Dear Old People: Millennials Don't Exist

Dear Old People: Millennials Don't Exist

I refuse to be pigeonholed.
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Scrolling around on the internet during your day-to-day activities, you will probably come across the word "millennial" at least once. It's hard to avoid. And if you're like me, someone born in the late 90s who might identify as millennial or is categorized by others as a millennial, you're sick of hearing about how millennials are the worst generation ever.

In a talk at Deep Shift, comedian Adam Conover discusses the concept of millennials and why they as a generation don't exist in the way you think they do. Specifically, he talks about how companies' marketing strategies shouldn't be targeting millennials using memes and slang they think will make a connection to us.

Conover essentially breaks down generational thinking into this: It's condescending, created by older people to distinguish younger people, and doesn't do anything to foster good relations. Generations are not a real thing. We created them to separate different age groups and basically to keep doing something that has never been beneficial: pigeonhole people into reductive categories that don't actually define them at all.

"Oh yeah, those millennial kids are always on their phones and tweeting everything they do. They're obsessed with social media and are the most narcissistic people to ever exist." Please. There's a "generation" called "the greatest generation," consisting of people who grew up during the Great Depression. Talk about narcissism. But, as Conover explains, the names of generations are "invented by writers to get rich." It's as simple as that. The guys who coined the term "millennial" were Neil Howe and William Strauss, and they decided what made us different from those who came before us.

Those designated as millennials are not obsessed with social media or their phones, just as other "generations" are not obsessed with the amazing technology that they grew up with, like cars or TV.

I'm sure in the 80s you would have heard someone say, "Yeah those Gen X'ers are just obsessed with their digital cameras, how vain." Technological phenomena can be really exciting for those who were growing up when they came out. But for those who are older and don't understand what's going on, the new inventions can be scary and it might feel like the world is moving on without them. And that's fine. But to dismiss these new ideas and revolutionary platforms, like social media, as dumb fads for shallow youths leads to a breakdown in respect for people of different age groups. And it goes both ways - old people think young people are self-centered and technology-crazed, and young people think old people are stubborn and stuck in the past.

You've probably seen this TIME Magazine cover at some point in the past few years and if you're like me, you thought, "Hey, that's pretty offensive."

The tagline that comes after doesn't really alleviate the harsh burn of this writer, and essentially TIME Magazine, saying that millennials are vapid and lazy. And if you watch Conover's presentation, you'll see that the facts just don't support these claims. What we have here is a simple case of older people being afraid of technology and losing their place in this fast-paced world. I know social media and apps and tablets are very confusing and there's really too many out there to actually keep track of, but taking the time to learn about them might lead to a discovery that what younger people are inventing could possibly change lives in a positive way.

So, no. I'm not a millennial in the way that older people have defined it. I'm just another human on this earth trying to be productive and live a full, happy life. Don't call me "social media obsessed" because I like to stay connected to people like my sisters who I don't see often when I'm at school. Don't assume that I'm narcissistic because I take a lot of pictures with my friends and of what I'm doing; I want to remember the moments that are meaningful to me and look back at them someday. And especially don't say I'm lazy because I use my phone to look up information. I'd rather be sure about what I'm saying rather than make generalizations and assumptions like you have about people my age.

It's time to start thinking in terms of what makes us alike rather than what you may think separates us. Conover presents it best in his breakdown of the demographics across our so-called generations: "Here's what really exists: people, a whole lot of people who are alive at the same time."

Cover Image Credit: http://globalprtrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/iStock_000057454036Large.jpg

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.

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it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now


how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you


a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you


i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight


it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about


the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life


i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then


but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing


that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.


It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.


It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.


You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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