk and meeting new people. But the pressure in which students and indeed non students aged around 18-21 feel to conform to certain unwritten rules is massively apparent every time you’re on a night out. I for one, have been at the forefront of trying to conform, to try and impress and to be the biggest and best drinker, which resulted in me drinking myself into oblivion and being hospitalised with facial injuries and concussion. This is where I began to realise, why do we feel the need to get so drunk? Why do we need to push ourselves so far beyond our boundaries that we endanger our lives and possibly those around us too?

A few weeks after being hospitalised, I began to think about things in a broader sense. From drinking, drugs and sex, to the way in which image is now deemed more important than personality. First off, drinking, drugs and sex, three things that are common in many people our age’s lives. All are glorified in music, and in cheap, crappy (admittedly incredibly entertaining) reality TV, such as Geordie Shore and Made in Chelsea. Many people seem to have the desire to emulate the lives in which these people seem to live on TV, no matter how unrealistic or clearly set up the situations in which the ‘characters’ on these programmes find themselves. The way in which the people portray themselves in these programmes can’t be healthy for anyone to watch, especially impressionable underage young adults who, in some respects may idolise the ‘characters’ in these programmes. This can end in disaster, as the recent video of the girl in Magaluf shows, however this leads me to another point.

Why is it, that when a guy/bloke/lad whatever you want to call him, has sex with 10,20,30 maybe even 40 girls he is deemed a ‘legend’ or other such names, yet a girl receives abuse for being a slag/slut/whore? I am not claiming to be some sort of feminist activist, however it is shocking how the women of our generation are treated by men (not all men of course). Women seem to be objectified far more now, as sexual objects that guys want to get, almost like trophies. Yes, sex is fine and I am in no way demonising it, but the way in which sex is now used, not as an intimate moment between two partners, but more of a point scoring exercise, is actually quite sad. The sheer easiness of accessing pornography must be something to do with this, many boys and indeed girls first contact with anything sexual is through internet based porn websites. These websites, almost like reality TV programmes portray totally unrealistic and staged events, that in turn many people deem normal so expect it to happen in the bedroom. Indeed some pornography is graphic and brutal which worries me massively, because what if someone watches some messed up video and repeats what they see? It’s worrying that porn is so influential in many young adults’ lives, very very worrying.

This leads me to my final point. We are a generation obsessed with being beautiful, image is everything. Now personality may be an added extra to someone, but from my experience at university, if you aren’t wearing the right clothes, if your hair isn’t right and you didn’t go the right club last night, you are a bit f*cked really. Now this may not occur universally, but it is apparent that image is an increasingly important part of everyone’s lives, boys want to get massive in the gym and push their bodies to the absolute limits, and girls want to be like all of the stick thin celebrities that eat celery and do 400 hours of yoga a week (a bit of a sweeping generalisation but still). It’s sad that a lot of us can’t be happy in our own skin, unless we look or act likes someone we have seen on TV, in magazines or the internet.

I hope that in time, we all realise that, whoever we are, whatever we do, it doesn’t matter as long as you are happy within yourself. You don’t have to be the biggest or the best, you just need to be happy and content with where you are in your life, and not perform for anyone; because at the end of the day, no one is going to care that you downed 20 trebles off the chest of a naked woman, upside down, while on a rodeo bull in 20 years. This post was not to say don’t have fun, because having fun is one of the most important things at this age, just don’t feel pressured into acting in a way to live up to unrealistic standards that seem to be imposed on us on a day to day basis, because in the end, you don’t want to push yourself so far in any which way that you end up ruining your life, or someone else’s (…sorry, ended on a bit of a sombre note).”

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