What is a Millennial…exactly?

This morning, I was able to attend the event, A New America: How Millennials Are Sparking Change presented by the National Journal. I wasn’t exactly sure what was in store, but I will say it opened my eyes to many new things…

This term “Millennial” seems to become more and more popular each day….and for a while I wasn’t even sure what it meant…

According to the web dictionary, a Millennial is “a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S.; a member of Generation Y”. WhatIs.com defines a Millennial as “the last generation born in the 20th century”.

So I gather that means anyone born between 1980-1999, could be considered a Millennial. That includes me and that’s pretty cool. I didn’t even know my generation had a name.

First, this event seemed a little too political for my taste… BUT everything correlated somehow. Representative Tulsi Gabbard began the morning, striking a chord with me when she mentioned getting Millennials involved with politics.

“How do you get younger people involved with politics? You empower them and involve them in conversation. They are a generation that is turned off by rhetoric and inspired by action. What are you road blocks and how do we move them?”- Representative Tulsi Gabbard

I can’t even begin to explain why this meant so much to me. There have been countless times when I feel as if my opinion didn’t matter because of my age or because those who are older than I am, don’t believe that I know what I’m talking about. Yeah, that’s a myth. Millennials are pretty smart to be so young. Also, we’re equipped with a lot of visions and ideas that are worth mentioning and considering. It’s nice to know that there are some older adults who take our opinions seriously.

“This is the great generation 2.0. They’re changing entrepreneurship. They’re changing marketing. They make their own rules”- James Brown, Executive Director of STEM Education Coalition

The part I love most about being categorized as a Millennial is the “legacy” that’s behind it. Known for being the innovative movers and shakers of the nation, Millennials are rising in ways that I’m sure no one could ever imagine. There were many rules before I went to college and I can’t help but notice just how much they’ve changed in the past 5 years alone. The rules were simple:

  1. Graduate from High School
  2. Go to College
  3. Find a Good Job
  4. Find the Love of Your Life
  5. Get Married
  6. Have Babies

And that was it… Now? I graduated from high school…I’m currently in my last year of college…while interning at many different places so I can get my DREAM job…and marriage is the LAST thing on my mind. The “curriculum” as we knew it has severely changed…and in my opinion, for the better.

One quote that describes my current mindset: “It’s as if Millennials have a little clock ticking in their heads. They’re like, I know my life is limited and I have a little time to impact this world”- Stefanie Brown James, CEO and Founding Partner of Vestige Strategies, LLC

In my mind, I have a MILLION different ideas constantly running…and it feels like there’s not enough time to get them all out. Although there’s limited time, Millennials have a special knack for organizing and sharing the billions of ideas that we all possess…and most times, they correlate…Even better.

The last bit of this event that made me think was the discussion of “Reverse Interns”..why? Because it has A LOT to do with Mentor Up. We Reverse Mentor. Millennials are seen as a hot commodity to organizations, not because of their intelligence and efficiency, but more so because they can aid their employers in the ways of the internet and specifically, social media. Twitter and Facebook are what’s hot right now. Everyone knows this. However, as I stated in my last post, to some newcomers, it can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating. That’s where we come in. What do Millennials attract? Other Millennials and companies see that. We are an asset. We just have to believe in that.

Being a Millennial is pretty dope. Had I known I fit the characteristics and age bracket of a Millennial, I would have started calling myself one awhile ago 🙂


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