Who exactly are Millennials anyway?

Well, we are. Or you could call us Gen Y, if you prefer. Interestingly enough, those of us hovering around in this one-third region aren’t always sure where we’re supposed to be grouped. There are discrepancies between where the age range lies exactly. It also gets blurry for those of us who are in the early career stages. We’re often working amongst mid-career professionals – sometimes less than five years our seniors – but we’re also lumped in with recent graduates, or those stuck in un-paid intern purgatory. Thus, I say self-identification is where it’s at.

If we’re basing it on ideals alone, I am proud to tout the ideals of my generation. I’m an educated, left-of-center, tattooed, feminist, environmentalist, idealist with a moderate technology addiction and a Sesame Street-induced short attention span, who advocates for Social Justice, the Arts, and the Oxford Comma. And I’m proud. And I’m not alone. And don’t mistake this for narcissism. I’d prefer to call it being “self-aware” and it might be the greatest strength against the frequent negative portrayals of Gen Y, which don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Since we’re on the subject, I’m so over the media portraying Millennials as entitled and apathetic. I noticed a peak in the Millennial-bashing articles around the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement two years ago but the articles continue to show up in my Twitter feed with headlines that discourage us from attempting to better ourselves, or the world, and instead encourage satisfaction with mediocrity, and contentment with status quo.

That's, like, an A...right?

That’s, like, an A…right?

The fact is, millennials aren’t the reason that there’s so much conflict with the middle east, that climate change is a terrifying reality, that the economy is in the toilet, and that precious resources are being privatized by the minute (hello? water? seeds?). But guess what? We might not be the cause, but we sure as hell can help with the solutions. And we are.

Millennials are doing great things! They’re engaged, involved, and enthusiastic. If you don’t believe me, check out this report I found on the issue.

If you aren’t as thrilled as I am about self-identifying, or if you have any doubts about where you fall on the scale, here’s a handy test you can take. Let me know how you do!

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