GCHS students: meaning behind millenial

Nikki Mock

Every day, students are faced with generalizations that force them to question their identity. One of these generalizations is the idea of being a millennial. While there are many stereotypes that come with this label, it seems that people typically assume a negative stance towards this generation.

“From what I’ve heard, being a millennial is being born around the 2000’s and twenty years before then, so technically I am one,” said senior Angela Clapp. “There are a lot of stereotypes about millennials, and when it comes to that I don’t think I am.”

The negative connotations linked to the image of a “typical millennial” have come to the point that the generation is almost shamed for simply being born in this time period. Many have brought up the idea of entitlement, narcissism, laziness, and overall the sense of superiority when it comes to the characteristics that define this generation.

“I guess [being a millennial means] being skeptical of what we’ve been taught, but I think that applies to every young generation,” said senior Kip Soucie. “It’s just a continuation, but it still defines it. Questioning things, taking down stigmas, being really weird.”

Technology has also had an influence on those who have grown up in the past 20 years, as they have aged as technology grew, and continues to grow. With access to so much information across the globe, this generation can be more educated, therefore allowing millennials to become more skeptical than past generations.

“I think every millennial on some level proud to be a millennial,” said Soucie. “As much as liberals may be ashamed of their country, on the Fourth of July you’re still proud to be an American.”

While there are always characteristics to be proud of, there is a negative light shining on this group of people.

“For some reason society has placed this label on this group of people who are all just trying to live their lives and trying to figure out how they’re going to find a way in a society that is so damaged economically, politically, and socially,” said senior Harleen Maan.

“I think being a millennial means having a million and one expectations and responsibilities placed on you while still being treated as inferior by older generations,” said Maan. “I think being a millennial means trying to rebuild the world after it’s been messed up by everyone before them and is still being messed up by people of all generations.”

With pressure being placed on millennials to fix a broken world while still maintaining the traditional values of past generations, it’s hard to cause social change without changing individual views. Those causing change are role models for many who hope to continue changing the world, bit by bit. However, the label does bother some, as it doesn’t encapsulate the entire population, only a portion of those with similar beliefs.

“We may be slightly different than generations before us based on the time period we grew up in but it’s more useful to look at the specific backgrounds of people rather than the year they were born because that’s not enough information to judge people off of,” said senior Tim Husemoller. “So when people talk about millennials I feel like they are inaccurately describing us.” The idea that those who fit within the birth years that define a millennial suddenly have the same beliefs as other millennials is absurd. Grouping everyone together, while it does show that there are similarities, does not truly recognize people as the individuals they are.

“They want to find their own path and do their own things,” said Clapp. “They grew up in an age with more diversity and acceptance of change compared to the traditional past generations.”

Individuality is obviously very important in today’s world, but it does not hurt to recognize that although people as humans are quite different, there is always something to tie us together.