MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — If you were born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, you are considered a Gen Z, or a Zoomer.

This generation is dealing with rapid changes in economic struggles, mental health issues, and political activism.

According to the American Psychological Association, nine out of 10 Gen Zers have experienced some type of mental health concern. They are three times as likely to deal with suicidal thoughts, depression, and addiction compared to the baby boomer generation, and social media is a common contributing factor.

“Everybody wants to document something,” said Minot State University student, Samantha Gonzalez, “so, it’s not just the fear of missing out anymore. It’s the feeling that you need to keep up with everyone else and constantly be present and show the positive side, where, it’s not always that way.”

With people constantly comparing themselves to others and the need to meet unrealistic beauty standards, the pressure to present a perfect image has increased the number of individuals who have developed low self-esteem, resulting in a mental health epidemic. And even with the growing awareness of mental health issues, there is still a stigma around seeking help for them.

“I’ve seen a few people think that just because there’s more awareness of mental health right now, they think it’s a joke or they try to downplay it,” stated MSU student, Cecylia Billiam, “just because they’ve gone through it and survived.”

Gen Zers also face financial stress as they enter society with student debt, high housing costs, and economic uncertainty.

“The financial situation- how everything is so expensive nowadays – is a huge concern,” stated MSU student, Gabrielle Bellew. “I’m still living with my parents because I can’t afford to move out right now.”

Despite the challenges they are facing, being a Gen Zer comes with great strengths — especially making strides in political activism and technological advancements. Gen Zers are also known for their diverse views on the world.

“I think that we’re really good with other people’s differences at accepting them better,” said Bellew. “I know there’s a lot of bias with older generations, but I feel like Gen Zs are pretty good at just kind of accepting others of themselves.”

Generation Z represents the breakthrough of our nation’s new social, political, and cultural outlooks. They are passionate about solving world problems and won’t stop until they accomplish their goals.

The majority of North Dakota’s population is Millennial. The next generation, Generation Alpha, which runs from 2013 through 2025, is expected to surpass Gen Zers and Millennials in population.