The hustle and bustle of daily lives, the hugs and high fives, the screaming at concerts, the excitement from feeling the plane lift-off, the sound of glasses clinking at a restaurant— these are all things the pandemic stole from us. But, luckily, this is all temporary. As more people get vaccinated, lives are slowly returning to normal. But does Gen Z believe we are “back to normal” yet?
The return of the “real” college experience?
Socialization was the biggest part of normal life that disappeared during the pandemic. For high schoolers and college students, it became hard to interact with friends or experience the “real” college experience.
“I think I’m just excited about hanging out with friends in a COVID-safe way and not feeling guilty or stressed about it,” said Noorie Dhingra, Director of The Receipt. “I’m a senior in high school, and I’m super excited to get the vaccine now for [freshman year of college].”
17-year old Dhingra has been vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer.
Less anxiety around daily tasks
Big aspects of socialization included going out to eat at restaurants and shopping. With COVID-19, there was a constant fear that going out could infect not only families but others outside of the household.
“In general, being able to socialize and not be too apprehensive to be with friends, and not always being paranoid about COVID spreading is exciting,” said consultant Ayomide Soleye said. “Even if it’s going grocery shopping for work, and then coming home and seeing my parents, it was the constant question of ‘Am I going to be putting them at risk?’ So, it’s nice to have all of those worries alleviated.”
20-year old Soleye has been vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer.
Dreams of travel slowly becoming reality
One of the biggest hindrances from COVID-19 has also been traveling. Airports put heavy restrictions on trips. Even going on road trips became hard to plan and completely unsafe. But now, vaccinations are making vacations feel possible again.
“I’m traveling. I’m in Florida right now, so we still have our masks on and are still social distancing. It was a little more mentally relieving to be able to travel with a vaccination,” consultant Moha Trivedi said. “After this, I just really want to go to a concert or a music festival. Human interaction is something that I’ve been missing because I’m a really sociable and outgoing person, so getting that aspect after COVID back is great.”
16-year old Trivedi has been vaccinated with both doses of Pfizer.
Gen Z still prioritizes safety measures despite vaccines
Priorities are to stay safe, wear a mask, and practice social distancing until all are vaccinated. However, Gen Z is beyond done with this pandemic; vaccinations provide an end to this tunnel of social isolation for a generation’s most formative years..
Optimism around vaccines is a hopeful sign that normalcy is on its way. Gen Z is more than ready for it. Are brands ready for them?
JUV Consulting is a Gen Z collective that works with companies to create purpose-driven and authentic marketing campaigns that engage young audiences. Contact us at email@example.com if you would like to learn how to reach Gen Z, or sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Screenshot, to get Gen Z insights straight to your inbox.