Please Stop Calling Me A Millennial

Please Stop Calling Me A Millennial

This one's for all my late 90's babies

Millennials, or Generation Y, have a bad rep. They are depicted as a self-serving, vain and social media-crazed. While I know plenty of late-born millennials who are wonderful and caring people, I also know that these negative claims about millennials are not without base. The following message, however, is not for the millennials. This is for my generation – a group still so young but so proximate to Gen Y that we are more often than not shoved into a generational category to which we don’t belong. So this goes out to the young ones, next in line to change the world.

Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1995, are more commonly referred to as millennials. Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2010, are not commonly referred to. As a member of Gen Z, Centennials as we are called, I am extremely annoyed when people call me the tail end of the millennial group because my generation is vastly different than the generation directly before me.

At this point, I feel it necessary to say that this is not for the members of my generation who are in elementary school. If you’re reading this and you are in elementary school, you’re too young to be on social media and you should put down the phone and go climb a tree or pick some dandelions or watch the latest episode of Doc McStuffins.

The main difference between my generation and the Millennials is this: I was five when 9/11 happened. I don’t remember where I was when I heard the news or even who told me. I know I was in kindergarten, but the first real memory I have of acknowledging 9/11 wasn’t until I was 10-years-old. Because I don’t remember 9/11, I certainly have no recollection of a time without warfare.

The other important historical aspect to note is that I was 11 when the stock market crashed and the Great Recession began. While I was certainly old enough to remember this event, I consequently spent all of my adolescence watching my parents budget and penny-pinch. Because of this I, alongside many other elders of my generation, have been taught pragmatism and the value of saving money.

Centennials so far have been observed to be more practical and realistic than other recent generations. Our whole lives have been centered on making it through hard times, working through pain and struggle to exit a situation in better shape than when we entered it. And for those who argue that Gen Z is filled with kids making stupid decisions and being irresponsible, I retort that most of my generation is currently made up of adolescents, and I dare you to show me one teenager who doesn’t do stupid things every once in a while.

When it comes down to it, millennials and Centennials are very different people. Centennials aren’t the types of people writing articles about how to quit your job and travel the world tomorrow. Instead, we’re the ones saying it’s okay not to have life figured out, because no one is complete and fully self-discovered at the age of twenty, but we know damn well that we have to work hard to get wherever it is we're going.

It is more than likely that one day, millennials and centennials alike will be the ones sitting around telling the captivating stories about their ceaseless adventures, and how things were “back in the day.” But for now, let us distinguish our generation. Let us have a shred of the spotlight, and we will show you what we're capable of.

Cover Image Credit: Kallie Ott

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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An Open Letter To PETA CEO Ingrid Newkirk

For an organization whose sole purpose is to ensure the ethical treatment of animals, I have many questions.


Dear Ms. Newkirk,

I, like you, am a firm believer in the right to compassion for all living beings around the world. Ever since converting to veganism from the omnivorous lifestyle I was raised to lead nearly six years ago, I have heavily relied on and its affiliates for information, facts and statistics, recipe ideas, cruelty-free lifestyle selections, and activism opportunities on almost a daily basis so that I may further grow my knowledge and support for this permanent lifestyle change. When I search for new beauty or household products, clothing, shoes, and more, it is always comforting to see the "PETA-Approved Vegan" logo on the box, and I am confident in the purchases that I am making.

It was only recently that a new stream of data was brought to my attention that has altered my viewpoint of your organization and what it truly stands for, and I request that you provide the public your reasoning or justification for such acts, and any reparations that need to be made. Another lifelong vegan friend of mine recently pointed out to me a website called where there is sizable physical legal evidence of immense animal cruelty, suffering, and murder at the hands of PETA over the last fifteen of years. Seeing as you have been the CEO of the organization for over 25 years, I figured it would be best to address you directly, seeking a response to this evidence of cruelty from the globally renowned organization that does all that it can to fight cruelty in every form.

According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, from 1998 to 2017, 85.2% of all dogs and cats transferred to your facility for shelter were euthanized within 24 hours of being brought to your facility. Despite your reasoning that you painlessly end the suffering of animals who would have otherwise been left to suffer anyway, the arguments and justifications that you are making mirror the arguments of the meat, dairy, poultry, and fish industries (whom you dedicate your life to combating) all too identically. Just as PETA fights to end society's blasé attitude toward animal cruelty and murder, your attempt at claiming that the way you euthanize the animals in your facility is "better", renders one of PETA's greatest catchphrases, essentially, worthless: "There is no such thing as humane murder".

Similarly, after wrongfully luring a family pet off its porch in 2014, PETA took the pet from its owner's property and euthanized it, bringing the dog's owners to file a lawsuit with your organization that was just settled in 2017, where PETA was forced to pay the family nearly $50,000 dollars in damages. Finally, terror is not ever a justifiable option to invoke change, so why are you personally and professionally so aligned with the Animal Liberation Front, a terrorist organization responsible for arson, extensive property damage, and assault? Why have you donated nearly $80,000 to groups that promote harming life in order to save a life?

Ridding the world of violence with more violence has never, does not, and will never work, so if I can request only one thing from you in this letter, even if you refuse to answer my other questions, it is this: please take the funds that are allocated towards extensive euthanasia drugs and services used by and in your facility, and put them toward building either another building to house more animals if physical space is a concern, for providing food and more extensive adoption services for these animals, or donate them to a true no-kill animal-rights organization like Best Friends Animal Society, Underdog Rescue, or any others provided on this list.

In this letter, my intention was neither to attack nor provoke you in an inflammatory manner, but rather to merely seek truth from an organization that I once so dearly respected and wish to one day respect again in the same manner. I thank you for your time, and for all of the lives that you have saved in between.


An Animal Lover & Ally

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