Earlier this week, Sam Houston State University alumna Alexis Bloomer posted a video titled “Dear Elders, I’m sorry” where she pinpointed what she thinks is wrong with the millennial generation. Some of the issues included laziness, lack of respect and entitlement. The video went viral almost instantly; at the time of publication it had around six million views.
With immense pride in my status as a millennial, I’d like to politely disagree with Ms. Bloomer.
My generation has sparked a social revolution, shifted the political game and created art unlike ever before – all with our cell phones in hand.
For starters, let’s talk about what our generation looks like. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Monthly Population Estimates, young people aged between 18 and 34 are the most racially diverse group of people in U.S. history.
Not only do we as a generation take pride in our physical differences, but we are more accepting of our divergent beliefs than the baby boomers or generation X before us.
In my experience, a millennial is quick to shut down hateful speech and stand up for the underprivileged or mistreated. My generation has been a constant force behind social justice issues like the Black Lives Matter movement or LGBTQI rights. We advocated for the protection of our nation’s police and we took a stand against sexual assault on college campuses. We care about our country, we care about our neighbors and we do it all while drowning in student debt or working toward our degree. My generation is a lot of things, Ms. Bloomer, but lazy isn’t one of them.
Millennials, almost collectively, decided to do life differently. We postpone marriage and families until our late 20s or mid 30s because we no longer consider marriage a marker of adulthood. Instead, we look for fulfillment in our own success. We’re not entitled; we know what we want out of life and we’re throwing the rules out the window to get it.
Sometimes, the act of throwing away “what works” authored by older generations is translated into disrespect. However, it’s misunderstood. I hold my parents, professors, advisers and bosses to the highest regard. I cherish what they say and how they teach me to grow into this terrifying thing called an adult. Nonetheless, I’m not afraid to disagree with them or challenge their answers.
By 2020, according to a Brookings Institution analysis, one in three adults will be a millennial. My generation cherishes the ones that came before us, but it’s vital we pave the way for our own future. Change doesn’t equal disrespect.
Alexis Bloomer is a successful and accomplished alumna. Our university is proud to have ties to her. However, before anyone condemns an entire population, they should try to appreciate what that generation has given back to society. Our generation has some bad apples, but spoiler alert, so did every generation before us.
Dear elders, we’re not sorry. Sincerely, a millennial.