Inkwell | February 2019

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Z January 2019

technology juuling activism Netflix big butts stress social media igen emojis weed security stress achievement college Internet careers texting dabbing cyber mental health short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized marijuana memes politically current Netflix marches gaming political polarization apps college Internet careers texting dabbing cyber mental health short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized marijuana memes politically current Netflix marches gaming political polarization apps igen juuling fortnite social media technology emojis weed security stress short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized marijuana politically current Netflix marches gaming political polarization apps igen juuling twitter social media technology emojis weed security stress Internet careers texting dabbing cyber mental health short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized marijuana memes airport security Netflix marches gaming political polarization apps texting dabbing cyber mental health short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized marijuana memes politically current Netflix marches gaming political polarization weed apps igen juuling Instagram social media technology emojis weed security stress attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized marijuana memes politically current Netflix marches gaming political polarization apps fortnite social technology emojis weed security stress igen Snapchat fortnite social media technology emojis weed security stress mental health short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything gaming activism social media legalized marijuana memes politically current Netflix marches gaming political polarization apps achievement college Internet careers dabbing cyber mental health short attention spans big butts dabbing i everything activism legalized

From the editors Generation Z is multi-faceted. We are the first true digital natives and are stereotyped as social media addicts with short attention spans. But those labels don’t begin to cover us. We are activists, scientists, writers, artists and athletes. We embrace diversity, welcome conversations on taboo subjects, and seek change. This Inkwell issue illuminates some of those defining aspects of Generation Z. Topics range from college pressures and Juuling to fears of terrorism and an obsession with memes. While it is impossible to encapsulate everything that constitutes our generation, we have highlighted what we feel is most influential in our lives today. The traits, trends and experiences covered in this issue are shaping who we are. And as we inherit big, daunting issues, like climate change and deep political polarization, they are shaping how we address the world.

Abby Givens, Gen Z Issue Editor Allison Fitz, Editor-in-Chief

graphic by Abby Givens & Allison Fitz


Inkwell JANUARY 2019

827 North Tacoma Avenue Tacoma, WA 98403 | 253-272-2216 Issue 2 | Volume 59 EDITOR IN CHIEF Allison Fitz PRINT EDITOR Abby Givens ONLINE EDITOR Nina Doody ARTS EDITOR Gabrielle Krieger FEATURES EDITOR Jade Cheatham NEWS EDITOR YoungSeo Jo

Contents Who is Gen Z?



Social media & careers


Juuls & weed


Activism 11 Meme hall of fame


College pressureZ


STUDENT LIFE EDITOR Julia Henning SPORTS EDITOR Kaitlin Tan Inkwell aims to provide the Annie Wright community with dependable and engaging coverage of school, community and global topics. Timely articles of all genres are published weekly at In addition, four themed news magazines are published during the school year and distributed around campus. Submissions of articles and photographs, correction requests and signed letters to the editor are most welcome. Please email the editors at All published submissions will receive credits and bylines.

The ABCs of Gen Z by Nina Doody

Gen Z is short for Generation Z, the generation of current young people born from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. Before Gen Z there were several iconic generations. Those born between 1890 and 1915 were called the Lost Generation. A few generations later were the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. Skip a few more generations and you’ve got Millennials, born from 1980 to 1994. The line between Millennials and Gen Z is often blurred. Some call Gen Z the iGen for its affinity for Apple products such as iPhones. Although there are no universal characteristics of Gen Z, one strong theme is

Out of 98 Annie Wright Upper School students surveyed, 69% said they knew what Gen Z was, while 31% did not. our use of technology and social media. For Gen Z, as well as Millennials, technology is integrated into most of our daily lives. Gen Z-ers use a wide variety of media and, according to a report in Forbes magazine, have developed shorter attention spans, averaging only 8 seconds, compared to 12 seconds for Millennials. Other defining characteristics of Gen Z according to a survey of Annie Wright Upper School for Girls are the constant usage of memes, juuling, mental health, phone usage and a changing sense of body image (big butts are desirable!). When asked about the most iconic aspects of Gen Z, students also mentioned:

• • • • •

Fortnite Freedom iCarly Dabbing Political Savvy

What comes after Gen Z? Z is the last letter in the alphabet. The next generation’s name is pending. Some have suggested Generation Alpha, for children born after the early 2010s.

Dabbing is a well known dance move in Gen Z.



FaculTea on Gen Z Faculty's impressions of the current generation by YoungSeo Jo

Gen Z's exposure to mass media has made them unique among the generations.

