Generation Y is often looked at with a negative perception. There are plenty of articles comparing Baby Boomers to Millennial’s and back. Heck, I think I saw on the news locally that someone made a song out of it. It’s entertaining to say the least, but why is there such a negative perception about an entire generation? There is a society norm that changes across generations. The economy shifts, the landscape shifts, even food trends shift. From my perspective, no one likes change. It’s intimidating, overwhelming, anxiety inducing, and downright scary. I absolutely dislike change- unless I instigate it and plan for it, in which case I welcome it! (See previous post- Walking Oxymoron.)
I grew up with the notion that your value was measured by your job. That’s not what my parents taught me, it’s what I learned from society- my interpretation. It was expected to go to grade school, high school, strive for a college education, but for what? To land a “successful” job, high paying career, that gives me the freedom to “live” how I’d like. My dad wanted the best for me. Move out of Vermont, down to D.C. make some friends and live life (how he imagined I should). Mom more valued happiness in whatever form that took. Now, to be clear- Vermont is a difficult state to thrive in. It’s possible and many people do it, but without getting into the details- the opportunities are far fewer than in bigger cities (which is to be expected from a small state). Like all good daughters, I challenged my dad’s view. I wanted to be close to home, family is and always will be most important to me.
I’ve always perceived things differently than the norm. I was usually the kid confused in the back of the classroom while everyone else started their projects as directed. That’s where I learned to ask a lot of questions, like why do I have to have a standard office job to get paid well and live life how I want? Simple answer is I actually don’t. Like many other Millennial’s that contribute to the poor image, we want to live life our way- not the way society told us we have to. We don’t have to work a 9-5 desk job, and be miserable doing it. It’s okay to strive for what you want, and be happy doing it. I always held the belief- life is too short to be miserable. If I don’t like a job, if I don’t like a supervisor, if I don’t like what I’m doing- I’ll change it.
I’m proud to be a Millennial. Being different is something that should be celebrated, not mocked. In a world that’s seemingly collapsing, something needs to change. Believing in the generation that wants change for the better and is optimistic of that change should be revered. We are a hard working generation that is demanding better from our society. We may spend more time on social media, writing blog posts, creating new businesses, and planning for a better society, but that doesn’t make it any less hard. I’m going to step out of society’s box soon. It will be scary, but after some planning and preparation- change will be good!