22 August 2014


As a millennial, everyone is attempting to categorize me and define the characteristics of my generation. Many experts fail, in my opinion, to recognize the positives and negatives of our generation as a whole. Many experts look at my generation a little too narrowly. Instead of noticing our strengths  as well as our weaknesses, they tend to only focus on our weaknesses.

Here are some of the best and worst traits of my generation.

1. We're connected: Whether this is entirely good is up for debate, but we're the most connected generation. We have friends throughout the world, as well as the ability to access information about any country. Don't underestimate our ability to find information, but realize the uniqueness in each individual.

2. We adapt: Most of our lives, technology has been growing quickly. We aren't scared to test out new technology, or adopt to changes  (especially updates) in technology.

3. We want instant gratification: As much as we hate to admit it, most of us want to see results right away. Whether it's fast internet connection or the ability to reply to emails quickly. We haven't had to wait for much, and this desire for results can be good and bad.

4. We have debt: While it may not be something that most adults think of, college tuition has inflated enormously over the past decades. Every year we are graduating with more and more debt. Not all of our parents can afford tuition, especially since the recession.

5. We give our time when we can't give our money: Many of us volunteered in high school for college admissions, but the habit stuck and we now join organizations on our campuses to volunteer. In light of how connected we are, we understand that there are others less fortunate, and we act.

6. We're used to recognition: Unlike other generations, we received recognition just for participating. Most of us are used to receiving recognition for our work, even if it doesn't really "matter". Letting a millennial know that they did a job well can reinvigorate them to work even harder.

As a millennial who believes in constant self-improvement, I believe that good will come out of our generation. Our potential will be tapped if mentors step up and utilize our knowledge and skills, as well as teach us what you know. That doesn't just mean technical skills but networking and work-life balancing skills.

What characteristics would you add? Disagree with any?


  1. I agree with so many of these! While I dislike how we get recognition for participation, I do desire recognition when it's due, like if I excelled at a project! It's so unfortunate that our generation has to deal with so much debt. I definitely feel like it hinders me in my ability to do things I really want to do, like travel or move to a big city!

  2. I agree with so many of these (just like Ashliegh). As an athlete, I hated the trend towards recognition for participation and was so happy that my sport didn't believe in that. As a coach now, I have the same opinion.

    Lifestyle In The Clouds

  3. Thank you for writing this post! Like Ashiegh and Mina, I completely agree with all of them, and with the fact that for the most part, Time magazine and everyone else condemning our generation is completely missing the fantastic parts of who we are. I remember reading a poem (unfortunately, I don't remember who wrote it or what it was called), that talked about how people condemn technology, but at no other point in time have we had so much access to knowledge. His last line was something along the lines of "at no other time in history have people been able to look up all the ways to say I love you" Yes, we have our faults and our downfalls, but everyone and every generation has and will continue to. And for all those faults, I think there are some honestly incredible things about our generation - like how connected we are to those around us, particularly in things like blogging where we can connect to so many different people from all over the world; and how easy this technology makes it for us to learn - it gives us more of a desire to learn, I think, because it's so much easier to look something up online than it is to go to the library and research it.

    And as annoying as the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality is - our generation isn't responsible for that. We were the ones given it, yes, but our parents are the ones who did it.