I was born in 1995. I was born around the era when Disney Channel had really amazing cartoons and Nintendo Gameboy Color was the thing all the cool kids wanted to have and play with. I was that kid who grew up building houses and cars out of Leggo blocks; I was that 90s kid who woke up super early to watch Tiny Planets on Playhouse Disney, the kid who grew up listening to Westlife on cassettes and I love it, being a 90s kid. What I don't like, however, is being labelled as a millennial and here's why.
According to Neile Howe and William Strauss, authors of "Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069", the millennial groupie, also known as Generation Y, Echo Boomers or the Peter Pan Generation is defined by individuals born between 1982 and 2004. That means I am part of the cohort and you probably are too. Now, here's the crappy part: the word "millennial" is both a geographical term and a stigma used to generalize us, as seen from a post like this. Our generation is deemed lazy, entitled and delusional. We are deemed so because we have it easy for us, because our parents, the baby boomers, worked their ass off for us and so, we have everything served on silver platter thus making it easier for us to "work for survival" instead of "survive to work."
Call me a millennial to respect my generation but don't call me one if you're using it as a mean to generalize every single one of us who grew up as an adult in the 21st century. Generation X spoke to and about us as if we do not understand the hardship, the pain, the sweat of having to work our ass off in order to survive; we are labelled as delusional brats who constantly stare at our smartphones 24/7, brats who set the bar too high and refuse to settle down with a home or a family. They bash our generation for being able to progress further with technology and call it a detriment to the society when in truth, you wouldn't see a Generation X without a phone these days. They dictate and generalize us as a bunch of clueless individuals who waste our time on the internet browsing about who is dating who, who is releasing a new single or whose album makes it into the Top 50 chart. So we have internet and what's wrong with that? The internet may not be a utopia by any means but we find all the great inspirational and influential things online.
I was not born a princess. I don't ask for something and have it given to me wrapped in a giant gift box the next day. I know what it means to work for survival, I know what it's like not being able to pay for college, what it's like to sell a house or a car or any possession for the sake of fulfilling a semester worth of college fee. I have witnessed it firsthand what being penniless feels like. Heck, I experienced a financial decline firsthand! Just because I'm part of the Generation Y doesn't mean I'm oblivious and ignorant to my surrounding. I'm not delusional, I'm a realist. I'm not blind to my surroundings, I'm observant. When Generation X expects me to sit back and relax and do nothing about my chance or surviving in the future, I spend hours fixing my resume and portfolio and browse search engines for job vacancies. They say we are entitled brats who are too comfortable with the life we are given; I'd say they don't understand each and every one of us, our situation and environmental status and choose to generalize us because that's the easiest way to analyse human beings.
We don't live to work, we work to live. I don't understand why the Boomers made this sound like it's a sin. It's not. Our generation just wants to be successful and we want it fast. We work because we know that we need budget to survive and there's nothing wrong with that. Pointing at us for not holding the principle of "I live to work" is like accusing everyone who carries different opinion from you as invalid and wrong. We have passion and ambition and there's nothing wrong with that if we know what we want and we're incline to make it work. In all reality, I don't know anyone who refuse to find a job because they're content with feeding on their parents' bank account. Finding a job is not as easy as it used to be and no matter how good you were in college, you can still be jobless for a year or more. It's not like we aren't trying to fix it because we are. You don't see us browsing the internet at home because we refuse to find a job but because we are individuals who have to find our position in a society and economical status that makes it difficult for us to fit in. Instead of shaming us for refusing to purchase a house or a car and calling it the start of economy downfall, first realize that we are a bunch of individuals who get to inherit the crippling student debt and bad economy caused by generations before us. There is no effect without a cause.
My point is, do not group all of us together and then call us "millennials" because hey, individualism is actually a thing. We are different people who are stuck in different situations and culture. If you're someone who got the chance to fulfill your dream despite having a low salary job because your parents are able to lend a helping hand then you're just lucky. Not entitled, just lucky. While there are Generation Y individuals who do fall into any of those fugly stereotypes, there's a need to recognize that there are others who don't (so f*ck you, Time Magazine) because in the end, I want to be recognized for my individualism as opposed to being called a "millennial."