Aggie Columnist Hayley Prokos gives an inside look into the character of the Millennial generation.
The term ‘Millennial’ gets thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? Who are the Millennials, and what do they represent?
The Millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, is the first to have grown up in an electronic-filled, virtually interconnected society. We are Millennials: passionate and empowered, compassionate and accepting of social differences, optimistic, fiercely determined and self-starting. While some argue that this generation breeds false optimism, our persevering attitude encourages us to pursue our passions, to give back to the community and to retain a wide range of knowledge about the workings of the world.
We are less concerned with making a sizable living if the job isn’t personally gratifying. Yet, we still look to spend the extra buck on quality products, unlike our older counterparts, Generation X and Baby Boomers.
While there will inevitably be flaws in any generational model, we should focus on the perks of our nature. After all, positivity is one of our best known qualities!
I look forward to exploring both the grand distinctions and finer nuances between the Millennials and our predecessors, in an effort to substantiate a greater understanding of our culture.
Here are four things you need to know about the Millennial generation:
- We care about our quality of life.
Our generation has reprioritized, letting passion take precedence for a change. This fierce belief in our passions makes us more concerned with making a career out of our interests than any other generation. Enterprises like Kickstarter and Etsy, both founded within the last ten years, cater to this ideal by promoting a stronger work-life balance.
- We’re more connected to national and global issues.
Technology has shaped us in more ways than one, but the advancement of social media has played a huge role in creating the most well-connected society to date. More often than not, this inter-connectedness yields emotional investment and involvement in variety of issues today. For example, Humans of New York, a popular photoblog, has successfully crowdfunded for less fortunate individuals all over the world.
- We basically invented the notion of conscious consumerism.
When it comes to products, no generation obsesses more over the organic and handmade than us. We are heavily concerned with the integrity of the companies from which we buy. According to independent advertising agency Barkley, over 50 percent of Millennials try to patronize socially-conscious companies. After decades of large corporations dominating consumer markets, this gives small businesses a chance.
- We are the most goal-oriented and purposeful generation.
Millennials think in terms of missions. We want a sense of self-accomplishment. This may largely be a result of a wholesome upbringing, of our parents encouraging after-school activities and healthy competition with our peers. The infamous participation award might actually best represent our need for inclusiveness and yearning for group success.
You can reach HAYLEY PROKOS at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @haroulii14.