On Labeling Millennials: Stop It.

It’s damn difficult to find your place in this world.

From a very young age, millennials were pushed to label ourselves, whether we liked it or not. Are you a Christian? Are you a feminist? Are you more conservative or liberal? Are you an athlete? Were you raised to be that way? Are your life choices dictated by that label you associate with?

There are a multitude of articles that label millennials as this or that: as independent or liberal, as anti-religious or fanatical about religion, as lazy, as different… It seems like no one can truly define us. I’m getting frustrated with the stories and articles and news segments that attempt to shove millennials into one category and have that be the end of it. It doesn’t work that way, not anymore.

Case in point – look at these two article titles:

Millennials are Immature and Entitled

Millennials are Generation Nice

A while ago, after a night of playing cards and eating cheap Mexican food with friends, the boyfriend and I crawled into bed to get some sleep. He had to be up in a mere 5 hours for a meeting for work.

Somehow, though, as we recapped the evening and debated whether or not we were good hosts, the conversation shifted into a more serious discussion about labels and the impact they have on our lives. Sure, it makes life easier to identify as something, and I understand this. People need to feel as if they serve some sort of purpose in the time they are given.

I’ve found, as I get older, that two main labels people love to associate with are political party labels and religious labels.

Apparently, though, one in four millennials don’t even associate with a religion, and statistically, millennials are turning away from their support of President Obama.

In my opinion, that’s because millennials don’t have time for the bullshitting and the sidestepping and the unbroken promises — of any political party or religious institution. Millennials aren’t impressed with the slicked back hair and the fancy suits and close-minded policies of anybody. Millennials don’t need to stick their labels on with superglue and never take them off. We don’t have time for that.

SDT-next-america-03-07-2014-0-01

This chart from PewResearch shows what I’m talking about for all you visual learners.

To be fair, it’s easy to get stuck in the “I’m a liberal!” or “I’m a conservative!” mindset and never change your views.

I did this, in college. I was in the College Republicans and was a super conservative (like with a cape and everything, kidding, I didn’t have a cape…)  and I outwardly agreed wholeheartedly with conservative ideals that I didn’t actually wholeheartedly agree with because I wanted to be conservative. I wanted the label.

Some people change their views, and some people don’t, and some people hate the president, and some people love him, and some people know why they hate or love the president, and some people love the church, and some people don’t believe, and some people just want their label. Some people wear the label like a shiny bright nametag…

nametag22222222211111

But millennials? Most of us don’t wear these for long, if at all. We are the generation that does not feel the need to stick the label on with superglue. If anything, we put the label on the floor, near us, in a stack of other labels. We use it if it’s necessary. And then we throw it away if we need to….Because shoving yourself into one category makes for a close-minded, dull approach to life.

So stop trying to label us.  We aren’t your old-fashioned generation and that makes me very, very proud to be a millennial. Despite the numerous amount of articles about millennials, no one can pinpoint us or define us or keep up with us because we are constantly changing.

We are free-thinkers, and observers, and game-changers, and authority questioners. We are independent and unbiased and accepting.***

***(Some of us. Some, sadly, are not these things, but I like to hope the majority of us are.)

Get with the times, everyone else. It’s okay to take off your nametag and put on a different one. It’s okay to be open-minded. And, most of all, it’s okay to be a millennial.

MKB

2 thoughts on “On Labeling Millennials: Stop It.

    • Agreed! I understand the sociological aspect of figuring out a generation,but whenever I try to research anything pertaining to millennials (or any generation, for that matter) I’m left wondering why anyone continues to label large groups of people. I guess the older you get, the more you realize you don’t have the stick to whatever label is supposed to define you.

      Liked by 1 person

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