According to research by Bloomberg, Generation Z is expected to become the most populous generation in 2019. So how are we different from the past generations? What defines Generation Z? Inkwell interviewed a range of Annie Wright Upper School faculty members to gauge their perceptions.

Attention Span One conspicuous characteristic is shorter attention span. According to Assistant Head of Schools & Director of Upper School for Boys Susan Bauska, who has worked in various capacities at Annie Wright for nearly 30 years, students now seem to prefer shorter assignments than students from a few years ago, mainly due to a decrease in attention span. According to HuffPost, a shorter attention span may signify our generation’s ability to multitask and work despite distractions in the workplace. Bauska, however, voiced her concern from an educator’s point of view. “I worry that without the attention necessary to attend to long and complex written texts, students may


grow too accustomed to having someone else interpret texts for them,” she said. She also surmised an explanation for this phenomenon: Generation Z is exposed to digital media sources rather than printed resources like the older generations.

"I do not hold Generation Z responsible for anxiety and the lack of focus." Jeff Freshwater, Upper School for Girls Social Studies Teacher and Associate Director of College Counseling, agreed with Bauska on digital media’s effect on Generation Z. Freshwater noted the decrease in attention span along with the increase in anxiety that he noticed among his students. Additionally, he emphasized how both these characteristics are completely outside of the students’ control. “I do not hold Generation Z responsible for anxiety and lack of focus because it has been previous generations that have created social norms, devices or expectations that have fostered, and

in some cases encouraged this type of response,” Freshwater said. He also mentioned how the previous generation, the Millennials, which he is a part of, faces similar obstacles outside of an educational setting.

Individuality The recognition of independence is another noticeable characteristic of Generation Z. According to HuffPost, the truly global aspect of Generation Z and the normalization of diversity have made individuality important. According to the cloud-based software company Sales Force, this desire for individuality is aided by social media, as Generation Z looks for subdivided groups that match their own interests. In contrast, College Counseling Director Scottie Hill said she noticed an increase in group mentality when it comes to the college application process. She pointed out how the recent generation seems to be more inclined to listen to the opinion of others when deciding on higher education. She also mentioned how access to social media has invited


more opinions of others which in turn urges over-reliance on others for decision making. She highlighted how this has changed Generation Z’s behavior in general. “There is a pressure to make your life into some kind of nicely packaged content for others to view and judge – and that discourages risk-taking of all kinds,” she said.

Privacy The shift in society for Gen Z also makes members of this generation stand out from all former generations. Upper School for Girls Social Studies Teacher Katherine Everitt emphasized how this generation seems to lack concern for violation of privacy. She mentioned how as a Millennial she is hyper aware of the civil liberties taken away during airport security checks (see article below for

more faculty perspectives on airport security). According to Everitt, however, members of Generation Z “aren’t very outraged because they can’t imagine it any differently.” Additionally, she noticed how the most recent generation doesn’t realize the potential danger that comes from sharing information on social media. “With social media and cell phones, there is so much surveillance and tracking of our movements, our habits, our preferences... but no one seems so fussed. ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re not doing anything wrong’ is a frightful mentality,” she said.

Awareness Another characteristic of Generation Z is their awareness and attention to social issues. “Students today seem

Perspectives on airport security by decade by Gabrielle Krieger

While generations before Gen Z were familiar with threats of terrorism such as plane hijackings, the devastation of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were unprecedented. This event caused airports to crack down on security and to take increasing preventative measures to maintain safety on airplanes. 80% of Annie Wright Upper School for Girls students surveyed said they felt that the amount of airport security currently enforced is necessary. Inkwell interviewed faculty members born over the four decades before the beginning of Gen Z to discover various perspectives on airport security.


Freshwater also mentioned how politics seems to be a defining part of the recent generation. “Politics has become an identity for many, which is profoundly different,” he said. The differences between the past generations and Generation Z can help us predict how education, business, media and all aspects of society can change. Businesses are preparing to fit their marketing to match Gen Z’s characteristics, media outlets are adjusting to shorter attention spans, and much more.

Wright ith Annie

Q&A w

The majority of the members of Generation Z will never remember or even know a life without the seemingly-imminent threat of terrorism while flying.

more aware of issues outside themselves - political, social, economic - and are commensurately sophisticated in understanding and supporting progressive and human rights - from refugee crises to gender fluidity,” said Residential Life Director Jeff Barber.


