December 10, 2016

Millennials, stand strong

As a Millennial, older relatives and strangers alike tell me how my generation has ruined today’s society. According to our elders, we have become too sensitive and spoiled from getting our participation trophies. However, the thing that I just do not understand is how this is our fault.

First, Millennials, or Generation Y, are those born between the 80s and early 2000s. The previous generation is Generation X, born between the early 60s through the early 80s. Finally, the Baby Boomers were born between the mid-40s through the mid-60s.

Those generations are the ones who could work one part-time summer job and pay for a year’s college tuition. My generation’s average student debt is almost $30,000, according to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS).

Their generation had one parent working, the other at home with the kids, and were vacationing every summer. My generation has both parents working at least one job just to pay the bills. Our two very different societies are the reason for our different views on lifestyle and values.

Obviously a lot has changed since our parents and grandparents were our age, positive and negative, yet the Millennials are made the scapegoat for all things wrong with society today. We take all the heat but get none of the recognition, and we have every right to be angry about it.

One generation creates the next one, so the other generations complaining about what they do not like about society now are only complaining about what they raised.

They were the ones that insisted we get a higher education to land a great job and “change the world,” but they do not want the changes we have to offer just because we disagree with what is traditional.

Change is not always a bad thing, it means growth. Just because something has always been done one way does not necessarily mean we need to keep doing it like that. As Millennials, we have become accustomed to multitasking and accomplishing things in a faster, more efficient way.

Our generation has been the most diverse and we want to end the hatred and bigotry held by our more conservative elders. If that makes me “too sensitive,” then I accept that as a compliment because wanting race equality, a better environment, a stronger economy and a fair justice system are not bad things.

Do not blame me and my fellow Millennials for how society is today. Things just do not work how they used to and that is not our fault; however, we are wanting to change it for the better.

The word Millennial has negative connotations such as being characterized as self-centered and having an entitlement complex.

Maybe that is because of our cheerleader parents that showered us with praise, creating a false reality, because in real life, only the winners get the trophy.

Our parents hovered over us, and probably still do while we are stuck living at home because we cannot afford to move out. The older generations broke the economy yet we are the ones that get called lazy because of it.

If being a Millennial means believing in fresh ideas, being rewarded for success and caring about myself and others, then I am proud of my label.

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