What does it really mean to be a GenY or Millennial twentysomething? Countless research studies, articles, and Millennial “experts” are out there telling us this is who GenY and Millennials are — but are they right? Well it’s time we went straight to the source – actual GenY and Millennial twentysomethings. Crazy, I know.
What you’ll find below is A STELLAR LIST from fellow twentysomethings, including myself, on what it really means to be a GenY or Millennial twentysomething.
YOU MIGHT BE A GENY TWENTYSOMETHING IF…
1.‘You have died of dysentery’ does not sound morbid at all, but only stirs fond memories of playing Oregon Trail. ~ Me
2. Sometimes when someone is talking to me I completely tune out and just start counting how many times they say “like”. ~ Micah
3. You’ve learned the best way to communicate is to ignore some one’s phone call, let them leave a message, listen to the message, then respond back to them with a text message, that way you keep personal contact to a minimum. ~Adam
4. “Do you have any kids” has somehow become a normal question people ask me. ~ Mike
5. I miss school. And so do you. But it’s impossible to communicate that to someone who is actually in school. ~ Mike
6. You remember how cool it felt to get a pager. ~ Me
7. You know that if Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible. Ruminations.com
8. You grieve all the day when you spill coffee on something that is “dry clean only.” ~ Me
9. You know what pogs are. ~ Me
10. You thought Mary-Kate and Ashley were adorable. And now they kinda scare you. ~ Katie
11. Somewhere deep in your parents house resides a sweet collection of pogs. ~ Me
12. Somewhere in your parents house resides a sweet collection of mixed tapes. And/or you’ve given a mixed tape of love songs to a girlfriend or boyfriend. And to this day, that mixed tape was the most time you’ve ever spent on a gift. ~ Me
13. Soon it will be perfectly acceptable and customary to ask a girl to marry you via a Facebook wall post. ~ Adam
14. “Dry clean only” actually means “I’ll never, ever, ever wash this.” ~ Me
15. While driving yesterday you saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart. Ruminations.com
16. You ironed your dress shirts for the first month of your new job, and then decided a much easier strategy was just to stop believing that wrinkles exists. ~ Me
17. You can’t believe you actually ran when girls tried to kiss you as a kid. ~ Me
18. In your memory, the best TV can be summed up with four letters (T-G-I-F)… until you actually watch one of those shows, that is. ~ Mike
19. ‘Who was hotter — Kelly Kapowski or Topanga Lawrence?’ is a very legitimate debate. ~ Paul
20. You still can’t believe your parents turned your old bedroom into an office. Did your time with them mean nothing? Shouldn’t your bedroom have been left intact as a permanent shrine? ~ Me
21. You’ve prayed for the invention of sarcasm font. Ruminations.com
22. Mario Brothers 3 for Regular Nintendo is still your favorite video game. ~ Me
23. You know exactly what Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, Left Right, B, A, B, A, Select, Start means. ~ Me
24. You feel like a kid most of the time, until you see a real kid and think, “good Lord, kids are really young these days.” ~ Mike
25. You prayed daily that you could have an Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey. ~ Megan
26. You’ve wished that Disney continued having perverted, subliminal messages. It certainly didn’t affect my childhood and it makes it more fun for us to watch. ~ Micah
27. Standing over the sink is a totally normal place to eat breakfast. ~ Mike
28. Eating Fruity Pebbles over the sink is a totally normal dinner. ~ Me
29. You’ve wondered how growing up, we were allowed to all play Smear the Queer at recess? And how were we allowed to call it Smear the Queer? And how did every kid across the USA know about Smear the Queer? We didn’t have the internet. Did the elaborate Smear the Queer ground rules get relayed by Timmy from Tulsa via carrier pigeon? ~ Paul
30. People are beginning to point out your gray hair. “Wow, thank you for letting me know I have gray hair. I’ve never noticed that before.” (Dang it. Where’s sarcasm font when I need it?!) ~ Me
31. You now understand what your parents meant when they said, ‘You’ll understand when you get older.’ ~ Me
What additions do you have for — You Might be a GenY 20something if? What did we leave out? Add to the list below.
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Do you think Gen Y is the greatest thing since Dance-Dance Revolution?
Or do you think Gen Y is like a Backstreet Boys comeback tour – lots of sparkle without much substance?
Wherever you fall on the I Heart Gen Y scale, one way or another there’s no escaping us.
Gen Y will be the shopkeepers of culture, work, religion, and politics before you can say “social-network-with-a-dash-of-Obama “.
However, as Gen Y/Millennials begin sitting at the “big persons table,” I don’t think Gen Y will necessarily have a career to go with it.
Let me explain.
- Photo by Erin Leigh McConnell
A career is defined as an “occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.”
Yeah, I don’t think a majority of Millennials will have them one of these. Place that definition on a wooden floating vessel and push it out to sea.
In the Pew Research Center’s recent study: Young, Underemployed and Optimistic, the study states that “among all 18- to 34-year-olds, only 30% consider their current job a career.”
I don’t see that number dramatically increasing as we grow up.