Jeff Freshwater, born 1982 Inkwell: How would you describe airport security when you were growing up? JF: The earliest flight I can remember would have been in the late 1980s. As I recall, it was fairly relaxed. This was a time when airlines served meals on actual plates with real silverware, and smoking was still allowed in the back of the plane. Security was present, but as I recall metal detectors were about the only security check that was present. Everyone was allowed to pass to the gate, even if they were not ticketed passengers. That changed after 9/11. I remember quite well my father waiting for me at the gate when I would travel home from boarding school. Inkwell: How do you feel about current airport security? JF: As it has been a prominent feature since the days after 9/11, I suppose I have grown accustomed to it. There have been very few events regarding airport security, so on the whole, it


is difficult to say it is unnecessary or inadequate. I find some of the little rules to be problematic – liquids, shoes and belts off, etc. I also question some of the policies and how they are unevenly applied, for instance lower-traffic airports not being subject to the same screening policies. I treat it as a fact of life and adjust my arrival time accordingly. I do not particularly appreciate the body scans, however.

Jake Guadnola, born 1975 Inkwell: How would you describe airport security when you were growing up? JG: When I was a kid, airport security was much, much more relaxed. You could bring food and drink, you didn’t have to take off your shoes, your family could accompany you to the gate, etc. There were metal detectors, but that was all. Then everything changed with 9/11. Inkwell: How do you feel about current airport security? JG: Honestly, I appreciate the security that exists today. I don’t find it burdensome, and I appreciate the peace of mind that comes from knowing we’re generally safe when we fly.

Christian Sullivan, born 1965 Inkwell: How would you describe airport security when you were growing up? CS: My first flight was when I was 18 – in 1983! Security was completely different. Technology was basically nonexistent. Tickets were pieces of paper, and the ability to, for example, smuggle weapons on to a plane was much greater. I believe I am safer today. Inkwell: How do you feel about current airport security? CS: Sometimes it can be really burdensome, but I will happily succumb to that if everyone is safer. I have TSA Precheck, and it makes a HUGE difference.

Rex Bates, born 1952 Inkwell: How would you describe airport security when you were growing up? RB: There was no airport security when I was growing up. No metal detectors – nothing. You just walked to the plane. The first security I remember was in the fall of 1970 when Arab terrorists hijacked four planes and landed them in Jordan. If I remember correctly one of the planes was blown up. Within a week or so after the hijackings I was flying from San Francisco to Sydney and a security official looked through our carry on luggage. But that was it.


Inkwell: How do you feel about current airport security? RB: In the US at least it is overly oppressive and is not taking advantage of technology. As you know I fly in Asia a lot and their security is far less oppressive and you feel far less violated. Through the Ages

Airport Security vs. Terrorism 1969 40 cases of attempted hijacking on US planes. 1970 468 incidents of terrorism in the USA. 33 fatalities. 1988 A bomb in a cassette tape kills 270 people. 9/11, 2001 Al-Qaeda hijacks and crashes four commercial airplanes. 12/22, 2001 Richard Reid tries to set off shoe bomb. 2001 Patriot Act passed, which allows Law Enforcement greater abilities to surveil and investigate threats to the US. 2006 British officials stop a plan to blow up airplanes with liquid explosives.

Frisked only people who were suspicious and set off the metal detector. IDs were not required. 1972 - 1974 X-ray machines and metal detectors become mandatory. 1988 European and Mideast airport stationed US Carriers start to mandate searches and X-rays of checked bags. 1997 Federal Aviation Administration is given $100 million for security precautions. Pre 9/11 Passengers can arrive up to 30 minutes before their flight. Checked bags are occasionally searched for international flights. Airport security is done by contractors. 2001 The Aviation and Transportation Security Act makes Federal Government responsible for screening. Shoes are randomly checked by TSA. 2004 Only people with boarding passes may go beyond the security checkpoints. 2006 All carry on liquids are banned, but ban is soon revised to limit carry on liquid to 3 oz containers within a 1 qt bag.

How airport security has developed with an increase in terrorism. Graphic by Gabrielle Krieger & Allison Fitz.


How social media has changed our career options by Gabrielle Krieger

Many social people co n @ann media. Fo sume new llow I s iewrig htinkw nkwell and seek e on nt ell an d on T Instagram ertainmen t on witter @aw sinkw ell.

