My birthday is right around the corner, and it’s the semi-milestone of 29! Besides 29 being the last year of my twenties, I realized it’s a bit of a strange marker in the span of my life. It’s half way between two other miles stones: 18 and 40.
This struck me for some reason. It’s like I’m half 18-year-old, and half 40-year-old.
I still feel very young. I’ve had discussions with friends about when you officially officially have to stop buying anything whatsoever from the Junior’s section at a store. And although I don’t totally get what kids are into these days, I still feel a connection to current youth culture.
But I don’t feel like a kid. At this point in my life, I’ve been in the role of wife, and mom for a substantial amount of time. I’ve held several jobs, mostly within my field of study in college. I’ve even been a homeowner. Relating with the average 40-year-old really isn’t a stretch either. To be honest, it’s much easier than relating with an 18-year-old.
I’m half-grown, and so are Millennials
Scrolling through my Instgram feed the other day I saw that a boy I used to babysit graduated from high school over the weekend. I also saw a friend’s “baby” (who shares my birthday) celebrated it with a fun sleepover. She’s 10!
Although birth years for millennials vary and generational typing is a soft science, I think it’s safe to say Millennials are halfway to adulthood now. Say the millennial birth years are 1982-2002, those born right in the middle, in the year 1992, are turning 21 this year. They are at the traditional age of a college graduate. The oldest of millennials are reaching early 30s. The youngest are full-fledged “tweens”.
What I’ve learned about Millennials
I started this blog was to try and sort out misconceptions about millennials, and evaluate who we really are as a generation. You know, that’s why it’s called So-Called Millennials (it was either that or “Millennials”). After blogging, reading, and thinking about my generation, I’ve decided that millennials are in fact a Civic generation. I think it’s obvious that millennials are facing many trials. But the true mark of a hero is the willingness to get through tough times. And I think the right attitude is there.
1) Millennials are not spoiled and entitled. But they can be niave.
2) They care a lot about the world around them (They are not the Me Me Me Generation). But are often fuzzy on the facts, and weak on the critical thinking skills.
3) They have high standards for themselves, and live under a lot of pressure. But when they learn to live a balanced life (find their “medium chill“) I believe they will learn to be an incredibly effective, and content generation.
So congrats millennials. After six months of blogging about you, at least one person is dubbing you a Civic Generation. Hooray!
Some of my own predictions for millennials (just for fun):
1) Millennials will get married. One of the challenges for millennials has been sorting through what values and attitudes we will leave behind, and which ones we will bring with us in building a future. Although marriage so far has been in the “tradition” category, I think this will change as millennials continue to age. I think it’s more likely that the age of marriage has shifted to late-20s early-30s. Millennials will settle down, mark my words!
2) They will have kids. A generation who worships the beloved 1990s— the decade of their childhood– is primed to be a parenting generation. I’ve realized this from being a parent. If you loved your own childhood you will enjoy parenthood.
3) We will buy houses eventually. As jobs hopefully become more available, and the economy improves, I think more millennials will settle down, and owning a home is helpful in raising a family, even if you only have one kid. Millennials will have a different approach though. I think they will buy extremely cautiously, and responsibly. They will also buy out of practicality, not “living the dream.” We will probably pass on McMansions as they are too elaborate for millennials tastes.
3) We will be very community-oriented. We will always remember witnessing the instability of the nation, and gridlock in the government. We will remember that it sucked to be young during that time, and make sure to be responsible, and civic-minded.
4) A “What works?” generation. Coming of age when we’ve witnessed disaster, I think millennials will be quite cautious in building society. They will not be sold easily on an idea that doesn’t illustrate enough stability. Basically we will not be impressed by ANYTHING that seems half-baked.
By the time I hit my 40th birthday, I hope millenials will be halfway between the starting disaster of our country, and resolutions that lead to a better nation, thanks to the contributions of my generation. So I’m pretty excited to see where things go.
Also thanks to all my readers for commenting, following, and musing along with me!
Where do you think millennials are headed as a generation? What are some of your observations of millennials?