12ish Days Till Christmas – Millennials

Day 9 coming at you with why I don’t like the term “Millennial”, and yes I know it is very much in the spirit of “Millennialism” to say that.. because you know.. we all hate labels.

I don’t actually hate labels, I just don’t like this specific one for a couple reasons. Generations are given nicknames, most prevalent right now are the Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials, and the newest being Generation-Z because they aren’t old enough for a cooler one yet.. sorry Kathryn (I’m kidding, there are a handful being suggested like the Homeland Generation, Post Millennials, iGeneration, and even the Founders which I don’t really get but I digress). Now, I personally was born at that awkward period where I feel too young to be a Millennial but too old to be part of Generation-Z, and I identify more with Millennials so that’s who I lump myself in with.. You can tell I’ve put way too much though into this.

But anyway, I genuinely can’t remember a time where “millennial” was used as a positive term. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone call me a millennial and mean it to be a compliment. I even use it sarcastically fairly frequently (just ask my mother.. a lot times when we are talking about current events in the U.S. I jokingly blame my own generation because that’s the connotation that comes with it). This negative connotation includes being self entitled, ignorant, handed everything on a silver platter, not doing anything for ourselves, disinterested, self-obsessed, the list literally goes on and on, and I personally have not seen a single one of these things to be true in the majority of Millennials I interact with.

So with this, let me just discuss these assumptions a little more in depth. Am I ignorant? Honestly, yeah probably. Do I intend to be ignorant? No, no I do not. Do I appreciate when others call out my ignorance? Absolutely, what kind of world would we live in if I wasn’t called out on my shittyness?? A shittier one, that’s for sure.

Am I self entitled with everything just handed to me without doing anything for myself? I mean I wish I was, my life would be about 10 million times easier, but no I’m not. My parents worked very hard to put myself and my 3 siblings through college without us having to take out loans, and I am reminded of how thankful I am for this every time I speak to my peers about paying for school. But regardless, I still have to work for my school to be paid for, it’s not like I’m just being handed a free college education. With that said though, I personally know many full-time students working part-time or even part-time students working full-time just so they can save enough money to get themselves on their feet when they graduate and begin to really pay off their student loans. Does this equal entitled and having everything handed to them? Not in my book.

Let’s be real for a minute, if Millennials were disinterested we wouldn’t be in college with the goal of getting a decent job to support ourselves. We’d end up being the generation that lives with their parents until we died or our parents died.

Another huge problem I have with the term “Millennial” is that Millennials did not give it to themselves. Baby Boomers gave us the name to generalize us, essentially as a way to strip us of our diversity and to complain about us and how we act and how we do things in ways that they didn’t and how their scared for the future of our country because of how we behave. Boomers are the ones who gave young people the negative implications of how we act and grow up and move into adulthood.

And finally, the last (main) reason I don’t like “Millennial” is because previous generations expect us to act like they did, experience life like they did, grow up like they did, and believe what they do as if their way was the only right way. It’s like they expect the world to continue to revolve around them and not change. Beyond this, older generations complain that Millennials supposedly have it too easy but ask any of them about their struggles and you’ll see a new side to their lives.. Unless you don’t listen to them because they’re Millennials and don’t really have anything meaningful to say.

So to conclude, every generation has their struggles, but the only way to make life easier for ourselves and future generations is to listen to each other’s experiences and respect how we are moving through life. Also, I know I speak in a lot of generalizations and absolutions here and I tried to avoid it as much as possible, but I do know that “not all Boomers” and “not all Millennials” are how I described them (considering I know a few outliers myself).

I could honestly probably write a pretty long paper about these and other reasons I don’t like being called a “Millennial” but these are what I’m leaving you with. I would really like to start a conversation about problems or experiences with Millennials and any other generation.

~Sarah Ann

My Last Post: 12ish Days Till Christmas – This Semester in Books

Brendan’s Last Post: 12 Days To Christmas – Losing and Finding Catholicism

Peter’s Post: Choosing a Path

All 12ish Days Till Christmas posts

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