Social Media has created numerous opportunities that have changed the way the workplace recruits members of Generation Z. Since the birth of online social networks, many new careers have emerged. An example falls under the general term of influencer: someone who, through creation and uploading of video content on Youtube, homemade lip syncing videos on apps like Musically and Tik Tok, pictures on Instagram, audio on podcast apps, or numerous other platforms, earns money off of sponsorships and advertising profits. Celebrities capitalize on these opportunities to seek more exposure in multi-media environments. Social Media hasn’t just created new industries; it’s also helped to shake up the old ones, with more people able to showcase their own work. Nowadays, musicians can record and release their own music on apps such as Soundcloud and Spotify; authors can self-publish on apps like Wattpad and Upviral;


people can showcase their experience and skills to find jobs through networking sites like LinkedIn; and everyone can promote whatever it is they’re doing by using various social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This means that anyone has the ability to create and promote content, not just people who have managed to get chosen by a publishing house or an agency. Generation Z has the tools available to them to be and do just about anything. In a survey of the Annie Wright Upper School for Girls, 51% of students see social media playing a role in their future career and 71% believe that it's possible to create a sustainable career using social media. Read on for a Q&A with Annie Wright Schools Communications Director Jen Willey about how social media has evolved as an admissions tool at Annie Wright and as an integral part of her own career.


Annie Wright gets social! Development of social media at Annie Wright and beyond: a Q&A with Communications Director Jen Willey

article & graphic by Gabrielle Krieger

Inkwell: How has social media influenced Annie Wright admissions? JW: Social media has influenced Annie Wright admissions in a positive way. Through social media we are able to reach a wider audience, and it provides an opportunity for engagement that we don’t get through other mediums. Social media also provides a platform for us to tell our story, which is very unique but also quite complicated, and difficult to do in most advertisement space or news coverage. Potential parents and students can get a glimpse of who we are and what our community is like through our posts. Inkwell: How do you reach wider audiences with Annie Wright’s social media? JW: There are a few different tactics that can be used to reach wider audiences, one of which is the more organic way by connecting with other organizations and resources. We aim to be a good neighbor and community partner here in Tacoma, so we like and follow local pages and accounts. For instance, we like/follow Museum of Glass, Job Carr Cabin Museum, South Sound Proud, etc. We also take this wider than Tacoma and follow groups who align with the AWS mission, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or groups in which we are a member organization, including


Northwest Association of Independent Schools. Typically, when we like/follow these organizations, they do so back, and then their followers see that interaction, thus reaching a wider audience. As we partner on events, we can then tag one another, co-host and check in at events. A few weeks ago we hosted a movie at The Grand Cinema. As we shared this on social media, we tagged Liyana (the movie) and also The Grand Cinema. It’s a great way for us to reach new people. Another way to reach a wider audience is through sponsored ads or posts. I enjoy this method of advertising because it is immediate and we can be reactive. Say something really exciting happens at school and we post about it. We can promote the post and reach people who wouldn’t typically see that information. As we place ads, if we feel that the ad is not getting the engagement we desire, we can edit the content or swap out the photo or video. Inkwell: What’s your advice for people who want to utilize social media for their careers? JW: Social media is a constantly evolving medium. If you appreciate and adapt easily to change and enjoy learning something new on a steady basis, it is the right space for you. Everything you know today about social media

could be entirely different tomorrow. The platforms are constantly changing and the options multiply – and then sometimes disappear or lose their luster just as quickly as they became popular. Inkwell: How has your career changed with the development of social media? JW: Considering that social media didn’t even exist when I joined the workforce (oh boy am I aging myself by sharing that!), I’d say it’s changed by landslides! I think the biggest impact it has had though is the immediate reaction and insights that you just don’t get with advertising. Print ads and billboards can be very costly, and once you run them – that’s it. You hope for the best; that your message resonated and people react, but often times you just never know. With social media, you know whether a post or ad is working, so you can build upon the post/ad or change it immediately, and that’s pretty powerful. Inkwell: Has social media been a positive influence on the workplace? JW: I think so! Social media helps build pride in our community. One of the best engagements we receive is when we post something and a faculty or staff member shares that with their friends/followers, and says “this is where I work/teach.”



Marketing of Juul deemed uncool article & graphic by Abby Givens

Juul Labs, the San Francisco based e-cigarette company that sells the popular e-cigarette Juul, is under scrutiny from schools, the FDA, lawmakers, and public health advocates for the product’s popularity among youth. The FDA has issued investigations regarding the illegal sale of Juuls by Juul Labs and other retailers to minors, in addition to marketing practices that are believed to have targeted youth. Their marketing in 2015, called campaign, included live advertisements of people in playfully around bright accusations in targeting advertisements include colors and feature

their “vaporized” events and their 20s posing colors. After the youth, Juul Labs’ shades of dark adults 35+.

