we are millenial

rachel sanderson


Pop culture was the best babysitter. Wasted time trying to find Carmen Sandiego. Constantly grabbing at the newest toy, gizmo, and gadget. Growing up with the ideas and dreams pushed by our parents. We became fighters afraid to lose. We are the first to step up to confrontation, ready to defend our… everything. Love quickly to avoid loneliness. Our future looks bright. I’ll throw on some ray bans.

A Millennial is categorized as a person born somewhere between the 1980's - 2000's. The 1980's marks the end of the digital revolution and the beginning of the information age! A time where the tools we use aren't just found in dusty old sheds, but in our pockets filled with endless possibilities. A time where most problems can be fixed with a simple "there's an app for that" and questions can be answered with search engines designed to scour every inch of the world wide web. A time where the global community is so connected that information can spread to the corners of the earth within seconds. A time where technology is progressing exponentially and we see no end in sight. Millenials brought up in this age have grown to think differently. To think bigger. To think faster. We've seen technology change so much in our short lives, we have been conditioned to look into the future, because if we don't, we'll get stuck in the past. 

For us, some nights it’s leftover pizza and some nights it’s sushi that may just compromise the rent on a tiny but somehow charming apartment. But in this moment sushi sounds better than saving and there’s plenty of time to figure it all out before the end of the month. We are the generation of questions, not sure what adulthood really is and certainly not sure that’s what we want. Seemingly part alien to our predecessors and hell bent on doing it all a different way.  Educated by the back of the school bus and Hey Arnold. Living by the hustle. Inspired by each other and connected by the technology we’re creating.

We won't back down from injustice, intolerability, indifference. A Millennial doesn't cower to technology but is humble enough to know we're all vulnerable. He or she knows that there is no real limit to success. We were raised by Robin Williams, broken by terrorism, and stay more connected to one another than any generation to come before us. Our art is bold. Our words are precise. Our disdain for complacency is the fuel that allows us to continually reshape this world.

We are the generation where the word “terrorism” completely shaped the way we were raised. It’s kind of a funny thing how that in singular event, that moment when the second plane hit, there was some sort of understanding amongst all of us “youngins” of how this moment was going to change everything. Somehow, despite this event’s atrocities, we got through it with this empowering feeling of being able to change our world, and we still seem to believe that to be true. But how is it that we are so optimistic? Because now that we are fresh college graduates (or having been graduated for a solid few years now), we’re figuring out that things are a lot more difficult than we thought they’d be. People told us how hard it would be. We didn’t believe them, and now we fuckin’ believe them. We see more clearly how the odds are stacked against us. Apparently, we are unable to connect with other live humans because the birth of social media ruined our real-life social skills. Apparently, we are material-object and celebrity obsessed. Apparently, we are unaware of what hard work, self-discipline, and quality really mean. But here’s how we Millennials see it: Social media has given us the opportunity to connect faster with people you never would have been able to in the past. Learning how to stay ahead of the curve and manipulate technology, rather than having it manipulate you, is the name of the game.  We don’t view it as an obsession with celebrities, but rather as an admiration of entrepreneurial mentalities and skillsets. And who are they to say we have no idea what hard work is, when we are forced into a system where higher education is a must, but unaffordable for nearly everyone?  They keep putting us down, so we’re going to keep standing back up. And although the terror attacks caused a permanent veil of fear over older generations of Americans, we Millennials were prompted to step up and change our way of dealing with things. We chose optimism over fear, because we all deserve the chance to make something of ourselves and share our gifts in order to evoke change, understanding, and a more cooperative way for humans to live on our shared earth.

Hand-fed. Bull headed. Grazers. A generation of cattle dreaming of the greenest pasture. Constantly being milked of the value we wear like a tag and the leather of our ideas. Exhausted and told we are not exhausting ourselves enough, we need to "try harder," need to be like those that came before. But we have our "moo" our voice. A sound strong enough to reach anywhere with 4G. Hand-fed, bull headed, grazers more powerful than all that preceded them.

 I am a a hardworking individual that knows what a dollar is worth, although I don’t always spend them that way. I didn’t have a smart phone until I was 20 and I still don’t fully understand how it works. When I was a kid, we played outside and didn’t have to be back till dinner. We read books, we played board games, we had to deal with dial up. But all of these are small everyday things that help define a generation, our parents were hippies, our grandparents were baby boomers, we are Millennials. The thing that really defines us is our desire to achieve, to reach for the stars. Unlike any other generation we are able to utilize social media and our strong work ethic to build. Build companies, build amazing technology, and build our dreams. We are millennials and we are here to change the world.

Being a Millennial means being a part of something bigger. We are a generation that holds the power to change the world. We are a group full of new-age thinkers, creators, innovators, and artists. We are independent. We do not live by the standards set for us by our predecessors, and we don’t buy into beliefs just because our parents said that is what’s right. Our world is broader than that. We constantly question everything. We see the bigger picture and we strive to find our place in it. We recognize that we can create the world we want to live in. We create our own circumstances. We create our own jobs. We create our own lives. We choose happiness over money. We want to get outside, get involved, and live adventurously in our careers. We value meaningful experiences over a higher pay grade. Being a Millennial is empowerment. It is opportunity. It is open-mindedness and acceptance. It is change. And as we are now less than one generation away from becoming the next set of global leaders, we can begin to realize the potential this generation has to offer and impact the world in a positive way. WE ARE MILLENNIAL.