We Millennials were born between 1980-2000, however it is much easier to define us by our characteristics. While not every single characteristic will qualify for every single teen and twenty-something, these broad strokes coat the vast majority very well.
Like every generation, we are shaped by the times in which we grow. Our generation was not shaped by war, but by money. Until recently, we had no needs that went unfulfilled, no desires unrequited. We avoided responsibility because none was given to us. Because of that, we are more likely to put off marriage, homeownership, and children. They are not the key to happiness as in previous generations. They scare us. They are burdens.
We are narcissistic and fickle, and we have been bred that way.
We are driven to excel: in school, in careers, in life. And we are disappointed almost beyond measure when things go wrong.
We are ill-equipped to deal with adversity, but we have been shielded from it for so long.
We care about success and community, but politics-as-usual nauseate us.
We are socially very liberal, because social conservatism has not been proven good or fair to us.
We are philosophically inclined and artistically endowed because the time and ability has been afforded to us.
We are technophiles; technology is simply another language we’ve learned.
We do not believe in absolutes. We have a sense of right and wrong, but it’s not black and white; it’s on a gradient scale of gray.
We believe in knowledge above power, and intellect above judgment.
We deny the emotive side while following our gut, without any desire to hone that skill.
We desire to have our lives perfectly synced. We are not adept at compartmentalizing, yet we do not enjoy truly deep questions either.
We are efficient multi-taskers, and because of that, our focus is scattershot and our attentions are deficient.
We want our news satirical and our humor off-beat; traditional machismo has been eschewed for androgynous sensibilities.
We deplore labels, so much so that we label ourselves against labels just to get away from them.
We tend to be close to, and respect, our parents and elders.
We are incredulously spoiled, yet oftentimes selfless.
We cannot take criticism, but we do not appreciate coddling.
We do not want to work for it, because we’re not sure if we actually want it in the first place.
We are very skeptical of organized religion, to the point of holding to skepticism as a dogma. While we mock organized religion, we believe in memes and evolution and social justice.
We are not religious. We are spiritual. Yes, to us, there is a difference.
We are well-traveled, and would rather see the world than work for a fortune.
Our distrust of authority grows with every disgraced politician, clergyman, and celebrity.
We don’t hate money, we just hate the greedy. Which oftentimes is the rich. We think. Old money is a foreign concept to us.
We dislike face-to-face communication, and find it taxing. We’d rather text you. Phone calls are avoided unless necessary.
We tweet; we like things on Facebook; we bookmark and have rss feeds sent to our email; we Skype and FaceTime; we text constantly.
We are a generation of true immediate gratification. Anything less is a denial of basic human rights.
We are very health conscious. We run, we go to the gym, and we do yoga. We would rather eat grilled edamame than Twinkies. We will pay more money for Whole Foods, and avoid obviously bad food, even if it’s far cheaper.
We are desperately individual.
We need options.
We believe, above all, in fairness. That nebulous, capricious ideal that means the world. The lack of fairness is deplorable to us. Any perceived intolerance puts you in Dante’s 9th circle. Racism, sexism, and inequality of any type burn us, and make us angry enough to fight.
We want it our way, we want it now, and we want it for nothing.