It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know what a millennial is these days. Anyone in their late teens to late twenties is considered a millennial, and often endures stereotyping by older generations because of it. The world today is completely, totally, 100-percent different than what it was even 30 years ago, and everyone who was born from pretty much 1990 on was raised differently because of it. Sadly, not everyone can see that different isn’t always bad, and so being a millennial has some pretty awful stereotypes attached to it.
The first unfair stereotype states that millennials are lazy. News flash: school is a lot harder than it used to be. High schoolers are taking as many advanced classes as they possibly can to boost their college applications and often join clubs, play sports and work part-time jobs as well--all after an 8-hour school day, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for homework. If this still doesn’t sound like a lot, one in five students (both college and high school) have been diagnosed with anxiety, with school causing half of all cases. Even after college, the corporate world is ridiculously competitive. It’s a wonder we don’t all have stress ulcers.
The second stereotype people believe is that millennials are materialistic. We have literally been born in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. This is a fact, and it’s a scary fact. The unemployment rate has been going down for a few years now (last year’s average was about 5.3 percent), but it’s still really hard to get a job after college. Employers want experience, and it’s hard to have that experience right after college. Even if we do, we still may not get hired. When someone finally decides to take a chance on us, it’ll be a basic, entry level position, which probably won’t pay as much as we'd like. So if we prioritize having money more than other generations did, it’s probably because we know we’ll be broke for at least a few years, and that scares us.
A common assumption about millennials is that we contribute the most to texting and driving crashes. Wrong! The majority of the culprits are anywhere from 45 to 59 who swerve into another lane while texting and driving almost 100 percent of the time (compared to millennials' 25 percent of the time). That’s not to say that millennials don’t text and drive, even though we shouldn’t – AAA found that 72 percent of millennials admit to texting and driving. But we’re still not the worst! The age group that texts and drives the most (82 percent) is 25-39. So, while people should really work on not texting and driving, it’s not always millennials that are responsible for wrecks.
So many people are willing to decide how millennials act without getting their facts straight. We’re not a terrible generation--we just took advantage of everything around us, like the generations before us did. I bet the last generation had stereotypes from the previous generation too. So maybe, before assuming anything about anyone, we can all agree that people are different and quit judging each other.