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Columbia Missourian

TELL US: What is your view of the American Next?

July 6, 2012 | 3:07 p.m. CDT

Editor's note: This story is part of The American Next, a special project exploring the hopes, fears and changing expectations of Missouri's next generation in challenging times.

You may have seen the series of stories published last week called The American Next, which details many different aspects of the hopes, dreams, challenges and fears of the next generation. On Monday, an interesting phenomenon occurred in relation to the series.


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After we published the article about a group of friends' adjustment to college and adulthood in West Plains, we were flooded with comments from those in the area who had a completely different view of growing up in the Ozarks. One of them, Zack Miller, submitted a From Readers story that was published Friday morning about his experiences growing up in Willow Springs, which is a few miles from West Plains. His story was from a different perspective of being part of the next generation of Americans.

If you haven't seen the series, you can catch up on what it's all about here.

While the Missourian collected the stories of many young Missourians and their perspectives on what the future holds, we know we did not get all of them. As Zack's article shows, opinions on what is in store for the Millenial generation, are varied.

We want to know how you look at the future. What are your hopes or apprehensions about the years to come? Do you think you are a typical member of the next generation of Americans, or something completely different? Tell us if we've written stories that got it right or if there's a perspective that hasn't been represented yet in the series. We'll publish your thoughts in our From Readers section.

If you're looking for a place to start, you might consider this recap of what other news sources are saying about the next generation and the American Dream. Send us your thoughts in whatever format suits your ideas best, be it an essay, a poem, a photo or something else. Send us an email with your response at

We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.