It is funny how many people who aren’t millennial– especially the baby boomers and generation X– speak about the millennial generation with a sigh or this weird look that can be translated to pity but when you really look, you see it’s not pity; it is annoyance or perhaps a mix of both feelings.
Definition Of Terms For The Purpose Of This Article.
The Millennial / Generation Y are those born between 1980 to 2002
Generation X – 1964 to 1979
Baby Boomers – 1945 to 1965
Traditionalist/ Silent Generation -before 1965
I had one time felt sorry for myself for being a millennial, for being born into the technology age; I felt I would be a better version of myself if I was born to one of the previous generations.
Why? I have always heard and listened to people complain about The Millennial, we have a bad reputation obviously but it is bias when you place everyone of my generation under the umbrella of one adjective like “lazy” or “materialistic”.
It is stereotypical but with the pressure of the louder voice of the baby boomers and Gen Xers, I was gradually succumbing to this stereotype and in this era where ageism is an order, whatever a baby boomer or Gen Xer says or think about the millennial is correct, you don’t have a say, not when they have spoken.
Your opinion is not cared for because, well, Azeeza, remember you are millennial, Ninety ninety what? Your generation is full of thrash, they speak thrash too, what can you even know when you’ve got everything served to you in golden platter?
‘The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotype is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete…. “ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
As far as I’m concerned, the reason the millennial have a bad reputation is because we are constantly compared to the previous generations, they do not talk about us without involving the previous generations; they compare our literature to Shakespeare and our paintings to Da Vinci.
That was a different generation, and things have changed, perspectives and interests have changed and I don’t think Shakespeare’s literature would be the same if he lived in this era, with Netflix, Instagram, and Kim Kardashian, what was cool then might not be cool now and that isn’t the Millennial fault.
The world is changing and people who do not like the change are quick to blame it on the Millennial. We aren’t like you and that is not a bad thing. Stop using the previous generations as standard of how we should be or behave.
An article I read said, if you keep blaming the millennial for the social problems of the world, then we need to blame the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers too, since they raised the Millennial.
The Millennial Generation has been called many things including having an absurd sense of entitlement, having misplaced priority, an overwhelming obsession over the internet and very very materialistic.
“The Millennial generation always feel entitled”, I read somewhere. “They don’t like to fight for what they want; instead, they sulk when what they want doesn’t reach their hands. They leave a job because they feel their boss is rude or the income is low for their expenses, even though they have no alternative.”
‘Millenials can challenge the brief because they don’t need to go with the flow, they feel they do not need a boss. They can see beyond the immediate problems, they don’t really like to follow the design thinking approach; they create their world even if it’s a virtual one. And perhaps this is one of the reasons they are the most creative generation.”
Two years ago during my IT at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. The Head of the laboratory I worked sat us down (we were like 7 or 8) and said “You know the problem with you guys, with your generation?”
It wasn’t a question that needed a reply, so we kept our heads straight and our smiles tucked in, ready to pocket the pinching comment from the man whose generation is assumedly way better than the fucked up millennial who only care about what the celebrity is doing or arguing about who plays better between Ronaldo and Messi.
“You are lazy, that’s the problem with your generation, you are all lazy.” He reiterated, he went on to talk about his own time, how they were so hardworking and ready to learn, how they jumped at every opportunity to learn something new, how they struggled to learn, feed themselves and make their parents proud; unlike my generation.
I know some entrepreneurs, they are millennials, and they start up businesses with their sweat, not because their parents are tired of feeding them but because they do not feel entitled, they know about life and they know they need to find a source of living by themselves, for themselves.
The millennial have tons of entrepreneurs compared to any other generation.
The comment really hurt me, oh I agree, we sometimes forgot to clean up the laboratory before we left for home, we often joked about silly stuffs while working, we sometimes resumed late for work, we were sometimes extremely happy when there was no work for the day.
But he could have said, “All seven of you are lazy”, that’s okay but he had to make the whole generation responsible for us being lazy, like I blame your generation for your laziness which to me meant if we were from the previous generation, we wouldn’t be lazy.
Show a People as one thing, only one thing over and over again and that is what they become….. “
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I went to big mummy’s place some weeks ago, I was reading an article, an old article on The Guardian- an American ranting about the reasons he doesn’t like buying Halal meat from the stores. I was really into the article because I didn’t even know some people have problem with Halal meat because it is slaughtered in a way different from the way they prefer (That’s another story).
Big Mummy jumped to conclusion, ‘This generation, you are all about your phones, you are so into internet that you neglect important things that require your attention. Always chatting.’ She said.
I smiled, a forced smile, the type of smile that calms the words trying to force its way out of my stomach. I didn’t say the words because I didn’t want her to say ‘Your generation talks when elders are talking, so disrespectful’
Perspectives among young people have changed since the 1970’s, the world has changed but the lament that “Young people lack commitment” is a typical stereotype of young people”
– Jennifer Deal
I wasn’t even chatting, I was learning, why is it hard for some people of the previous generation to believe that I learn more from the internet than from the mouths of people. Why did she have to blame the whole my generation for my acclaimed obsession for the phone… Many are obsessed with phone, some definitely are not and it is unfair to group them as same.
Some people from the Millennial generation aren’t lazy, they are hardworking, some people are smart, some are good, some are kind, some care about important things, some make money from the internet, some fend for themselves, some do not feel entitled, some fight for what they want, some read books, some are respectful, some care about their souls than their bodies, some are ready to learn, some aren’t materialistic .
And this was the same for every other generation that had lived and it would be the same for the generations that would come, people are diverse, people are different, it is not okay when you judge people based on their age or their generation, just like it isn’t okay to judge people based on their colour.
It scares me this judgment will go on, after several centuries, racism still exists.
‘I don’t think generations exist, they are at best the equivalent of astrology and at worst a source of bigotry, most of the references to generations that we see are based on muddy categories created by marketers who have zero social science credibility’ —
— Siva Vaidhyanathan.
Perhaps the next time you want to say something about generation, use words like Most, Some Almost, Many…
Most students of the millennial generation are not ready to learn… because there are people ready to learn and they are from the millennial generation
Some people of the millennial generation are disrespectful…. There are respectful ones too
So if you ask me, are the Millennial as screwed as the stereotype claims?
My answer is NO, The Millennial aren’t as screwed as they claim, the single story is what is screwing us. And the Stereotype about us needs to stop.
I’m a millennial, I don’t wish to be born to the previous generations anymore, I was born at this time. For a reason. And I’m embracing that.
You Should Too.