By Sabrina Conza, Editor in Chief
“Millennial” — describing a person coming of age in the 21st century — to some is a bad word.
“I absolutely do not consider myself a millennial,” senior Alexis Hadlock said. “I’ve never really preferred this time period in societal terms, and I especially do not feel like I fit the cultural perspective of what society defines as ‘millennial’.”
Being part of the next generation means getting stereotyped by the previous ones. Stereotypes for millennials include entitled, job-hopping, lazy and narcissistic. The worst millennial stereotype of them all is that we expect a participation trophy.
“I hear a lot about how millennials are supposedly the ‘participation trophy’ generation, where they expect to be rewarded no matter what the outcome or effort put in,” senior Brianna Donnelly said. “I feel this is about as accurate as any stereotype: While applicable to some, there’s no one phrase or characteristic that can sum up an entire group’s experiences.”
The idea that our generation expects to be handed things is not entirely inaccurate, as many millennials are huge supporters of social programs, such as free college education and subsidized health care; however, in terms of “participation trophies,” our parents, the Gen X and Baby Boomers, are the ones who provided us with the trophies and then began to complain about their existence.
The fact that those in the generations that raised us feel the need to complain about how we act and what we expect is appalling, as they were the ones who taught us to act this way.
Even if you believe that nature is more important than nurture, the likelihood that all babies were born screaming for a participation trophy is very unlikely. In reality, those in the generations before us birthed children and gave them a lot of things, things that their parents didn’t give them that they wanted, and then when we turned out “entitled” and “lazy,” they blamed us.
I cannot fully blame the parents. I also blame the fact that these stereotypes are not entirely accurate.
As a student, I don’t believe that I’m lazy and entitled. Although I have not worked for all of the things that my parents provided me with, I do work for the things that I provide for myself. In order to maintain a good GPA and ensure that I will attend a top notch university, I have to do well in school, and in order to do well in school, I have to get my work done.
I wouldn’t call myself, or many millennials that I know, a millennial if these stereotypes are seen as true.
So, if it refers to the group of people born between 1982 and 2002, then I would encourage us all to stop using “millennial” as a bad word.