A Look Into The World of Gen Z

by: Shad Bookout

Just when everyone in student housing finally began to grasp the needs and motivations of the millennial residents under our care, a whole new generation has filled our communities. Gen Z has arrived and they will be around for at least the next decade. Many have asked, “just how different can they really be?” The reality is that they are totally different and it results in a total different set of priorities and goals for student housing professionals. Here are some of the things you might need to know.

There is a Lot of Them

60 million millennials comprise the largest generation in history. And their children —Gen Z —are about to surpass that number. Born between 1996 and 2010, they are now becoming the most influential generation in history due to this immense size.

They are Pragmatic and Somewhat Cynical

Much like their Baby Boomer great-grandparents, Gen Z has grown up in a time of political and social unrest. The result is a generation of skeptics who question that world around them and see things for what they really are. Be sure you can deliver on the things you promise them, or they will tell the world about their distrust in you.

Digital Surprises

GenZ only knows a world of high speed internet and smart phones. Many of them could text and video chat when they were still in single digit ages. “Normal” for them is life in front of a screen. Because of this, they have taken a step back in their social lives and seek real life togetherness. They are still digital first in their lives but they want to be surrounded by people and experiences.

It’s a Small World

Every generation before them has wanted bigger and bigger spaces. Because they are aware that, in the world around them, space is at a premium, they have begun to shrink their notions about the ideal amount of space. Many are seeking smaller personal spaces in order to gain larger experiential spaces and common areas. They want to live large by living small.

They Demand On-Demand

They grew up with anything and everything being at their fingertips. Instant knowledge through the internet, instant communication through social media and text, and instant access to stuff through Amazon. This translates to them demanding your attention in the moment and not wanting to wait for a response. The only relevant frame of time in the their world is right now… and we mean RIGHT NOW!

So what other traits are you seeing from your current student housing population? Let us know in the comments.

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