Redefining The Millennial Stereotype
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Politics and Activism

Redefining The Millennial Stereotype

Just watch us prove you wrong.

Redefining The Millennial Stereotype
Lyndsay Powell

If you ask most people today to describe Millennials, they usually jump to stereotypes like "cell phone-obsessed," "unmotivated," or "unable to carry a conversation." Our elders are commonly shocked when we do something other than Snapchat or text our peers. They taunt us with questions, including if we know what "snail mail" is and if we know how to make a phone call on a landline. Employers are wary to hire us because they fear we are too unmotivated and will take too long to train. While some members of my generation possess these qualities, I find it insulting to say that we all do.

Let's look at Katie Ledecky, for example. Born March 17, 1997, age 19, she is smack dab in the middle of the Millennial Generation. Some of you may wonder who she is, so allow me to shine some light on the subject. Ledecky is the current World Record holder in the 400, 800, and 1,500 freestyle. At age 15, she won the gold medal at the Olympics in the 800 freestyle. Now, can any of you Millennial-haters out there tell me how a girl my age who deffered her first year of college (at Stanford, may I add) so she could put more hours in the pool to train for this year's Olympics, is "unmotivated"? This year at the U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials, kids as young as 13 competed! Do you really understand how much motivation it takes to train for an Olympic birth? My whole life, I have swam at a level below Olympic standard. It still blows me away how much my teammates are motivated and what we sacrifice to succeed.

The percentage of Millennials that are Olympians is pretty small, you can argue that, but let me give you a more everyday example. A couple of weeks ago, my brother and his friends, who are juniors in high school, went looking for something to fill their summer hours with something fun. They decided to do something a little out of the ordinary. No, they didn't do something regarding their cell phones or Xboxes. They went after a world record — in whiffle ball. The Guinness Book of World Records stated that the longest continuous whiffle ball game was 25 hours, so my brother and his friends played for 30. They had fun, they laughed, and they talked with one another for 30 hours straight. There were no cell phone breaks or Internet service needed. These kids picked a goal, regardless of how random, and they achieved it. You try playing whiffle ball for 30 hours straight and tell me that it doesn't take motivation.

We are hungry for success. In my opinion, your doubt in our generation is that much more motivating. You say our generation is selfish and seeks praise for everything we do. I think that everyone, regardless of their generation, seeks praise. Let me tell you, the best praise that we can receive is when you count us out and we end up surprising you. This is the kind of praise that pulls at your ego a little bit because you stereotyped us and we proved you wrong. So, to my fellow Millennials, I leave you with this — keep training, keep brainstorming, keep fighting, and keep proving everybody wrong.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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