What inspired you to write this book?
I grew up as a vegetarian Hindu playing football in Texas. My life from the very start felt a little different than most, and I saw the world from a more unusual perspective compared to many of my peers. I picked up on subtle trends and behaviors. I could also relate to discrimination felt by minorities but also acceptance from my peers. When I started writing my book, I realized that many of my peers also shared experiences that seemed unique to them. That's when I began to understand that there were a number of "unique" experiences that were actually common to our entire generation, but not at all common to the generations preceding us. In this way, I came up with the idea of writing a book, especially when I realized that no on else had written a book about Generation Z while still being a part of that generation. 

At your age, you're highly motivated to excel in academics and extracurricular activities, as well as to write a book. What do you think is the key to managing your personal goals and achieving them as a young person?
I think the key to successfully keeping up with everything is to think about the future. I tend to think about what I can do now that will make my life easier in the long run. For example, if I can perform to the best of my ability in the classroom, won't that prepare me for college and beyond? If I can get through the demands of football now, won't that make future demands easier to cope with? The way I see it, the more I can learn now through experience, the more likely I will reach my goal, which is to become the best of my potential. Instead of looking at all the small annoying steps, I look at what I ultimately want to reach. Picturing goals makes everything I do have a purpose and therefore easier to manage.

Who has been your greatest mentor or role model?                                                                                                                                                Every single person in my life – my family, my friends, everyone I meet everyday. If I truly listen to everyone's stories and their perspectives, I grow and remain inspired to stay true to myself and my dreams.

What do you hope that readers walk away with by reading your book?                                                                                                    I hope the book serves to dispel the stereotypes of Gen Z, and provides an understanding of factors that influence Gen Z' s thinking and decision making. I also hope it contributes to a better appreciation for what issues Gen Z will face.

What do you believe your generation will mean to society in 10 years?
I see our generation with a greater integration of technology into everyday life, as well as greater global collaboration on issues affecting our world. I envision that the proliferation of small businesses that can bring creative solutions to the marketplace will happen much more quickly than in the past.

Up to this point, what would you consider your most significant accomplishment of your life?
During my freshman year of high school, I was taking a class called AP Human Geography. We were learning about religions, and Hinduism came up. I was disappointed in the way Hinduism was being portrayed in the textbook and decided to enlighten the class on Hinduism. I know it sounds silly, but giving that presentation was a huge accomplishment for me. It was more than a presentation. That was the first time I was able to stick up and defend myself against discrimination. It gave me confidence in public speaking. It made me feel proud about who I was. People respected me more after that presentation than they had before. Kids still talk about that time when "Vivek gave an awesome presentation freshman year." After that lecture, lots of doors opened up for me. I was a new person, a much happier person. More than teaching others about my religion, I became a role model for those wanting to understand themselves while at the same time embracing the differences of others. 

In your book, you focus on everything from technology's domination in your generation to politics. What do you feel other generations need to know about Generation Z?                                                                                                                                      Our experiences have given us a unique perspective on global issues. We feel much more connected to the global community than others who have come before us, and in that regard, technology has brought us closer. We are also independent-minded, socially and environmental conscious, and will leverage the fact that we can have a rapid and powerful impact on world issues without going through traditional institutions.

What value do you feel Generation Z adds to society?
Generation Z will bring about the integration of technology, creativity, and global collaboration on a scale that we have not seen before.

What defines Generation Z?
There is no clear-cut definition, but generations are divided every 15-20 years based on changes in technology and global events that have significant changes on our lives, such as the invention of airplanes or the end of World War II. Gen Z is loosely defined as beginning in the late 1990s, with the invention of touch-screen smart phones, the economic downturn, the global scale of terrorism, and the emphasis on global warming and the environment.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I think it's so hard to predict the future in this generation, when changes are occurring so rapidly. These changes are occurring within the political realm, in the economy, and even in the environment. Aside from these factors, I see myself as someone who is good at mediating differences, creating collaboration, and making an impact on people's lives by having them see situations from a perspective they might have never seen before. My hope is to inspire others and, in turn, to be inspired by them, in order to creative a better life in a world that is often dominated by negativity in the media.

In your opinion, why is Generation Z looked down upon?
Many people view us as the "disinterested" generation, referring to those of us that are glued to our phones, listening to music on our headphones, and seemingly closed off to the outside world. The reality couldn't be further from the truth. In addition, many Gen Z'ers have a casual relationship with those older than us, and this casual approach is sometimes seen as a sign of disrespect. Again, this stereotype doesn't explain the full perspective.

What impact are you hoping this book has on those who read it?
I hope it brings an unbiased look at our generation, dispelling any stereotypes that many have formed or, at the very least, understand how the stereotypes were formed in the first place. I hope it also inspires those of us in Generation Z to appreciate the unique strengths we can offer the world.