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Why I don’t accept being classified as a millennial, as if it’s a bad thing

Because it's not.

It seems that since this “millennial” thing was invented, most people have taken it upon themselves to prove that millennials are one of the latest plagues to have befallen earth. But do we honestly believe that a group of human beings can be classified into a whole personality type based only on birth dates?

Some remarks are funny, others a little snarky, and some just plain hurtful, especially with millennials being associated with work and career issues, and also life choices, ideologies and even happiness. I do understand the need to hold people responsible when awful things happen, but before there’s any finger-pointing at millennials, remember, you helped shape us; as our parents, our mentors and our leaders. We are the result of all the things you did right, and the things you did wrong.

That being said, I wanted to point out some things we all seem to have forgotten; the qualities that millennials have, as all generations do, that could maybe, just maybe, if we play our cards right, turn society away from hate, intolerance, egocentrism and spitefulness.  

Here we go…

  • We humbly work 50, 60 or many more hours a week without asking for anything, in entry-level jobs, manager roles or on our own projects. That’s passion and commitment. Passion for everything we do, because we want to do things right and leave them better than we found them. And commitment to other people and especially ourselves. We know we still have a lot to learn in our careers and in life, and we are working towards it. 
  • We care about people, we care about the environment, we care about rainy days and animals, we care about having an income that allows us to do meaningful things, and we care about finding our purpose in life. We care about things all people care about, and also others that no one else cares about. And, we are sorry if this bothers you, we also care heaps about ourselves, and that’s self-love and self-esteem, and it’s not wrong, it’s not a crime.

  • We are scared of a lot of things, but we choose to grow up and do stuff anyways. We are scared because we pay attention to the world around us, we are scared because we see older people unhappy, but mainly, we are scared because we are taking a different path than others did. Bye-bye to a stable income, bye-bye to having a house of our own, bye-bye to having kids before we are 30, and definitely bye-bye to having someone whose footsteps we can follow, because we are treading new ground. We know the path we have chosen has drawbacks, but we also know the benefits of doing so.
  • We sometimes think we know everything because we can reach our phones and access to all the information in the universe through the internet. But we are also aware there are things that we don’t know, and believe me, this haunts us. And we seem to be the only ones, because older people have lived already, and did everything right, right? Well, no; hello global warming, wars and patriarchy, just to name a few.
  • We were told that we can have anything we want, and we know we can, anyone can. Why is that a bad thing? Our parents didn’t put a ceiling in our dreams, and that’s awesome! We wish for the moon, work hard to get there, and in the process we expect kindness from the people around us. Is that so unrealistic? Sometimes we will get there and sometimes we won’t. But either way, we are not entitled. We know the world owes us nothing, but we owe it to ourselves to fight for what we want.
  • People often say we don’t accept criticism, but I think it’s just that maybe we don’t accept rudeness. Many years ago people wanted to stay in the same job for ages, so they put up with everything that came their way, sometimes even mistreatment. We don’t. We work hard and we know we are not know-it-alls, so we appreciate it when someone helps us grow, but is it really necessary to be rude or dismissive? Not really; please don’t throw your own insecurities or issues at us, thanks.
  • We don’t specialize in only one thing and work at it for 50 years. Is that really bad? I don’t think so. We are courageous, when it matters. We don’t want to live with regrets and wait our whole lives for a change that might never happen. I’m not saying either choice is better, I’m just stating that there are options, and if we choose differently, it’s because we can, and so do most people.

  • We never do anything half-hearted. If we love you, we love you, and if we hate you, we hate you. We jump into the unknown with all we’ve got, we also stay at home some days, scared of the world and all its problems. We are not meh when it comes to our lives. Why should we be? As an added bonus, we are transparent, and that’s good.

Finally, I want to say that I know we are not perfect. We are not all the same and there are always exceptions to the rule. But believe me, I’ve seen a lot (and I mean a lot) of older people that make ‘entitled, slacker and unfocused’ millennials look like Gary Vee. So, if that is what our future looks like, even if we continue being called a disgrace, I can promise you we’ll take it any day of the week, because he’s awesome.

And also, the next time you want to make fun of or criticize someone for being a “millennial”, remember that we will be employing and mentoring your children, teaching them our crazy ways. There’s nothing you can do about that, except encourage all new generations to build a better world.

This story was originally published at www.gabrielatorres.es

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