5 Things I love about my generation

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.

1. Flashmobs

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.

3. Wikipedia

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.

The perfect girl

Found this piece by Rosemarie Urquico on nonah merah’s site and thought it was too good not to repost:

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

– Rosemarie Urquico –