Juul Labs also shut down their social media pages on Instagram and Facebook. The bulk of Juul’s presence on social media, however, is the photos and videos shared by teenagers themselves. According to Juul Labs, 99% of all social media content related to the company is generated by third party users. There are tens of thousands of accounts dedicated to reviewing pod flavors and showcasing tricks using the plumes of smoke that a Juul creates. As of January 4, 2019, #juul was used 314,000 times on Instagram. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) approximately 3.6 million U.S. middle and high schoolers were using e-cigarettes in 2018, partly because of Juul Labs' marketing efforts as well as content posted by teenagers themselves. In the Annie Wright community, about 70% of high school students know someone that Juuls. The youth market has generated a portion of Juul Labs’ sales, estimated at $1 billion in 2018, which aided the company’s 300% increase in revenue from the past year.


The amount of youth users brings to question the stated purpose of Juul Labs, which they claim is to help adult smokers quit traditional cigarettes. According to the FDA, however, the carcinogenic chemicals in cigarettes can be found, in trace amounts, in some e-cigarettes as well. Additionally, there is not enough data available to accurately determine if e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes in the long-term or that they can help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes. For youth, the health consequences of e-cigarettes have higher stakes. According to Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, a Harvard Medical school professor, nicotine addiction can cause damage to the developing brain, including impairment to memory and attention span. The attention on Juul Labs regarding their marketing techniques, their health effects, and their accessibility to minors has brought publicity to the company, but also required them to make proactive efforts to address these issues. To address accessibility concerns, Juul’s website requires online visitors to provide their name, date of birth, permanent address and the last four digits of their security number before purchasing a Juul. Other online platforms that sell Juuls, such as EBay and Alibaba, however, do not have such measures in place, and therefore still provide a method for teenagers to access Juul Labs’ products. Juul has the full list of their changes, as of November 13, 2018, on their website in an article titled “Juul Labs action plan” by CEO Kevin Burns. Juul Labs claims they are working to limit youth access to their


product and recognize the danger it brings to their company and to society. According to the Juul website, they are working on a Bluetooth-enabled device that, through geo-fencing, can stop Juuls from working at schools to curb teen usage of their product.

Upper School for Girls don’t think that Juul’s popularity will last. Despite the lawsuits and attacks, the cofounders of Juul Labs, James Monsees and Adam Bowen, said they are still hopeful that their product will help adults quit smoking and that soon no youth will be able to access their products.

While much of this issue is driven by the worry that the Juul is creating a new generation of nicotine-addicts, about 70% of the

Has marijuana's high faded? Gen Z has grown up seeing and smelling marijuana in public spaces. While marijuana is nothing new, state legalization has made it mainstream. In 2012, Washington and Colorado were the first states to fully legalize marijuana, and eight other states and Washington DC have since followed. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. Full legalization means regulating a market that was previously unregulated and no longer prosecuting people for marijuana crimes. It also means more advertising and accessibility. There are now over 18 cannabis shops in Tacoma alone, and marijuana comes in a multitude of forms, including cookies and lollipops.

Emerald Leaves is one of many recreational marijuana stores on 6th Avenue in Tacoma. Photo by Allison Fitz.


In Washington, as time passes since legalization, the government has become more accepting of marijuana. Cities and counties, for example, have lifted bans and zoned for marijuana businesses. “Government officials are going from

by Allison Fitz

being outright against marijuana to treating it like another business,” Mikhail Carpenter, spokesperson for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, said. Washington’s youth perceptions about marijuana have also changed since legalization. The Washington State Department of Health runs a statewide Healthy Youth Survey for youth in Grades 6, 8, 10 and 12. Historically, in regards to alcohol, this survey demonstrated that when perception of risk is low, use rates are high. With cannabis, legalization has prompted a decrease in perception of risk, but use rates among youth have not increased. In fact, as reported by The Washington Post, “following legalization, the rate of adolescent marijuana use in Colorado has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade.”



“Youth are still using marijuana at the same rate that they were prior to legalization, even though cannabis is more widely accessible now,” Carpenter said. A few theories can explain such data. One: with access to technology, Gen Z is in a better position than other generations to research and understand marijuana’s health effects. Two: while recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, medical marijuana was first legalized in Washington in 1998, so youth had at least been aware of and exposed to marijuana prior to recreational legalization. Three: “It no longer is cool to do something that your parents may do,” Carpenter said, noting the “wide range” of ages and motivations of consumers. To Gen Z, marijuana is not only less

stigmatized, but more commercialized. Cannabition, for example, an interactive cannabis museum in Las Vegas, features 20 exhibits, including the 24 foot tall “world’s largest bong.” Weedmaps, another example of such commercialization, is an online community and database of all things marijuana. Weed is becoming a social experience for Gen Z.

