"They are so lazy"
"They have no work ethic"
"They are so entitled"
"Look at all those selfies, they are so narcissistic"
Pew Research has defined Millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996. The U.S. Census describes it as anyone born between 1982 and 2000. Either way, ladies and gentleman, I AM A MILLENNIAL!
That's right, I'm part of that generation often considered lazy, narcissistic, and entitled. Admittedly I'm on the upper end. And I'm here to tell you that all those characteristics are true- but not in the way you typically think about them. I'm going to explain a little about why all those things are great- especially in politics.
Have you ever heard the expression "if you want something done quickly ask a lazy person to do it"? The idea is that the lazy person will find the quickest way to accomplish a task so they can back to doing nothing. It's not that millennials are lazy- we just have a way of finding the quickest way to doing a task. I was often astounded with my former employers and their amazement that my tasks were done quickly. I never felt like I did anything extraordinary, I just found the quickest way to do things even if they weren't done that way before. I have found this to be common with many Millennials. We just want to get things done and over with. We're not lazy, we're efficient.
I've been taking "selfies" long before that term ever started. Narcissistic? No. I was making memories. I wanted to capture the moments so I could look back at my photos and remember all the good times. I look back at my photos albums and smile, laugh, and sometimes cry when I think back in the memories those photos represent. I've had a lot of experiences and I'm happy to have those photos.
Entitled? You're right about that one. My generation does feel entitled. But not the way it's usually referred to. We feel like ALL of us should be entitled to a good education, healthcare, affordable college, a clean environment, and so much more. We don't understand why we should have to live in a certain zip code to have a good school. We don't understand why someone should go bankrupt because of healthcare bills. We don't understand why some people have to go without life saving medical treatment because of a lack of access to healthcare. So yes, you're right. We do feel entitled. But not in the "I deserve these entitlements for myself" kind of way. It's more a "we all deserve these basic liberties" kind of way.
Let's remember, we didn't ask for participation trophies. We were too young to care. We didn't ask to leave school saddled with so much debt we couldn't get a home loan. We simply went to college to get a degree in order to get a better job like we were told we needed to. We don't want to be 30 years old and living with our parents. We didn't ask to have to work 2 full time minimum wage jobs to survive because to get a better paying job you must first have experience in said job. We didn't ask to allow AR-15 style weapons to be allowed into schools. We didn't make the world what it is today. But we will be the ones to fix it.
Millennials are the future and I think it's great that our future leaders, myself included, think of the things in a "we can make things better for everyone" way. And every time I hear that millennials are entitled, I smile because I think that's exactly what we need to make a better world. We need a little more equal footing for everyone.