3 Reasons Why Gen Y Will Not Have a Career
1. Career Feels Stifling
There is a permanence to the word career that I’m not sure Gen Y is comfortable with.
Career sounds stuffy and inescapable like getting lost in the back of your Aunt Martha’s closet.
Millennials won’t last long working in an office-assembly-line, repeating the same task over and over and over and over again. Gen Y’s idea of professional success isn’t sticking out the life-sucking job just so they can be promoted deeper into the job they already hate. Gen Y needs the space to breathe and create.
2. Gen Y is a Jack-of-All-Trades Generation
Gen Y has spent their lives dabbling. Being involved. Leading. Learning. Spreading ourselves thin. All the while, collecting various talents that weave together to form something unique and needed.
Millennials have too many interests and too little attention spans to focus on one thing for too long.
3. Gen Y’s Career Path Will Be More Lateral Than Vertical
The world is flat now with the ability to work anywhere, on anything, at anytime.
Gen Y won’t climb the ladder. Gen Y will swim from island to island, picking up necessary survival skills at each destination.
Gen Y’s professional path won’t always make sense, but their destination will.
What do you think about Gen Y’s career?
Photo Credit: Erin Leigh McConnell – Creative Commons
Today’s post comes from Amanda Abella, a personnel administrator for a Miami-based employment agency and a freelance writer. When she is not helping recruiters or writing for clients, she runs Grad Meets World, a popular Gen Y blog where she discusses health, career, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and more. She is also the author of the highly anticipated ebook Grad Meets World Ultimate Guide: The First Year Out of College.
As members of “The Lost Generation” we are constantly being told how screwed we really are. How our unemployment rates are through the roof. How we’ll be lucky to get Social Security. How we’re never going to retire. How we’ll never make enough money. How we’re lazy and entitled. Etc, etc, etc.
Picture from Reuben via Creative Commons
Consequently, so called “experts” are always trying to give us advice – albeit mostly horrible advice – but advice none the less. Granted, some of the advice given to us is golden and proven to be true through decades of experimenting. However, there are just words of wisdom we really should stop listening to.
1. Pay attention to the news. It will make you an informed human being.
One of the first things I tell Millennials who read my blog is to stop paying attention to the news. It won’t really make you all that informed, it’ll just scare the pants off of you.
Let me explain. Have you ever noticed how no one ever really mentions when the stock market is having a decent day? Instead they focus on unemployment numbers. On the other hand, when stocks are tumbling it’s really all they talk about for hours on end. This in turn scares young investors like ourselves and makes us feel hopeless as we come of age during what seems like an impending financial shiz show of apocalyptic doom.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but I can see that our media outlets are sensationalized. If you really need to know the headlines of the day just ask around. There’s really no need to spend hours brooding over whatever the news says.
Stop putting so much emphasis on the news and watch how much less stressful your life becomes. Remember, we’re not the first generation to go through hard times and we certainly won’t be the last.
2. Don’t invest in this volatile market.
I understand that many of you are scared when you see that stock ticker at the bottom of the screen, but this could quite possibly be the worst advice I’ve ever heard. If you are in your 20s there’s no reason you shouldn’t be trying your best to max out that 401k, IRA or brokerage account. In fact I can give you three great reasons why you SHOULD be investing.
A. You’re young. You have plenty of time to ride out the markets. Markets that proved to be resilient over the entire course of the 20th century amid a dozen recessions, The Great Depression and countless expensive military events.
B. If your employer is matching any of your 401k contribution you’d be giving up free money. (This one’s the real kicker, guys!)
C. Investing over time will still yield a higher return than the measly interest rates we’re getting from banks (a topic for another time).
Sure, it’s kind of scary right now, but to quote Warren Buffet who put it so brilliantly, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”
3. Don’t bother starting your own business, it’ll fail.
This article made my freakin’ blood boil. As someone who makes extra money by running her own side business I was taken aback by the sheer asinine tone of this article. How dare you tell an entire generation that they’re entrepreneurship endeavors will fail? Why would we stop building and creating work for ourselves, ESPECIALLY during a down economy where we can’t find those beloved corporate America jobs to begin with?
Learn this now and learn it well: businesses don’t fail, people do. We’ve got generations worth of small businesses that have proven that time and time again. And really, just take a look around the Internet and you’ll see plenty of bright eyed Millennials who have found a way to make a living by CREATING work for themselves. Does it take some balls and hard work? Absolutely. But it’s no where near as impossible as people make it seem.
Quite frankly, when you find a way to make your own money you’re not only being resourceful, you’re also pretty damn smart given the current state of the economy.
This isn’t mom and dad’s market anymore. The rules have changed for Gen Y and it’s about high time we start getting some advice that is in line with the situation we have at hand today.
What do you think?
Photo Credit: Reuben via Creative Commons
To say that most of our twenties haven’t gone exactly as planned is probably the understatement of the decade.
Because that night came for us all. When we fell asleep holding our tidy-little-lives like a Teddy Bear, our plans tucked under our pillows like teeth ready to be cashed in.
