College students have been a strange bunch for as long as I can remember.
In the Fifties, they were mostly innocent pranksters, seeing how many of them could squeeze into a phone booth or plugging up toilets in the dorms. The Sixties were all about long hair, drugs and protests.
Partying was the main theme for Seventies college students, while the Eighties were more about setting themselves up to make money after graduation. The Me Generation dominated the college scene in the Nineties, followed by the Entitlement Generation immediately after the turn of the century.
More recently, Millennials tried to get that protest groove back, at least until they figured out they really had nothing to protest because they’d been handed everything all their lives.
From the Sixties on, liberal thought and expression has dominated on college campuses, but a look at the Post-Millennials – some of whom are now attending institutions of higher learning – indicates that the times they might be a-changing.
Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2010) is proving to be the most conservative generation in the past seven decades. They are very high on personal freedoms and are fiscally conservative. They also believe firmly in national security, with a strong interest in cyber security.
While these post-Millennials don’t fit neatly into either major political party, they did support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 34 to 20 percent margin in the 2016 presidential election. Their biggest concerns heading into that election were education, economics, healthcare and gun rights.
All their lives they’ve had access to vast amounts of information. They love fast-paced data and use it to make their decisions. They don’t mind being challenged because they are confident they can back up their opinions with the data they’ve collected.
So, next time you see Millenials protesting in the streets against Trump and conservative values, take a deep breath and think about how different things will be in the near future if Generation Z sticks to its guns and refuses to be swayed by its liberal “elders.”
After all the stuff we’ve seen through the decades, a conservative wave would be a welcome relief, indeed.