If you were smart, you came up with a game plan before Christmas break. You knew it was inevitable you’d be asked questions like “so what are you planning on doing after college?” or “what graduate programs are you looking at?” or even “is there a special boy/girl in your life, yet?”
Often, it can be difficult to think of something to talk about with distant family members or old family friends, so if you didn’t figure out how to respond to those questions, the conversation probably got awkward pretty quickly.
But there was more on the line than carrying on a mature conversation with Great-Aunt Betty.
The reputation of your generation was on the line.
The millennial generation, our generation, has been complained about practically since we were born. We’re worrying our elders with our delayed marriages, multiple career changes and heaping debt. TIME magazine declared us the “ME, ME, ME Generation.”
We’ve been accused of being lazy, self-absorbed, entitled and immature.
Sounds like a side-effect of being a human rather than being born a Millennial.
The New York Times called the Baby Boomers the “Me Generation,” which does have less me’s than our generation has been accused of. The 1970s was declared the “Me Decade” by New York magazine. In an Op Ed for The New York Times, Jon Grinspan shows how the problems of the Millennials are similar to those born at the beginning of the 19th century – delayed marriage and difficulties finding jobs to name a few.
Heck, Hesiod, a Greek poet in 750 B.C. said, “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today….”
Doubt in the youth seems to be a reoccurring theme throughout history. Which makes sense because, of course, 20-somethings are going to be more narcissistic and reckless than our elders. Older generations have had the time and life-experience to gain perspective and maturity.
But there is hope – Millennials have been labeled with positive attributes, as well. Research done by The Pew Research Center says we’re the most educated, the most accepting, the most self-expressive generation so far. The most important priority for our generation is being a good parent and the second is having a successful marriage. Despite a large percentage of us being unemployed and in debt, we’re optimistic about the future and our ability to change it.
So if over the break you worried your relatives with your vague ideas about your future and your lack of interest in marriage, I’m sure you dazzled them with your knowledge, openness and optimism. But I’m sure Great-Aunt Betty loves you no matter what.