Little did we know (how could we?), Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy had an elicit night together, creating an evil love child whose one goal was to steal our dreams and goals. Success, that trickster, leapt across our dreams like the sugar plumb fairy, and we were jolted awake at 2 a.m. with a great recession and the life we were so sure we would have was stolen from under our pillows and lit on fire. Crazy, I know… But it happened. So what Now?
What do we do when everything we were taught, told, and trained became a heaping load of fiery crap for most of us?
To read what we can do next, venture on over to The Next Great Generation where I have the honor of guest-posting today.
The transition into adulthood is one of the most complex and significant shifts of any generation.
That’s academician speak for: “This adult shoot ain’t easy“. Thus why the theory of Emerging Adulthood is so important and became much of the research behind THE All Groan Up that you are currently eye-frolicking on.
The theory of Emerging Adulthood is like a group of scholars rummaged through you and I’s Millennial, GenY trash one night and then presented back to us our own mail in a way that made more sense then when we read it ourselves.
So what is Emerging Adulthood?
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D is the leading scholar behind Emerging Adulthood, which in a nutshell suggests that the majority of twentysomethings in Westernized cultures go through a specific sort of ambiguous waiting period between the transition from adolescence to adult. The typical “adult” markers of leaving home, getting married, and having children, are no longer the indicators that you have boarded the Adult Train.
Instead, when Arnett surveyed twentysomethings the top three characteristics of becoming an adult as selected by twentysomethings were: accepting personal responsibility, making decisions apart from other influences, and financial independence from parents.
With so many twentysomethings moving back in with their parents, delaying marriage, switching jobs, moving, etc, the transition into adulthood has become delayed and subjective, no longer the black-and-white-leave-home-start-a-family-work-one-career, as it was in the past.
Some Facts of Emerging Adulthood
The questions, confusion, and exploration of career is a huge factor in emerging adulthood and feelings of crisis in your twenties (Arnett, 2000). With this pressure to find the right career and rapid layoffs for emerging adults with little work experience,
American emerging adults find themselves “switching jobs nearly every year for a decade” (Arnett, 2008)
As well, emerging adults find themselves not exactly fitting within today’s working climate. In today’s economic crisis world wide there is little need for emerging adults to enter into the workforce as Baby Boomers hold off from retirement as they watch their 401k’s plummet and they redefine what retirement should look like. Therefore, emerging adult’s bachelor’s degree does not go far and they feel the pressure to return for further schooling and training, thus delaying a sense of stability (Arnett, 2007).
Lost and Found Identity
One of the main struggles of emerging adulthood pinpointed by research is the feeling of lost identity and self-definition amongst emerging adults. Atwood and Scholtz in Contemporary Family Therapy explain that growing up emerging adults received their self-worth through external success and accolades, so when those are removed so is their sense of worth.
Historically identity was defined in adolescence. Today identity is possibly being formed in emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2008). Emerging adults are on an intense search for personal authenticity, awareness, and personal definition. Robbins and Wilner in their book Quarterlife Crisis state that twenties are ripe with self-doubt and intense with introspection in which a college education did not necessary prepare twentysomethings for.
Leave Me Alone
Emerging Adults spend more time alone than any persons except the elderly (Arnett, 2000). In the most technologically connected generation in the history of the world, it intrigues me to no end that we are spending less physical time with real, live, human beings.
To Faith or Not to Faith
A revaluation of faith and beliefs is a central part of emerging adulthood (Shuster and Mongetta, 2009). Yet during this period, emerging adults are less likely to be involved in religious institutions and disengage from the faith of their childhood and family background (Barry and Nelson, 2008; Arnett and Jensen, 2002).
Why Emerging Adulthood Matters
As I digested Emerging Adulthood nothing tasted so sweet and fulfilling – like eating an entire cheesecake without any of the guilt or gas. Because we’ve been told our whole lives to just keep climbing those stairs. Emerging Adulthood is what happens when we actually get off the stairs and start exploring — all the dead ends and wrong turns included.
So if becoming a real live adult has not been as straightforward as you thought it would, well you my emerging adult friend, are not alone.
Please share your experience with Emerging Adulthood via the comments below
References (Ain’t I fancy)
Arnett, J.J. (1998). Learning to stand alone: The contemporary American transition to adulthood in cultural and historical context. Human Development, 41, 295–315.
Arnett, J.J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469–480.
Arnett, J.J. (2002). A Congregation of one: Individualized religious beliefs among emerging adults. Journal of Adolescent Research, 17(5), 451-467
Arnett, J. J. (2006). Emerging adulthood: Understanding the new way of coming of age. In J. J. Arnett & J. L. Tanner (Eds.), Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.
Atwood, J.D. and Scholtz, C. The Quarter-life Time Period: An Age of Indulgence, Crisis or Both?. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 30(4), 233-250.
Barry, C and Nelson, L (2008). The role of religious beliefs and practices on emerging adults’ perceived competencies, perceived importance ratings, and global self-worth . International Journal of Behavioral Development, 32(6), 509-521.
Robbins and Wilner, (2001). The Quarterlife Crisis. New York: Putnam.
Shuster, M and Mongetta, J (2009). The influence of a small Christian university’s culture on selected characteristics of emerging adulthood. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 18, 206–234.