“It no longer is cool to do something that your parents may do.” Moving forward, “federal legalization is probably an inevitability,” according to Carpenter. In October 2018, Canada

became the first world country to federally legalize it, which might speed up the process in the US. It is, however, noteworthy that even the US states that have legalized marijuana have all adopted different systems of enforcement. In Washington, for example, “currently there is no legal way to allow on-site consumption,” according to Carpenter (see sidebar for more). Marijuana is mainstream for Gen Z, from information on our screens to retail stores on our streets. As we become society’s lawmakers and business owners, the legalities, commercialization and culture of marijuana will continue to evolve.

Washington's Marijuana Laws Where can you smoke weed? • private spaces, outside of the view and smell of general public

Where can't you smoke weed?

There are over 18 cannabis shops in Tacoma alone, and the number keeps growing. Marijuana's use rates among youth, however, are declining. Graphic by Allison Fitz


• • • • • • •

public spaces hotels or similar restaurants lounges, clubs, and bars sports stadiums concert venues federal land, including national parks and national forests • some Indian reservation land


Activism in Gen Z by Julia Henning

Looking back on the wave of activism of the past 10 years, there is a very common trend...youth. Annie Wright students participate in the National School Walkout last March. Photo by Molly Bryant, Class of 2018.

In 2007, the first WE day summit took place in Toronto, Canada. WE charity is an organization that was started in 1995 to help student leadership. They now hold leadership summits all across the US and Canada every year. Students share inspiring stories of leadership in their communities, and a famous musical artist always performs.

There were over 450 marches organized by different chapters of M4OL across the country in March, and students organized both Seattle's and Tacoma’s marches. People in all generations realized through this movement that kids have a powerful voice. Since then, students have organized marches for education, global warming, women’s rights and more.

Annie Wright is one of the many schools to have attended the Seattle event for the past few years. “All of it was really inspirational. All of the stories were really interesting and moving, ” said Sophie Jeter, a junior who attended last year. “There were a lot of people that talked about achieving something that people were saying ‘oh, you can’t do this’ and they went for it and it worked out, or they took risks and succeeded,” she said.

“Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the Nation: We are going to be a great generation!”

Gen Z has joined in and even started their own movements in the past years. One of the most notable is March for Our Lives (M4OL). The march was started by the friends of victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting on February 14, 2018. Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., is only 10 years old and already following her grandfather’s footsteps. She spoke at the March for Our Lives event in Washington DC last March. Accompanied by Jaclyn Corin, a member of M4OL, King had the crowd repeat after her: “Spread the word! Have you heard! All across the Nation: We are going to be a great generation!” Her words made national headlines and proved to many younger activists that you can still have a voice at a young age.


With the movements being led by Gen Z, social media has been a big tool for many organizers. The platform provides easy access to hundreds and thousands of other student activists that can retweet or share posts to educate other students and spread news. David Hogg, for example, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, got over 18 companies to pull their advertisements off of Laura Ingraham’s TV show from just one tweet that got retweeted 53,000 times. Many Parkland students gained massive followings overnight and the platform allowed them to get their voices heard and tell fellow students across the country about walkouts, protests, and the big March for Our Lives event. Students with their own M4OL chapters gained massive followings as well in every part of the country. Gen Z won’t be done with protesting anytime soon. There are more and more announcements of marches and protests every day. Students are continuing to meet with their representatives in congress and make their voices heard in a range of arenas. Soon Gen Z will create more profound change as they populate a new generation of voters.


dO yOu KnOw WhAt A mEmE iS? by Nina Doody

Memes help define Gen Z

According to a recent Inkwell survey, Annie Wright Upper School students define memes as:

• “An internet joke” • “Something relatable and funny” • “A picture with caption that makes fun of something” • "Satire?” (Thanks IB English) • “A cultural reference, probably on the internet, that might be a picture, words, or video” • “Anything and everything around us” • “A funny image that some people don’t get” • “A viral image/text that is widely distributed over the internet and modified for various contexts” • “An almost universally recognizable and co-optable image or idea” • “Something that simultaneously makes you want to laugh and cry and die.

An Inkwell survey of Upper School students asked "In general, do you find memes funny?" 85% said yes.


