6 Reasons Why Millennials Are Actually Awesome

6 Reasons Why Millennials Are Actually Awesome

Millennials are the best

When you think of the term Millennials, more often than not a negative connotation goes along with it. Millennials are the generation that was brought up in the "No Child Left Behind" era, the "everyone gets a trophy" era, and most importantly, the rise of technology. The previous generations see Millennials as self-centered, easily offended, poor communicators, and entitled, along with many other negative stereotypes assigned to Millennials. What the Baby Boomers fail to realize, is that we aren't actually that bad. Especially trying to make it in the world they left for us. So without further adieu, here are some reasons that Millennials are awesome.

1. Tolerance

Millennials are among the most tolerant generation to date. Millennials are not "easily offended" they just realized that your negative comments were rude and hurtful. It isn't right to shame people for who they are, and the Millennials stopped this dead in it's tracks. We are by far the most accepting of gender equality and LGBTQ rights with over 70% of Millennials being in favor of marriage equality. Millennials are drawing attention to systematic racism, police brutality, corporate greed, and most importantly, equality. And Millennials aren't going to stop until we see real social changes being made. We are the generation of change and progression, and we truly care about many of the issues our country faces day in and day out. If change is what we want, we will get it.

2. Education

Millennials are on track to become the most educated generation in the history of the United States. Many millennials come from families where they will have been the first to graduate from a University. Although, college has become a necessity, it is still something no other generation has seen before. Many Millennials went to college and obtained a degree and have continued on to graduate level classes. The down side is that we are plagued with financial debt with no light at the end of the tunnel...yet. But if the Millennials keep at it, the mounds of student loan debt will be the next thing on our list to change for the generations to come.

3. Best of both worlds:

The older generations seem to forget how fast technology climbed to the top. Millennials are attributed to being the generation of poor communications skills and reliant on technology, but what they seem to forget is that we grew up the majority of our childhood in the world before the smartphones existed. We played outside, used our imaginations, lived without a cell phone or a computer, or even social media in general. We watched cartoons on Saturday mornings and lived a childhood no different from the previous generations. There was no such things as social media until we were into middle school and high school depending on where you lie age-wise. However, we grew with technology and were able to learn how to use smartphones, instant messaging, and social media outlets as they rose to power with our coming of age. We got to live the unplugged life AND see technology advance right before our eyes.

4. Ambition

Millennials may be called the generation who thinks they are entitled to things without working for them, but that is just not true. We don't think we are just entitled to things without working for them, but we do feel entitled to the things we worked for but have nothing to show for them. Like those degrees we talked about earlier, shouldn't we be entitled to a good paying job in our field? We worked very hard for our degrees and we want to be able to work toward our dreams.Recent studies show that Millennials are the best educated and worst paid generation. Millennials are always looking for ways to better themselves and the community, and for the first time, Careers are being put before starting a family and Millennials are shaking up the social norms and making new social standards that they adhere to, such as waiting to establish themselves in a career and have a stable income before starting a family, if that is what they choose to do.

5. Mental Health

Many of the previous generations didn't understand what it meant to be healthy. Millennials are at an understanding the mental health is just as important as physical health, and overall wellness. Millennials aren't shy about having a mental illness or seeing a psychiatrist or a therapist when and if it is necessary. Since Millennials are the most tolerant generation to date, we are starting to break the stigma around mental illness. We speak out about our mental illness and promote being mentally well. We practice mindfulness and do things for ourselves. We work to live, we don't live to work, and we have a hunger for bettering ourselves in every way, including admitting when our mental health needs work, and we don't shame the people who need to replenish their health.

6. Intellectual Disabilities

On the other side of things, Millennials understand intellectual disabilities better than past generations. With autism becoming increasingly more common, there aren't too many people these days who don't know someone with some form of intellectual disability. Previous generations bullied kids for being different, but not Millennials. We make the kids who are different feel included. We invite them to parties, we get to know them, and many are elected Homecoming and Prom King or Queen because we get to know them for who they are, and love them despite their challenges. We celebrate each others differences.

