Before explaining why I will not apologize for being a millennial, let me define what that is. A millennial is the group of people born from 1980 to 2000 who are typically reaching adulthood at this time. Millennials have been highly criticized by other generations for being narcissistic, lazy, uncaring, and unknowledgeable. Even millennials themselves have been apologizing for being who they are. I am not one of those people.
Let’s start with the narcissistic traits that us twenty-somethings theoretically embody. It has been said that because we use social media to post selfies or tweet about our lives that we suffer from egocentrism. This may be true, but who’s more to blame: our coddling adult figures, or us?
Growing up I received recognition and praise for everything. I played soccer horribly and still received a trophy. I would get an A for simply sitting through a class. When those report cards came home, I would get money for doing “well” when in actuality I just showed up. The adults we encountered growing up were so afraid to tell us we are not special and that we do not deserve the world. This being said, of course we are going to grow up thinking we are the best and that others are interested in our lives when they probably aren’t.
Another stereotype that millennials face is that we are lazy. I don’t know about you, but I work my butt off in school and at work. Sure, I am still living with my mother and am working a minimum wage job, but I haven’t even graduated college yet. Those millennials who have graduated but still live with their parents and work menial jobs only do because the economy is in shambles. How is it our fault that there are not enough careers available in our chosen field? Does this mean that by going to college and wanting a career that we are demanding too much?
Also, I am sure that the huge college debts that graduates are currently swimming in has something to do with them still living with their parents. The cheapest apartments range from $650 a month to a grand, and I don’t know about you, but that’s nearly my entire monthly earnings when I’m making $8.50 an hour.
“Millennials are uncaring individuals.” I beg to differ. I have never seen a group of people who care more about the well-being of others than this generation. We fight for what we believe is right and make use of our social media in that way. However, we are still told that our opinions are wrong because we are “too young” to possibly know anything. It has been said by Michael Savage, a noted hater of millennials, that millennials only care about two issues: gay marriage and global warming. We sure do care about that and that’s probably because those issues did not exist 240 years ago when the Constitution was signed. Hate to break it to all of you, but the Constitution is a living document and as this world evolves, it needs to as well.
We millennials don’t only care about those issues. We also care about immigration laws, healthcare, mass incarceration, etc. But, hey what do we know? We are only exposed to the same kinds of information that older generations are and possibly even more. How could millennials be ignorant when we are the most educated generation in history? We are so in tune with current events thanks to the technology that we are provided with.
Am I sorry that I am so dependent on technology? Yes. Am I sorry that I can’t afford to live on my own? Yes. Am I sorry for advocating change through social media rather than in person? Yes. But I am not sorry for thinking I deserve the best for myself. I am not sorry for maintaining an overly expensive education in order to obtain a meaningful career. I am not sorry for caring about the well-being of people more than the money that can be made or lost from them. I am a millennial and I am not sorry.