‘Millennial’, a miscellaneous term that has been used to describe a generation with a starting birth in the 1980s. This generation comes after Generation Y, X, and the Baby Boomers, two groups of individuals who identify more with their label than Millennials, which is ridiculous because the term Generation X is not common to most people.
Many Millennials are choosing to not identify with their given label because of the negative connotations that accompany the term. The term has become more of a way the older generations can degrade and criticize the younger one. Millennials receive backlash for their fashion trends, use of technology, socio-political movements, self-expression, and many other choices.
The fundamental problem with this logic is that despite having been born in the same generation, not every ‘Millennial’ shares common mannerism, personalities, and beliefs. Being born in the same generation can attribute to similar environmental features, with regards to the state of the country, but even that is a stretch.
The Millennial Generation markers are between 1982 and 2004, which shows that a person who is born in 1982 is twenty-two years older than a person born in 2004. This begs the question, how much do people who are twenty-two years apart have in common in terms of how they were raised?
This isn’t to say that people with a twenty-two year divide between them do not have things in common, but what they have in common has little to do with the label placed upon them, and has more to do with other aspects of life. A lot can change in twenty-two years, there were three different presidents from 1982 to 2004: Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. There were also various technological advances, and social developments.
Some parts of a generation may share common issues such as the state of the government, economy, and society but those are subject to change very quickly or slowly. A person in 1982 grew up in two recessions, while one born in 2004 just entered their first one.
All of these aspects of life affect how a person grows up, in addition to their local environment, family, and so many other factors. No two people are alike, and it is wrong to group people together just because they were born in the same year, much less the same generation. There are just too many aspects of life that affect a person’s growth for every ‘Millennial’ to be deemed sensitive, thankless, too into technology, and lazy.
Current college students were born into the Millennial generation, and many will continue to face prejudice and backlash for the year they were born, but this can be changed. It seems insignificant, but the label “Millennial” creates more of a divide between groups of people than it brings them together.
All generations should be working together to find common groups, and change the current issues we all face, such as terrorism, socio-economic inequality, the price of college, and the state of our country By trying to focus on the differences that divide us, we allow hinder our progress as a society, and create barriers that need not exist.