• "A pic with words that mocks something.” • “A visual interpretation of turning sadness into humor” • “An internet trend usually attached to a joke that most often comes in the form of a picture” It is difficult to pinpoint the exact start date of memes, but their popularity greatly expanded with the advent of social media. Before social media, the term meme was applied to political cartoons. Today, memes are Gen Z’s iconic artwork. With the new year comes new memes, but here we take a look back on some of the favorite memes from our student body and Inkwell staff. To the adults in the crowd, it's okay if you don’t understand memes… you don’t have to. Memes are the language of our generation.

Some Iconic Memes >>


College pressureZ for Gen Z-ers

Many students accumulate a large number of college brochures over the course of their high school career. Photo by Kaitlin Tan.

by Kaitlin Tan The perception among many members of Generation Z is that college selection is more competitive and pressure to take a certain college route is higher than in previous generations. Along with these pressures many Gen Z-ers feel they need to live up to ideals of the perfect applicant.

on those schools that deny more people than they accept,” which she believes is to be culprit of technology. “Travel is easier, communication is easier, it’s much easier to see others’ experiences. It all shapes a student’s perceptions [of the ideal college experience.]”

Statistically, more Gen Z-ers are applying to college, according to College Counseling Director Scottie Hill. She said that this is a result of more students applying to more colleges due to advanced technology and the ease of applying online.

“Back in the day, colleges said they wanted well-rounded students; now they’re saying they want ‘pointy’ students."

Despite more people applying to more colleges, however, Hill believes that the college process has not gotten more competitive for most schools over the years and that increased competition is “one of the biggest misconceptions about college.” “Most colleges accept most people that apply and that has been true for a long time,” Hill said. To explain the perception of competitiveness, Hill said “We tend to focus


With the higher number of Gen Z-ers applying to college, Hill said that more applications do not mean that schools have larger acceptance pools. Rather, “These schools are forced to deny more people and that decreases the school’s acceptance rate and increases the desirability to attend that school,” she said. There is also more pressure to apply to more colleges, and this becomes a vicious cycle.


Graphs show responses to a survey of 98 Upper School for Girls students: 14% freshman, 24% sophomores, 29% juniors and 33% seniors, with 66% domestic students and 34% international students.

Do you feel pressure to attend a top-tier college?

Top reasons cited for feeling pressure to attend a top-tier college:

How much stress does applying to college/thinking about college give you (1-10)?

1. "It looks good on a job application" 2. "Quality education" 3. "Status"

Do you choose activities based on having it look good on college applications?

When asked if there was a higher desirability for Gen Z-ers to attend top-tier schools, Hill agreed: “People have access to more information and people are more willing to move around… and really push an idea of college.”

and success. She suggested this is a result of social media and the ability for it to allow students to see others’ experiences. The “stress of comparison is very real for your generation,” Hill said.

“The desirability has also changed through the language that is associated with an Ivy League school,” Hill said. She also emphasized that the term “Ivy League” is used to describe an athletic league, because she encounters people who described other top-tier schools as “Ivy League.”

Hill agreed with the fact that there is higher emphasis on being the best at something rather than being wellrounded. “Back in the day, colleges said they wanted well-rounded students; now they’re saying they want ‘pointy’ students,” she said. She believes that this is due to the increased understanding of packaging oneself and being appealing to college admission officers. This can also increase stress and cause students to compare themselves unfavorably to others.

Hill said she believes that the pressure to attend certain schools puts unnecessary stress on students and increases comparisons between perceived student achievement




The Butt Boom

by Samantha Salamone

Professional model Sonya Delance expresses her thoughts about Gen Z's obsession with big butts. Experienced model Sonya Delance has seen a shift in beauty norms. Photos courtesy of British Vogue.

Inkwell: How do you think the butt obsession came about? SD: In all reality, I think it has to do with a lot of the whole Kardashian movement.. and social media coming... Before, if there was a celebrity or someone of that sort, they weren’t as exploited as they are now through social media. Before, your exposure was maybe a little teen magazine or just TV. And now, you get doses of it daily, and all day long. It’s constant inundation of images and style/art geeks and fads and things to do. It’s different than it was before. Back in the 70s, there were main anchor models that were always being displayed on just mostly magazines. It would be really cliquey in the 70s for really skinny models. And then it

became more shapely. I think the skinny, over starving model is no longer in, which is a good thing for body image. But now, it’s the opposite thing of having that super curvy [body type], and some women don’t naturally have that. And so, it puts this thing into their minds, where now they’re buying butt pads, and padded underwear, and actually go into surgery and putting themselves in danger with implants, and I mean it just gets crazy. Inkwell: You were talking about Kim Kardashian. What specific influences do you think led to the curvy obsession? SD: I think I see that coming from really idolizing [Kim Kardashian’s] whole lavish lifestyle and her very voluptuous

