I am a millennial, but I am not who you think I am. Far too often I see members of Gen. X talking about how millennials are entitled, selfish, or lazy. Our opinions are pushed to the side because you think we are not as informed as you, but in reality, some of us are more knowledgeable than you can imagine. It frustrates me that millennials are grouped together into one category because a vast majority of us do not fit into that stereotype.
I'm a millennial, but disagreeing with some of my government's decisions does not make me unpatriotic. While I may publicly voice those disagreements, that does not mean I don't respect your (potentially differing) opinion. I know how the government works, and I have a pretty solid understanding of my nation's history. I don't expect everyone to have the same views or morals as I do, but I do expect you to listen to my side. Engaging in an educated discussion about controversial topics does not make me disrespectful, I am just trying to understand your point of view. I am constantly wanting to learn about differing opinions because, otherwise, it makes me ignorant. I am capable of taking criticism, and am always willing to debate. My political opinions are not any more or less valuable than yours because of my age.
I'm a millennial, but I don't expect to have things handed to me. I realize that I will have to work very hard to be as successful as I plan to be, and that is fine with me. I will spend four or more years of my life in college just so I can have the career I've always wanted, while also taking the risk of being in debt for most of my life because of it. I don't expect to be given a job with an $80K per year salary right off the bat, but I will work as hard as I can until I get there. Accomplishing my goals on my own is something I thoroughly enjoy, and I don't need you to hold my hand forever. I try my best not to complain when things don't go my way, but you can fully expect me to be vocal about unfairness when it is legitimate. I don't want a participation trophy when I lose because I know in life I will not always win.
I'm a millennial, but I have a life outside of the internet and social media. I use it frequently because it is an incredible tool, but I am able to disconnect whenever I want to. It's true that many people are glued to their electronics, but don't limit this only to millennials. Social media can be an amazing resource to have in order to make connections, but I know that it is also dangerous. I know not to post pictures of things I shouldn't, and I also know that "tweeting my feelings" really doesn't get me anywhere. In general social media is just fun to have, and if you're reading this article, you probably have an account somewhere, too. Don't tell me that I am too attached to my phone because, when you were 18, I'm sure you would have utilized technology just as much as me had it been available.
We are the future; it is about time we are treated as such. The generation that raised us is the one that complains the most about us, and it's time for that to come to an end.