Generation Y, aka’d as Millinials, is those of us born between 1980-2000. I recently posted a response to a fellow Millinial who listed 5 things which confused her about our generation. After addressing her points, I thought I might add what I really appreciate about Generation Y. True, it’s hard to be original, but Lord knows we try. And turns out that there are actually lots of things to appreciate about us. I had a hard time picking only five for now.
The idea of people, often strangers, coming together for a brief moment to perform a choreographed dance in public is simply genius. It’s happy, fun, and distracting. Life is often taken too seriously and even if they are a fad, I am in full support of flashmobs. Since the first time I saw the below video, it has been on my checklist to be in a flashmob. Honestly, what could be more fun?
2. Our desire to connect
I’m not saying that other generations have not had this desire, but Generation Y has taken it to a new level. Whether it is Facebook, blogging, email, chats, or texting, we need to be heard. Some may argue that because of these things, we have learned to listen less, but I disagree. Though it is nice to get off Facebook and talk to people face-to-face, tools such as these have helped me keep in touch with people I might otherwise have lost track of, simply because life can get busy. In addition, I am also still a fan of those Sunday phone chats where we catch up on events of the past month, but until then, I might post a cool video on your wall, or text you a punny joke I just heard. (The bike couldn’t stand on its own because it was two-tired.) Things like Skype allow my roommate to talk to her mother in Turkey every day. Meetup.com allows me to meet people who share my interests in the area I just moved to. To me, this is a wonderful thing. The long story short is that we are connecting and in more ways than ever before. The world continues to get smaller and more accessible and we want to be a part of it.
As an English teacher, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my students not to use Wikipedia as a reliable source. You can’t count on who updates it or if they do so correctly. However, it is a fantastic tool to look up basic information and you can always go check out their sources if you need to cite something.
But remember those days when encyclopedias were 40 books long and hundreds of dollars? It was something to be admired if your family kept one in the house–otherwise you had to dig through the library collections. Wikipedia is an excellent resource if you’re curious about, well, anything. True, readers should be cautious of the validity of all posts, but a good reader knows to be cautious of whatever they read.
Just try spending a couple hours on Wikipedia one day. Chances are you might learn something.
4. Independence, resilience, determination, and craftiness
It is no secret that the economy sucks right now. Finding a job is a job within itself. If you are not currently unemployed, you probably know a couple people who are. The Baby Boomers are retiring later, allowing jobs to ask for more experience and making it hard for my generation to gain any. We may have grown up in a thriving economy, but we’re having to grow up a lot more with the situation we’re currently in. But don’t think we’re going to let this get us down.
True, we may not have jobs, or health care, or a bunch of food in our pantry and we may live with five other people just to make the rent payments, but somehow, we still enjoy ourselves. We’re resourceful. Thrift shops are hip. We blog about cheap recipes and free things to check out around your city. We use the times as inspiration to write, paint, or make music. We know how to travel on a very very small budget (thank you hostelworld and couch surfer). If we can’t find a job, we might as well enjoy what’s going on around us. We’ve learned how to fight and stand up for those less fortunate, because we know what it’s like to be without. I may not agree with some of my fellow Millinials, but I definitely appreciate their passion.
5. A decent sense of humor
And out of our resilience and determination to make the best of our situation, we’ve developed a sense of humor. We know how to take life seriously, but it doesn’t mean that we have to.