In case you somehow missed it, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu won the US Open over the weekend.
Andreescu beat perhaps one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Serena Williams. What is truly remarkable about Andreescu’s victory is that she’s only 19 years old. Andreescu isn’t the only young Canadian succeeding in international competition. Ladysmith’s Faith Knelson, 18, picked up a share of medals at the Pan Am games in Lima, Peru recently.
Everywhere you look these days, young people are achieving greatness and affecting change. 15 year old Greta Thunberg has become a global icon for the climate crisis. 18 year old American recording artist Billie Eilish is one of the most popular musicians out right now — her debut album had five top 40 singles — she is the only artist born in the 2000s to record a number one single in America.
Each one of these people listed is a part of Generation Z, which describes people born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Generation Z is the first to grow up with social media, and sophisticated information technology. They were born into changing world, attending elementary school in the wake of 9/11 and the 2008 Great Recession. They are the ones with the most to lose from climate change. They grew up on a diet of popular culture like Harry Potter and Hunger Games that inspired them to be leaders and change makers.
Young people are clearly capable of setting lofty goals, and realizing their dreams. Still, you’ll find that people are quick to share opinions about how young people, “don’t know what they’re talking about” or that they’re “not old enough to make decisions”. It’s a bit ridiculous that people are still trying to keep the youth down in 2019. It should be abundantly clear by now that belittling the youth only drives them to achieve more.
Try as they might, haters won’t stop the world’s young leaders from achieving their goals. Youths should be supported in their dreams and ambitions. It’s been proven time and time again that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. Some people might be scared by that, and if so, good. Get used to it.