So yeah, we many be lazy or self-centered sometimes, but what about all we have accomplished so far? Millennials may be the best generation yet! Your move, Gen Z.

Cover Image Credit: Karirpad.com

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A Different Kind Of Normal

Should you try to fit in if you're eccentric? What about the other way around?

Any of my friends who know me on an intimate personal level will understand that I have made choices in the past and attempted to comport myself in a manner that would suggest a normal personality and temperament. Not necessarily an attempt to be one of the beautiful people, but, I would exert an unreasonable amount of effort into conveying a person that can be singularized to a particular identity, whether that be goth, nerd, Southern (which absolutely no one took seriously), grungy, and, even preppy.

One day, I would make the decision to wear khaki pants, a button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a pair of Sperry’s. Then, I’d suddenly want to wear brown cargo pants, converse with Harley Quinn and the Joker, a black shirt and a grungy-looking coat. One can’t forget my brief and comedic attempt at wearing a synthetic muscle shirt, tight jeans, black cowboy boots, and, shamelessly try-hard sunglasses. I refused to be who I am, which is a genuine eccentric. Even when I attempted to wear one of these costumes that I designed with the attempt at portraying a typical role, I’d still meet new people, and, once they somewhat knew me after hanging out a single time, they’d refer to me as “strange,” and, whether they use that term in a positive or disrespectful manner (more often than not, it was in a positive manner), it caused me to feel very insecure and uncomfortable.

The classic “cognitive dissonance” theory states that cognitive dissonance occurs when you realize, either by your own recognition of a actions and characteristics or other people’s reactions and judgments, that the self-image you’ve programmed yourself to be pleased with contradicts your personality, social role, character, or, even morals, and you suddenly feel uniquely uncomfortable.

I remember my uncle, a person that I share generally eccentric quirks with, would sometimes remark, “Strange boy,” when I would state or do something strange or uncharacteristic of a normal person with a familiar personality. I can remember my professor telling me that I’d love her class because all of the movies are weird like me. I remember classmates in high school who desperately wanted to fit in with a clique would dislike me because of my eccentric nature. And, I would see my peers try so desperately to be unique or strange by awkwardly conveying a fake nature just as I did. I would think to myself that I was well-aware of my own eccentric nature, and, I didn’t understand why a normal person would want to be that way.

Being eccentric is why I say the things I say, do the things I do, and think the things that I think. It’s why I’m walking through campus, look at my watch which doesn’t tell the date, and wonder whether it could be two days too fast since it doesn’t tell me the date. It’s why I express random colloquialisms or use strange wording that I’ve never heard anyone use as if they’re typical phrases, like, “That is immensely exciting” or, “This is a very abstruse conversation.” Or I’ll restructure obscure quotes and say things like, “Hey, if you’re the chaos, then I’m the dancing star!” Or, maybe, “I wouldn’t stare into that abyss for too long!” Of course, both of these examples are Nietzsche quotes, but, it’s the only ones I could recall.

Being eccentric is why I sometimes walk without swaying my arms, and, it’s why I like music like Marilyn Manson and PJ Harvey. It’s why I sometimes wear black button-up shirts with black jogging pants and a pair of converse for the sake of feeling comfortable and slick. It’s why I sometimes initiate conversations with people asking them about their favorite movies or school subjects, or, maybe just asking, “Do you like anime?” And, it’s why, in an informal conversation, if you ask me a simple question, I’ll go on a long tangent that may or may not arrive at a point that relates to what you just asked me.

Being an eccentric isn’t an attempt at being “special” or “precious.” There are eccentrics the whole world ‘round. The importance of recognizing that you’re a genuine eccentric is not only recognizing that you’re different from the majority of people but, also, that we’re all the same. After beginning the process of coming to terms with my eccentric nature, I found myself becoming friends with people from drastically different backgrounds. Conservative and liberal. Straight and gay. Preppy and alternative. Warm and cold. Religious and non-religious.

Once again quoting my uncle, everyone’s unique like everyone else. Many fit in with the typical crowd, and many don’t. There are those that fit in that don’t mind, and there are those that fit in and thrive on it, but, there are also those who naturally fit in but wish they could be different or unique. Then, there are those who don’t fit in. There are those that are fine with that, there are those that thrive on it, and there are those, like I have been in the past, that desperately want to fit in.

