Millennials. In October 2004, researchers Neil Howe and William Strauss called Millennials "the next great generation," which is funny. They define the group as "as those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter." In 2012, they affixed the end point as 2004. ( The Atlantic, 2014 )
I, Jennifer Dunn, born January 21, 1987, do NOT believe I should be considered a "millennial".
Millennial is like a bad word anymore. It pretty much sums up a generation full of laziness, privilege and cry-baby antics. Yes, I get it. Yes, I clearly see this sissified behavior. But I do not believe I should be considered one.
All generations have lazy people who don't want to do anything. People who want to live off of the system, never move out, keep shit jobs just to get by, sleep on people's sofas, whathaveyou. But to deem anyone from the age of 21 to 35 on the same "level" is gross. And it's pretty much offensive to tell me that I am considered part of this group.
As a child, I played outside. We would stay outside until dark, playing with neighbor kids or use this thing called an imagination. Nintendo and Sega were bigger, but people didn't "game" like they do now. We used computers in school and played things like The Oregon Trail and Minesweeper, because we didn't have anything else. Families didn't start buying PCs until I was in 4th/5th grade and, if you were lucky enough to have internet, it was AOL dial-up from your phone line. We didn't have cell phones, rich people had car phones and I'd never even heard of a bag phone.
When I was younger, fast food was a treat, not something you'd eat everyday. We didn't have tiny computers in the palms of our hands. We couldn't order off of Amazon Prime and have our merchandise on our doorstep in 2 days. My dad worked while my mom stayed home with us, because it was doable then. And you learned quick that if you don't want to struggle, you need to have good work ethics. You didn't see toddlers running around in Gucci shoes or with mini Coach bags full of Barbie dolls. We actually played with Barbies! We spent time with our grandparents on the weekends instead of in front of a TV screen watching Netflix or playing XBOX One.
We got our asses whooped. We were actually. told. NO! If people bullied us, we didn't immediately go commit suicide...we dealt with it ( I was a victim of bullying pretty much all throughout high school and I'm still around... ) We learned how to talk to people, and a little thing called "manners". Dad would say under his breath in the grocery store "if you don't knock this shit off now I will smack your ass right in the middle of this store". Do that now, expect a call to the cops.
So, what happened?!
These are MY thoughts on the matter:
People are having kids at a younger age.
Or, as some would say, "babies having babies". Those who are not fully mentally developed enough to take on the responsibility of another human being...doesn't really know how to be a parent. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't good parents out there that had their children young; what I am saying is that when you are younger, you tend to try to befriend your kid rather than parent it. This causing confusion in the parent/child relationship. Once there's that blurred line, kids are smart enough to know that they can push the envelope...and mostly win. Looking back at age 21, I can see how much I've changed. And I used to think I was so mature then. But maturity really does come with age and experience. And once you have those experiences, I think it makes it a bit easier to teach and instill important characteristics in your child.
Technology makes everything so easily accessible.
It's turned kids into monsters. I want it and I want it NOW! You don't have to wait for anything; food, movies, shopping, DATES! Do you know how many times I've gone to dinner and seen a family sitting at the table, everyone on their phones? It's disgusting. We are so busy worried about what other people are busy with that we aren't living. Some kids go to school, come home and play video games until the wee morning...then rinse and repeat. Kids don't live anymore. And adults are just as bad. Sometimes I can't even have a simple discussing with someone because their nose is stuck in their phone. This instant gratification causes the millennials to expect everything to happen at the speed of wifi, and makes them spoiled, expectant and easily displeased.
Social anxiety is high.
Kids don't know how to talk to people, plain and simple. Most of them were probably texting before they even left the womb. Between texting, KIK, Instagram, Facebook, etc...they don't know how to interact with each other. This leads to unhealthy relationships in all aspects of life. If you have a job interview, you can't just text your responses to the interviewer, now can you? And I feel with this lack of communication with millennials, there's also a lack of manners. No one knows how to be nice to others anymore.
Disclaimer: I am not saying this pertains to ALL millennials. Just my generalized analysis.
Work ethic, and the desire to grow as a person, are low.
Less kids are going to college. More are living at home longer...and longer. Some kids feel entitled, like they don't need to get a job. Or some are so anxious about having to go to a job that they hate that they just...don't work. Well, guess what kiddos?...we all have to do things we don't like. And life isn't fair. And you know what else?...you're parents only signed up for 18 years with your unmotivated ass ( maybe 20, tops ) Go do something. Move out. Gain some independence and stop relying on mommy and daddy to pay your way through life.
New parents try SO hard not to be like their parents.
"I never want to turn out like my mom". Well, that doesn't mean go the completely opposite direction. Some parents strive so hard not to be overbearing, protective, strict, etc. that they end up being too lenient. The rules become more rubberized. You let too many things slide that it's now become expectation. Kids will take that and RUN with it, if you let them. Parents need to realize that how you raise your child molds them for the rest of their life! Heavy, huh?! Well it should be, because it's true. And it's a big-ass responsibility. YOU created this life and the way YOU raise it determines how they will do in life. Make smart choices. Love them like a parent, not a friend.
Even writing this, I see the pattern. Millennials is a bad word! And I even agree with this, and I technically AM one. But you see...it makes me mad because, since I'm technically a millennial, those who DO act in this manner give ME a bad name.
Those young people are all the same!
They expect everyone to cater to them!
Those kids are so lazy!
She's on her phone all the time!
I was taught to work hard. To take pride in whatever I do. To make smart choices with my money, because my parents didn't. Not to get pregnant out of wedlock ( even though married doesn't 100% mean they'll stay these days, anyway ) To take time to appreciate the little things. That paper books are way better than electronic. That creating something is sometimes better than buying it. That you don't need fancy things to make you likable. To respect others. To empathize. To help the less fortunate in any way you can. That you can't please everyone. That sometimes you need to disconnect the tech and reconnect to family. Plus so much more.
I am not a millennial.
I am an adult. An independent adult who works hard, enjoys naps and likes to hike. An adult who works with an animal rescue, appreciates her friends and fights depression daily...but never surrenders to it. An adult who does not feel I am owed anything by strangers and who is out to prove people wrong...