The Struggles Of Being Defined A Millennial
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Struggles Of Being Defined A Millennial

A millennial's take on her generation's enigmatic reputation and the difficulties of entering the professional world.

39
The Struggles Of Being Defined A Millennial
ITU Pictures

According to my birth year, I am a “Millennial.” A member of the generation that rode an earth-shattering wave of technology from one millennium to the next. There are 77 million of us in the United States alone, making up a quarter of the population. A third of us are college-educated. A quarter of us are bilingual. We know how to expertly navigate the virtual world. I may be biased, but I think that we are pretty extraordinary. However, to the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, the ones usually granting us access into the professional world, we are, for some reason, a complete mystery.

There have been thousands upon thousands of studies conducted just to see what makes us “tick.” What kind of investors will we be? What kind of voters? What kind of parents? Perhaps most importantly, what kind of workers? An infographic published on October 21, 2015 on business.com attempts to answer that question by dividing our generation into 12 distinct types. The intent being that if we are categorized, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers will know what kind of people they are hiring, and hopefully be able to weed out the good from the bad.

However, this system of categorization is inherently superficial. While some of the types are overzealously specific (the “Brogrammer”), others are incredibly vague (the “Underemployed”). Most importantly, several don’t seem to have much useful application in the professional world. (Does someone need to know that they are hiring a hipster?) Finally, assuming most Millennials are functioning human beings with multiple skills and interests, shoving someone into a specific group lops off valuable facets of his or her personality. Personally, I see myself as several different types, namely a “Boss Babe,” a “Nostalgic,” a “Travel Enthusiast,” a “Culinary Explorer,” and a “Collector.” Will my association with these types really matter when I search for a job? Not at all.

The idea of categorizing people into different social generations only gained popularity as recently as the mid 19th century. Before that time, a generation was used to describe familial relationships and hierarchies of power, not one’s relationship to others close to their age. Generations were not named until the Baby Boomer generation, and previous generations were named afterwards. While societal, economical, and technological developments no doubt have an effect upon the population that matures during a generation (a period of about 20 years), humanity has always had the tendency to react to tragedy, technology, and prosperity in much the same way throughout history.

In 1964, writer Martha Weinman Lear described Baby Boomers as “stand[ing] on a big threshold, and impossibly hip,” “distressingly complacent and hopelessly idealistic,” and finally, as a generation surrounded by adults who thought they were the best and worst thing to happen to the world. Sound familiar?

In reality, Millennials aren’t that different from Baby Boomers. Sure, they weren’t wired into the Internet and social media like we are, but the need for instant communication, instant gratification, and the inherent desire to challenge the authority of their parents is completely the same. Baby Boomers should see a reflection of themselves in Millennials, not a foreignness.

That is precisely why imposing a superficial labeling system on Millennials for the benefit of their future employers doesn’t work. Our “mysterious” nature is derived, if anything, from our strong comprehension and usage of modern technology from which new (and occasionally bizarre) facets of culture emerge. We benefitted from excellent timing. After all, it’s usually easier to grow up using new technology than it is to be introduced to it later in life.

As myself and my peers begin to navigate the professional world, it’s important to remember that we are a diverse group of individuals, not a set of caricatures neatly organized for review. Bottom line: Whatever you call us, we are ready to take on the world.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

7 Things Your Partner Can Do To Support You When You Have PCOS

Don't be afraid to ask for help or comfort if you need it.

5884

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may not be totally visible to the eye, which makes it a lot harder for your partner to understand what's going on with your body.

If you are in a relationship, it's important that you communicate your PCOS symptoms with your partner. I say "your" symptoms specifically because everyone's symptoms are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Watched 'The Social Dilemma' And YIKES, I'm Terrified For The Next Generation's Mental Health

Millennials can remember a time without online social affirmation, but we may be the last ones.

3289
The Social Dilemma / Netflix

I've been in a media job for the entirety of my professional career. From part-time social media internships to full-time editorial work, I've continued to learn how to tell stories, write catchy headlines, and keep people interested. I believe working in media is a big responsibility, as well as a valuable way to advance our world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

One Indictment, Three Charges, And No Justice For Breonna Taylor

We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.

10683

On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I’m OK With Hooking Up On The First Date, But That DOESN'T Make Me Easy

2020 has been a crazy year. And yet, women being comfortable with our bodies still seems to be a big topic in mass media.

511

I'm an adult. There is no reason I can't have consensual sex with someone on the first date. It does NOT make me easy, and it does not mean I'll have sex with just anyone the first time I meet them.

Keep Reading... Show less

I was so excited to vote in my local primary election in August. I eagerly researched my local candidates, combed the newspaper for profiles and policy positions, and shared infographics on Insta about voting deadlines. I considered myself a keen voter.

Keep Reading... Show less

Nothing! There is no reason to feel guilty about food and nourishing your body. It's time to make peace with food and stop focusing on the "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong" because food does not have power over you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down With An Endocrinologist To Ask All My Questions About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are so many moving parts of hormonal health, so I went to an expert.

5850
Anjanette Tan

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women. Any woman who has PCOS can attest to the fact that no two cases are the same — there are so many aspects of hormonal health that can impact a woman's reproductive health! For many, PCOS is a trial and error condition, with many doctors' appointments depending on the stage of life the woman is in.

This week I sat down with Dr. Anjanette Tan to get the expert opinion on all my PCOS questions. Dr. Tan is a board-certified endocrinologist who's worked in private practices since 2004. She currently works at the Diabetes and Thyroid Center of Fort Worth, one of the largest all-endocrine practices in the area, where she is the managing partner and head of clinical research.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This $40 Silk Sleep Mask Gives Me The Best Sleep I've Ever Had — I Never Go Anywhere Without It

Crane And Canopy just redefined the meaning of "beauty sleep".

4318

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Self-Care Kit Every College Student Should Have Handy In 2020

Make sure you have everything you need to relieve some tension.

2456

As college students, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Four tests in a week and you only passed one of them? I feel that. Days like that, you just need time for yourself. A time where you're nice to yourself and put your own self-care before anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Smile Project Just Launched An Ambassador Program, And I Can't Wait To Get Started

Looking to shift your perspective, be happier, or just get involved in something truly amazing? Look no further.

1844

The Smile Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading happiness, founded by Elizabeth Buechele. It all started on a random day in the fall of her senior year. She was driving home from school when this thought crossed her mind: "Day 1: Happiness is…those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs."

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments