"I am a Millennial. Generation Y, born between the birth of AIDS and 9/11, give or take. They call us the global generation. We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post every time we fart or have a sandwich, for all the world to see. But it seems that our one defining trait is a numbness to the world, an indifference to suffering."
So states Madison Montgomery (also known as Emma Roberts, from American Horror Story: Coven) in a quote that I, quite honestly, couldn't disagree with more. Though I've heard more times than I care to count that my generation is one that is selfish, self-absorbed, and entitled; that we are "selfie-obsessed" and care only for ourselves, I can't help but think of all the amazing things I've seen my generation accomplish.
I see every day the impact that Millennials make on the community through their philanthropic work. Organizations such as UGAMiracle, Relay for Life, and UGA H.E.R.O.S. have a constant presence on campus and raise close to a million dollars for their charities combined every year. Each sorority on campus is dedicated to one cause each year, such as diabetes research, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, or Girls On The Run, and hosts several philanthropy events in both the spring and fall semesters to raise money for their charity of choice. The campus food pantry is kept running off donations, and is always available to confidentially help any student at any time so that they can get a free, nutritious meal. All of these examples are strictly on the UGA campus, so when you take the huge amount of philanthropy and multiply it by all the colleges there are in the nation, it's obvious the charitable impact that we Millennials have on the community around us.
I am proud to admit that I'm a Millennial. In one short lifetime, I've seen three decades, two centuries, and two millenniums. I've seen teenagers create amazing inventions that could eventually save us all. I've watched as our online presence has grown greater and spread messages and awareness to parts of the world and demographics that were previously unreachable. This year, I saw a seventeen-year-old girl win the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting for education in a part of the world where many people believed it would never be possible to do so. I see every day students who are genuinely striving to make our world, the one that we will one day inherit, a better place- through politics, art, science, or, like me, through something as simple as words. Our generation isn't selfish- we're inspiring, and we'll change the world one day. Who knows- maybe that day is today, and maybe the one who'll change it is you.