I’ll spare myself the cliche of saying, “Be yourself.” I think it’s fairly clear that someone like me encourages staunch individuality. But, all I’ll suggest is that the only people who are truly unique are the people who desperately try to be anyone that they aren’t. Reconciling my eccentric nature and accepting my awkward social role is how I make friends, meet new people, constantly evaluate my principles and concepts, and slowly make progress towards a fulfilling life.

I’m eccentric. Maybe, you’re normal, or, maybe you’re not. We’re all alternative. And, that’s an eccentric way of conveying that thought.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why you should speak your mind when nobody's listening

If you’re reading this, I probably know your name.

We’ve probably met in person anywhere from a few to a thousand times, and I would consider you a friend. You’ll likely continue to read the rest of this article out of either curiosity or an uncomfortable sense of obligation.

And if not, you’re probably an Odyssey editor who’s checking this article over to make sure that I’m not corrupting the public with Satanist propaganda or posting 46 pages of biology notes online because I think it’s funny.

The reason I feel so comfortable making all these claims is because I think most people are pretty lazy, and it goes without saying that I am no exception.

That’s why I’m writing this article about something so abstract and vague, simply because it’s easy to ramble about. Anyway, my idea here is this: because the general public is lazy (allow me this assumption for the sake of discussion), a vast majority of possible viewers of this article, or any other one, can’t be bothered to read it. Why should they be? To them, I’m an irrelevant name attached to another Odyssey article, which are generally pretty annoying to scroll through on Facebook, so most people opt out of it altogether.

What the hell is the point then? Even if you are a total stranger who’s legitimately interested in my opinion on opinions, I’m apparently so convinced that you aren’t that I’ve already dedicated half the article to explaining why I think you aren’t. So why didn’t I delete this article halfway through and quit the Odyssey? I considered it, but the answer is because I like talking to myself. And I think you should too.

The worst possible quality a human being can have is a lack of conviction. Personally, I find it to be a colossal turn-off. If you don’t think and believe of your own accord, you truly have nothing. In the face of the most severe misfortune and tragedy, all that remains is what exists within our minds, which can never be taken away.

Our opinions drive the way we live: the way we act, speak, treat others, and are perceived by others is dictated by our views. Without them, is not an individual, but a drifting sack of water and blood that can be swept up in the turmoil of the outside world without resistance.

Thusly, the constant formation and presence of opinions in our thoughts is an essential part of being alive. One of the best ways to foster this development is writing.

Because you’re my friend, a well-meaning editor, or a stranger who’s heard me out for this long already, I know you’ll believe me when I say that I honestly had no earthly idea what this article was going to be about until I started writing it.

To be frank, I wasn’t entirely aware that I had such strong opinions about opinions until the moment I wrote this sentence.

We assume that we know the ins and outs of our brains without question. This idea makes sense, but I don’t believe it to be true whatsoever. Scouring through one’s own mind through the act of writing, forces deeper, substantive thought to occur. Addressing a hypothetical audience makes the author work to fully expound upon his own ideas. The rationale behind this process is that the reader has to be able to understand the author’s writing- but doing so allows the author to get an even clearer perception of their own thoughts.

This is not to say that we need to write in order to “really” access the cryptic, foggy clutter of the mind. However, articulating your own thoughts, be it through text, speech, or any other medium, is an excellent way to flesh out concepts in an effective and fairly easy way.

Because you’re my dear friend/editor/unlikely reader, I want to tell you this: I don’t care if you write, I just want you to think. Writing helps me think, but it doesn’t help everybody- nothing helps everybody do anything.

Read a book, listen to a song, take 82,000 micrograms of pure LSD (maybe not). Whatever gives you the fullest command over your own thoughts, do that. I’m of the opinion that you should want to do it.

Because if you don’t think for yourself, what makes you “yourself?” Award-winning author Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.” So if you think I’m a pretentious jerk, maybe you should write about it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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