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My Generation -- Hybrid by Benjamin Epstein

My generation is quite prepared for the end of the world, thank you very much.

My generation dyes our hair bright colors just to show we’re different, just to say “Hey! I’m an individual! I’m unique!”

My generation doesn’t trust the government, or politicians, or most grown ups.

My generation hears a hundred horrible stories and a hundred reasons why this world is messed up every day.

My generation was told, from a very young age, that everything is dying, and everything is going to hell, and why is everyone counting on us?

My generation is young, but we already feel like failures

My generation hates generalizations, but we make them all the time anyway

My generation’s retirement plans are that society will surely have broken down by the time we’re 60

My generation was raised on books about teenagers standing up to evil governments in dystopian societies, and the second we stuck our noses out of these books we realized that we’re in a dystopian society, and we want to be like Katniss, but we’re not.

To my generation, the end of the world is a joke, a punchline that will come for all of us.

My generation worships the god of night rather than the god of the sun.

My generation treats the void like a friend and fire like a lover.

My generation spends all our time on our phones.

My generation is full of 16-year-olds who still watch kids’ shows because they want to regain their childhood innocence.

My generation dreams small dreams, we’re scared for the future, we don’t want mansions, and bringing a child into this world seems almost cruel.

My generation hates capitalism, but we don’t know how to escape it.

My generation wishes that they could just melt like candle wax, and drip away into a puddle because then we wouldn’t have to worry about climate change, or pollution, or the rise of extremist ideologies.

My generation knows what it’s like to be broken not in big flurries of dramatics, but in small quiet ways, day by day.

My generation remembers the day when someone told them that Vine was back, but now it’s called Tik-Tok.

My generation is familiar with parental controls on ipads and iphones and computers.

My generation is familiar with finding a way around parental controls on ipads and iphones and computers.

My generation is familiar with times when the teacher was trying to do something with the smart board, or a computer and they couldn’t. So, then that kid, the kid who the hands of fate had assigned to the task of being classroom tech support had to go up and help the teacher.

My generation still follows YouTube channels that they first started watching seven years ago because they were a part of their childhood, and how could they unsubscribe?

My generation takes ADHD medication on weekdays, and OCD medication on weekends.

My generation is tired of interacting with society, and talking to people and playing games in each conversation.

My generation likes thinking, but not when it’s for school.

My generation likes watching YouTube videos where people talk about movies almost as much as they like watching movies.

My generation is still riding that high when they’d commented on a YouTube video which was made by a channel with over 2 million subscribers, and the comment got over a hundred likes. So, they can’t be a failure.

My generation has to constantly remind themselves that there’s “no ethical consumption under capitalism” every time an Amazon package arrives.

And we feel like the weight of the world is on this generation’s shoulders, because everything is falling to pieces and the world is dying and all of the adults keep on talking about activism and changing the world and we keep seeing headlines about Greta Thurnberg and we’re almost her age and you haven’t been named Time's Person of the Year. We have to be the best, we have to be the best at everything. We don’t want to end up dead at 78 with only a two sentence obituary. Yet we know that death is inevitable because we hear about it every time you look at the news. And we want to change the world but we can’t even change ourselves.

And we wish we were never given this burden, that we didn't have to live through these dark, chaotic, messy times where shadows feast on flesh and the cries of the innocent are used as a sales tactic, and the future is for sale for only $9.99.

But so do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to us.

Gandalf said that. And it seems he’s right.

But Frodo didn’t have neighbors with signs supporting Sauron. Luke Skywalker didn’t buy most of his things from Palpatine Incorporated.

No, we stay where we are and feel guilty that we’re not doing enough. We feel guilty that we’re not the best of the best, because that’s all we can do. We stay inside and watch Tik-Tok parodies of songs that poke fun at current events.

My generation is tired.


Benjamin Epstein is a high school junior who will probably never achieve his main dream of stealing the sun. As such, he has accepted becoming a writer instead. He spends his days writing, playing guitar, and drawing. Pieces by him can be found in The Milking Cat, The Voice, and Teen Ink.

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