The effects of the text by Jade Cheatham

Cell phones, a Gen Z necessity, can have negative physical effects including worsening eyesight and posture, and also psychological effects such as lessening sleep. More than 75% of Annie Wright Upper School students polled said they have dealt with at least one of these effects caused by our phones. Here are a few targets and how to alleviate them >>> 16


In contrast to previous generations, many in Gen Z view a large backside as beautiful and desirable. According to a poll of Annie Wright students, 54% responded that if a friend told them that their butt looked big, they would take it as a compliment. Inkwell interviewed professional model Sonya DeLance to learn more about how ideals of body types from changed in Gen Z. Read excerpts from the interview below. body, and Beyonce, all these stars. They always were there, but I think that social media and the coverage of these individuals makes you inundated with it. And so that's what’s different…the over-exposure and the exploitation of it are what really caused that obsession with so many people. It's not like when you buy that magazine that comes out once a month, or when you see that television show that comes out once a week. Inkwell: Do you think modern modeling agencies could have something to do with that as far as the models they portray? SD: Some designers like certain types of body types. Like Ralph Lauren is kind of a classic American designer who never really went for the type of super skinny, starving models. And it does

go with trends. If you look at European and French designers, they're always displaying slimmer, skinnier body types. I think modeling agencies can put pressure, like if they're doing runway, because they have to set the designer’s sample pieces. So it’s not just that it’s going on fashion, and what's in. It’s more just if you can fit that designer’s clothing. If you can’t, then you're not going to be a model for their clothes. Before models displayed whatever the trend was. Now, models really are kind of whomever. Social media models aren’t really even models, but they’ve made themselves models in a sense because they’re famous people who people are following and watching and emulating.

Posture Poor posture, neck and back pain have been linked to the usage of cell phones and computers. The pain comes from the position while using the technology, usually hunched over. According to CBC news, “Spine surgeons are noticing an increase in patients with

neck and upper back pain, likely related to poor posture during prolonged smartphone use.” The modern term "text neck" is used to describe the over stress of the neck and back muscles due to the position of texting and typing.

How to avoid this 1. Take breaks while using your computer to stretch your back and neck to relieve

stress on the muscles. 2. Change the position of your phone so that you don’t have to be tilted forward or in an uncomfortable position. 3. Improve posture habits to not put a strain on your back and neck muscles.




Sleep It's common for many people to have their phone within reaching distance of their bed for multiple reasons, including using it as an alarm clock, entertainment purposes and overall the convenience of having it close at all times. The iPhone has “night shift,” which shifts the screen color from cooler to warmer colors after dark which is meant to help improve sleep. Blue light, which is the color of the normal iPhone screen, is known to affect melatonin, the hormone that signals the body to sleep. Warm light is less likely to keep you up at night. Although the night shift screen is darker than the normal screen, however, there has been

little proof that this actually helps improve sleep quality. Generally it's not the greatest choice to sleep with your phone close to you. It can prevent you from getting the sleep that your body needs. Sleep deprivation can cause irritability and can interfere with responsibilities such as school work. According to Upper School Counselor Nancy Waters, sleep is essential for Gen Z-ers. “Sleep deprivation interferes with your ability to store new information that you have learned,” she said. “Sleep acts as a system to 'lock-in' the information you learned.”

How to avoid this 1. Don’t keep your phone close to you when you are trying to fall asleep so that your brain relaxes and you can get a good night's rest. 2. Try night shift to see if it works for you.

Eyesight The “night shift” mode also is meant to help your eyes at night since the light is not as harsh. According to research from the University of Toledo, “When blue light hits a molecule called retinal, it triggers a cascade of

chemical reactions that could be toxic to cells in the retina of the eye.” Junior Bailey Black said “Although I haven’t seen a direct effect of my phone on my vision I have noticed that my eyes get tired quicker.”

How to avoid this 1. Avoid spending long periods of time on your phone or looking at any screen. 2. Turn down the brightness on your phone. 3. Use night shift.

Still on your device? While you're at it, follow Inkwell: Instagram @anniewrightinkwell Twitter @awsinkwell Snapchat @awsinkwell