What it means to be a Millenial

18 Jul

As a Millenial, a part of the Generation Y, I’m supposed to be a ‘Digital Native’, a person with a good educational background who seeks success and likes to work in teams. Also an optimist, with trust in the government. Or that’s at least what Wikipedia and other Websites claim about my Generation.

I do like that there is a trend to define generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials,… Of course generalisations are always difficult. But it helps to grasp the general flow, the feelings and perspectives of an age group and the problems they face.

But sometimes I feel a bit more like a Generation X – person. If you want to know what Generation X is and what problems they face, I’d suggest you listen to Tyler Durden, the famous character portrayed by Brad Pitt in Fight Club:

‘God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables. Slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We are the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t.’

I think this sums up some of the central problems of Generation X. And it also reminds me of some of my own problems regarding life. Well, does that mean we are actually talking about problems anyone has to deal with sooner or later? Or are some of these things really markers for a generation.

I wonder, what do you think? Are you a typical part of your generation? Is it useful to label generations? And what defines your generation? Please share your opinion.

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3 Responses to “What it means to be a Millenial”

  1. Victoria July 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    I think that the Tyler Durden quote also fits our ‘Generation Y’ very well, especially the last part: “We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t.”
    There are so many problems with our generation; the fact that people tend to mix up the internet with real life being one of them. Also, in my opinion, members of our generation are used to such a high standard of living that they came to just expect certain things to happen (e.g. making a lot of money) without having to do their share (e.g. working hard to earn that money).

  2. rubybastille August 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I agree that each generation has its characteristics, but it bothers me when the younger generations just roll over and accept them. I don’t remember which group I’m in (born 1987), but for me it comes down to choice and personal accountability. It was a slap in the face, of course, to discover that our beloved college degrees wouldn’t get us amazing jobs anymore. It sucked to realize that we’d been essentially (but unintentionally) lied to our whole lives.

    But then the choice comes to either move home with mommy and daddy and cry that the world doesn’t love you, or tighten your belt, take a job you’re not wild about, and work hard to get to that amazing job you wanted in the first place! And that’s where I think Millenials/Gen Xers fail – we’re so used to hearing the labels (we’re lazy, entitled, etc) that we believe them, just like we believed our parents when they said we’d be rock stars. It’s ultimately up to us to get over what people say about us and make the kind of life we want.

    (gets off soapbox)

    • bearnerdette September 24, 2012 at 6:04 am #

      Sorry for the late reply. As someone who’s born in 1987, you are a Millenial. Which means that you are supposed to be well-educated and informed and more optimistic regarding the future (then for example the X-ers).
      I agree, we are all individuals and shouldn’t act according to how we are labelled.
      One the other hand, as someone who studies marketing, I can understand the need of certain people to find certain commonalities regarding certain generations (because it makes it easier to asses your target audience). But that’s a completely different viewpoint, I guess.

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