I feel like everyday I’m reading stories, such as the one The Huffington Post ran yesterday, that dish out an extra-large helping of negativity aimed at my generation- the Millenials, Gen-Y, the Peter Pan Generation, Generation Next, the Echo Boomers. We seem to inspire a lot of labels, but sadly not as much confidence from our predecessors. They say we’re drowning in debt, hopelessly unemployed, cluelessly over-educated…I say f*ck you.
Do I sound bitter? That’s because I am. As a recent graduate, I’m experiencing a lot of what my elders are talking about. Yes, I’m unemployed. Yes, I’m an intern. And yes, I will be paying off my student loans for the next thousand years. But, unlike Mom and Dad, I’m not writing my generation off just yet. Here’s why:
We’re pretty freakin’ smart. In numbers exponentially greater than previous generations, we’re earning college degrees and seeking even higher education. Add the fact that we’re tech-savvy and hip to social networking and you might just say our generation revolutionized the way humans interact. Next time you catch your mom getting her Facebook fix, tell her Mark Zuckerberg was just 20 when he launched the site from his dorm room in 2004.
We’re ballsy. I believe the term “disrespectful” has been tossed around quite a bit in regard to the spawn of the Baby Boomers. Now, I’m not about to defend Kanye’s stage manners (and lack thereof) or the oft-terrifying rap stylings of Eminem, but I will say that young people today know what they want and aren’t afraid to be outspoken about it. We engage politicians, confront campus officials, and know how to protest like it was Vietnam all over again.
We give back. In a move that was practically insisted upon by our parents, high schools the nation over require students to complete community service hours. Thing is, even after we graduate from the minor leagues, we continue helping out in college and beyond. Building houses, rescuing stray animals, cleaning up natural disasters- we’re there representing in huge numbers.
We’re hopeful. Don’t let anyone tell you this is a minor point. The fact that we can be the target of so much scrutiny and stereotyping while still sticking it out in this terrible economy speaks volumes. I don’t care if I sound like a motivational speaker; it’s important to stay positive and keep looking for a job/working hard at your job even when there’s someone telling you you’re lazy and over privileged. I think we’re doing just fine.