I'm More Than A Millennial
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I'm More Than A Millennial

Why does the label stop at the stereotype?

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I'm More Than A Millennial
Digital Dealer

It started out as a harmless term used to classify those born between 1980 and 2000, but has now become a negative label complete with multiple stereotypes. I have heard millennials as a whole referred to as lazy individuals with a fleeting attention span. When I first started interviewing for jobs every company felt that they had to offer something extreme, because they believe that millennials jump between jobs at a rapid rate. What seems to be left out and forgotten is that each millennial is an individual with their own life to live. Some people within that age group might fit the stereotypes like a glove. Others might have the glove bursting at the seams.

Picture a child, or an adult that wishes they were still a child, playing with Lego blocks. In the eye of today's culture, every person that meets a stereotype is meant to be a combination of Lego blocks, all with the same dimensions. Millennials are expected to be and act a certain way, and have a similar look about them to all other millennials. Let's say that millennials are expected to be made up of 9 Legos. One large one for the base, and four smaller ones to build up with. That is not reality. While there may be any number of similar structures, none of them are exactly the same. Just like the imagination of a small child every millennial is unique and has built a life of different building blocks of all shapes and colors. There is no perfect symmetry.

I believe I am a millennial that does not fit the glove, but it is all that many people will see when they look at me. Yes, I am a young woman with her first job. No, I do not think that I will have that job for the rest of my life. But that is not because I am a job-hopping-millennial, it’s because I have a dream that I am passionate about and know it won’t just fall into my lap. Yes, I went to an out-of-state, four year school and will drown in student loan payments before I pay them off. But you know what? I don’t regret one decision.

I had a conversation with my father recently about something that in the grand scheme is inconsequential. The conversation was about why I should take a notebook and pen with me to work to take necessary notes. I have absolutely no problem with taking notes, nor do I have a problem with taken them with pen and paper. But it was his assumption that I would rather take notes on my phone or a computer that left me wondering about why he thought that. It dawned on me that it might not have had anything to do with me, but with the time frame I was raised in. I was born in 1995 and lived through several technological advancements. Even if I didn’t have a computer at home, I was taught to type before I was taught how to write in cursive. It is no wonder that I am more comfortable with technical forms of communications rather than written.

The people in this world that only see me for my age and financial status lose out on everything that makes me who I am. Looking at me you might guess that I came from a nice family, with a good upbringing. What you wouldn’t know is that I went to my first funeral two weeks after I was born for a grandmother I would never know. What you wouldn’t know is that I have a crack in my growth plate in my left ankle because I slipped off a curb in Kindergarten. You wouldn’t know that over the past four years I taught myself how to make jam, jelly, salsa and bread and butter pickles from scratch. You wouldn’t know that the college I went to was because I had a strong familial connection to it.

I am so much more than someone born between 1980 and 2000. I am someone that looks forward to going camping in the woods of Vermont at the camp my Grandparents bought, where there is no cell service and the only running water is the stream out back. I am a person that didn’t get their license until I was 20 because I had several concussions. Maybe next time you meet a millennial, you might think differently. To the millennials, maybe we need to do a better job of showing the world who we really are, not who they expect us to be.

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