Just recently my mom and I were discussing the entitlement and Millennial generation when she said “You’re part of the Millennial or Generation Y or ‘whatever they call themselves’ generation,” and I quickly snapped back “oh heck no, I consider myself to be the exception,” and boom, thus came the idea to discuss and write about the underrepresented minorities of the Millennial generation.
Millennials are typically grouped as the generation of people born as early as 1980 and born as late as the 2000s. So what exactly are Millennials? According to William Straus and Neil Howe, every generation has traits that give it a specific characteristic. Jean Twenge identifies Generation Y as “Generation Me” because millennial’s have a sense of entitlement and narcissism. Ron Alsop also refers to this generation as the “Trophy Kids,” and to an extent, this is all true.
I really dislike being the minority in the millennial generation for a number of reasons.
First, I dislike when I get participation medal, ribbons, or trophies. I’d rather not have hundreds of ribbons and trophies for participation that might as well be an “at least you tried” metallic sticker. And I’m not being unappreciative, I’m just acknowledging the fact that I don’t want a “just because” award, I want the award that I fairly earned because I worked hard. Let me back track here. Last week I visited my local elementary school and heard an insane amount of proof that supports the belief that we are in fact, trophy kids. As I sat in a classroom, while the P.E. teacher was handing out awards for students who placed first through third in field day events, a student flat out said, “aw man, can’t I get a ribbon for participation?” and he was in disbelief when he was told no. I could not believe it. My jaw dropped. Really, who wants a ribbon for participation? Thanks kid, thanks for validating to the older generation that all we are, are trophy kids.
Second, older generations seem to believe that I lack respect.
I don’t. I was taught to respect others, especially my elders. I respect and admire experienced members of my field and others. Here’s another example of a true “Generation Me” member, that does not represent me. Same elementary school, and a first year teacher says “I don’t understand why I have to be the one to move, why can’t she (referring to an older/veteran teacher).” In response, another teacher says, “because she’s a veteran, she’s been here for years” and once more, the other responds saying “Oh, I know, that’s why I let her.”Yeah, you read that right, “let her.” Many of the complaints that our generation undermine the older generation come from prime examples like this, but I promise you, that’s not all of us.
And although I am mostly annoyed with being generally grouped with this generation, I do admire this generation (to an extent). Our generation is more likely to accept gay-marriage and rights to the LGBT community. Our generation is more open-minded to controversial topics such as those, and for those reasons, I will accept being part of Generation Me.