Am I really a Millennial?
Let’s compare the evidence to all of the so-called “traits.”
- Born as early as 1977 and as late as 1996. November 5th, 1988 — dead in the middle. Check.
- Digital natives having grown up with tech. My dad practically pushed technology into my hands. “You have to use this stuff to make it work effectively for you… AND for fun,” he’d say. We always had the newest computers, but those were more for him than mom or I. Check.
- Seen as “trophy kids” rewarded for participation. My dad would never let me get away with this. If I ever got a participant’s trophy — or ribbon, actually, since trophies are expensive — he’d explain to me that participation is important but succeeding over others encourages competition; you won’t always be the best in real life and you’ll have to work at it if you want to be. No check.
- Detached from institutions and networked with friends. Yep… except I rarely did either. I hated high school drama and avoided AOL chatrooms and (shudder) MySpace pages. Maybe I should have engaged more, but I was working hard in school and the rest of my time was spent with family and a few close friends. Check… technically.
- More upbeat about the future than older adults. Not with my dad around. He knew about business and money; he saw opportunity everywhere. He once told me his biggest regret was that he couldn’t personally oversee all of his investments. Me? I aspired to be a school teacher and teach kids to create a better future. No check.
- Optimistic and engaged team players. When I had to, yes. Check.
- Classical liberal attitudes, sees social change as pragmatic idealism. In other words, Millennials accept (without any actual choice) the reality they live in but believe the tools exist to make it better. Oh yeah… all me. BIG check.
- Want to make the world a better place by changing it from the inside out. This has become me. Since becoming a Vampire, I’ve embraced my embrace, so to speak. It’s hard work: a lot of routine and thinking ahead to ensure people around me are safe from my savage nature — aka “the monster” — but the reward is being able to use my supernatural abilities for things I could have only dreamed of. Cedarcrest Sanctum was built by Louisa and founded on this idea. Hell-to-the-yes check.
- Trend toward “irreligion.” Yes, and I know I’m not alone — it may even be a cultural shift. My generation sees religion for what it has become: control. Prayer and worship, on the other hand, can be done outside organized religion, but as a generation with no choice but to accept reality, the idea of morality without fear of a divine rewarding or punishing us in the afterlife is simple: it’s the right thing to do. If you don’t get that, you don’t get us — and you don’t get me. Check.
- Champion political correctness. Sort of? I don’t know… I find things funny I probably shouldn’t, but I’ve never liked the concept of insulating myself from “bad stuff.” I understand the idea behind trigger warnings — we all have buttons others press — but my mom always taught me not to shy away from things that scared me. “Be brave,” she’d say, because being scared makes you a target and being a target makes you a victim. I didn’t always defend others when I felt I should have, but being practically invulnerable and irresistibly influential now makes championing others who need help a whole lot easier. Check.
8 out of 10? So, yes, I’m a proud Millennial — and anyone who says otherwise may feel free to express their opinions to a blank computer screen.
Keep each other safe.