Millennials: Getting the Story Right
“Fifteen Economic Facts about Millennials” published by the Executive Office of the United States explains Millennials are not just virtually connected via social networks; they value the role that they play in their communities. A Millennial can be defined as someone who was born between the years 1980 to early 2000’s. Because I am a Millennial myself, and since I have experience interacting with very driven Millennials, I strongly agree with the idea of this generation possibly being one of the next greatest generations. But in recent articles, this generation has been generalized as being narcissistic and entitled individuals. Because we are constantly occupied with social media, and of course our self-image, we are described as a “screwed” generation. In one specific article, Liz Zarka’s “Millennial Generation’s Obsession with Being Unique” published in 2013 in The Daily Clog, she writes about her findings on the Millennial Generation. Zarka, being a millennial herself, writes negatively about the Millennial generation. Zarka accuses Millennial’s to be caught up daydreaming about money and how much fame they can acquire in their lifetime. She also includes how these supposed self-centered traits have created an unconcerned mind of the bigger picture; the society Millennials live amongst. I’ve come to a disagreement with Zarka’s article. The Millennials are an admirable generation because they are goal oriented, understand the value of an education, and are able to multitask.
I disagree with Liz Zarka and believe Millennials are goal oriented. Alex Morse, a young mayor of his hometown Holyoke, Massachusetts interviewed for Maria LaMagna’s CNN.com article “A Millennial Says: Stop Trashing Us!” is a perfect example of a striving Millennial. LaMagna is in defense of the Millennial generation in her article. She goes on to highlight the positive traits and great future ahead for the Millennial generation. One Millennial who has a bright future ahead is the young mayor who explains in his interview “Make a decision about what your goal is, and your life has to revolve around what that goal is.” This illustrates how Millennials comparable to Alex Morse make goals and commit to them. This is just one of many impressive examples of a driven Millennial. Millennials’ types of goals are long term goals that are masterful and ambitious. Another example is a fellow Millennial I know named Kendra. Her goal is to graduate college with minimal debt. She works a full time job and saves at least $420 dollars every pay period. Kendra is a full time student at Moorpark College. On top of her school work, she applies for scholarships constantly, researching every type of scholarship offered. She is sacrificing her social life to accomplish her goals. The strategies we use to accomplish our goals are different from other generations, but that doesn’t make them wrong. They set goals, and accomplish them. Whether it’s a life goal, career goal, or an educational goal Millennials see the importance and relevance of making goals.
In addition to being goal oriented, Millennials also value education. Creating goals into a plan for your academic success is a key factor to completing educational goals in higher academia. Maria LaMagna notes the Millennial generation’s increase on the value of education: “The percentage of students ages 14 to 17 who are enrolled in school has increased over time, from 84% in 1950 to 94% in 1970 to97% in 2010.” Not only do we see the number of students in high school increase, we are also seeing arise in students pursuing a college education. Millennials are on the right path to becoming the most educated generation in American history. Millennials are more likely to have a college degree than any other generation. They are not stopping with their undergrad coursework but are reaching for bigger goals and continuing into grad school. They are also more likely to attend graduate school than any other generation.
In the same way that Millennials value education, they are also great multitaskers. LaMagna argues the benefits of learning at a young age how to juggle school work and extracurricular activities: “Maybe the biggest source of hope is how “overscheduled” we were as children. Our parents were criticized for enrolling us in Little League, ballet class, and science camp all at once. But when you think about it, we ‘overscheduled’ kids might be the uber project managers”. In the career field today, what career requires you to focus on one particular task; in fact, there aren’t very many. We are notorious pros at multitasking, and this multitasking skill is an advantage for the career field. Forbes magazine published an online article “Why You should Be Hiring Millennials” and the main emphasis of the article was Millennials are able to multitask and juggle their attention to different task compared to previous generations. Millennials are also wonderful multitasking with technology. Technology is the future, and Millennials have mastered it all. We can be on our Smart phone, tablet, laptop, and TV all at once. Yes maybe using the excessive amount of technology all at once isn’t needed, but it’s a good way to learn how to manage that amount of task all at once.
Millennials are an outstanding generation because they are achieving the goals they set, pursing their education, and are able to use their multitasking skill in all areas of their life. This generation is aware of all the odds against them, but they are in the right path to overcome these obstacles. Millennials are not entitled, narcissistic individuals like many believe. They are just like any other generation that will someday change the world.