How Millennials Are Redefining Adulthood

Millennials, born after 1980 and into the early 2000’s, are the most ambitious people you’ll ever meet. Many embody qualities of productive creatives, such as excelling in communication. We’re curious go-getters with strengths and talents that fail to be acknowledged by the world at large. Instead, many are content to paint discouraging pictures of Millennials as these lazy young adults who don’t know which way is up and don’t care which way is down. And yet, this generation is poised to be catalysts that redefine the world.

You’re In A Box, You’re In A Box, You’re In A Box

A few days ago, I noticed a tweet by Marsha Collier titled, “Millennial Tension: The Generation-Y Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. It inspired me to write a response to the opinions given on the blog. One section in the article that grabbed my attention says,

Always interested in what members of Generation Y imagine the future to bring, I asked him what career he’d like to enter into upon graduating. With a self-satisfied smile on his face, he proudly exclaimed, “Finance!” When I asked why he wanted to go into finance, he answered, “Because I’ll be able to go into the office for maybe five or ten hours a week and bring home about $200,000 a year — to start.” “Perhaps this prodigal son of my co-worker can achieve such a standard of living skimming the American economy for its rapidly dwindling social surplus, but I doubt he can do it in five to ten hours a week. Yet it seems members of Generation Y are convinced they can do it, despite one of the worst recessions in recent American history.

Doesn’t sound like the author is very interested in what his future would bring after all. This also begs the question, does this young man speak for an entire generation? No, he doesn’t. What he does speak to is the heart of Millennials. Is it unrealistic to make $200,000 a year working 5 – 10 hours a week? I’ll digress to Jay-Z on this one:

I can’t base what I’m gonna be, off of what everybody isn’t. – Jay-Z

The Adult Thing To Do

Millennials aren’t afraid to shoot for the stars and land on the moon in the process. Anything is possible! We believe so because we seen it amongst our peers and the resources are available to achieve things beyond our wildest dreams. We’re risk-takers because the world is already overflowing with complacent people. So what if something seems unrealistic, especially in a recession? Appearances are deceiving and recessions don’t last forever. Just look at the history of struggle present in our parents or grandparents lives. Can you blame us for wanting better for ourselves and our community?

In prior generations, you get married and you start a career and you do that immediately. What young people today are seeing is that approach has led to divorces, to people unhappy with their careers.” Brigham Young University professor Larry Nelson

Millennials refuse to accept these systems of overworking and underpaying people that have and continue to destroy lives our loved ones. We know we have options that other people simply refuse to exercise. Why bother to play the game if its designed to keep us within our current socio-economic statuses? How is that the “adult” thing to do?

The Enemy VS The Inner Me

The greatest dreams are always unrealistic. – Will Smith

So, we reach for our highest dreams yet aren’t encouraged to achieve them because others didn’t have the courage to do it themselves. There are so many avenues of opportunity that exist and everyday we have the power to create more. We have discovered our collective ability to create new rules and bring relevant issues of our lives to the masses. We’re past the times of telling people what they should do and how it should be done. We don’t care about failure because we were raised in systems that failed us from the beginning. We accept our limitless potential and still we rise.

Gen-Y’s Spirit of Community and Collaboration

Millennials are deeply interested in community and collaboration. Diggy Simmons, Jovany Perez, and Lyna Zerrouki, have combined their love of music, fashion, and art to form YOUNG CR?FTER$.

Turning Dreams into reality regardless of salary. Because To be rich with happiness is to be the wealthiest of men!

This quote, found on Adeen Magazine also created by members of the group, embodies the spirit of Millennials. This is what we’re really reaching for: happiness regardless of dollars. If happiness can’t be bought, why are we working so hard to make a dollar more than the dimes we’re offered? I thought all the best things in life were free.

Still, there’s a more deeply gratifying experience of purpose when the work is not about the money. Is this not adulthood?

Climbing The Ladder of Social Equity

Elders continue their climb up corporate ladders without reaching back to help those after them. That’s OK, Millennials can take action without being told to do so. We’re climbing our own ladder of social equity. Millennials are getting busy solving the problems that exist right in our own backyards. Problems that have plagued our communities for decades are finally being addressed by Millennials. LGBT, urban, and environmental issues are being deeply explored by Millennials. “Members of this generation volunteer in their communities more than any other in American history,” says Business Week.

Embracing The Good, Bad, and Ugly In Life

With that being said, please wipe the surprised look off your face when Millennials express their goals for a better life. We’ve seen people around us denied access to a better life. That time has passed. We’re redefining adulthood because we don’t have role models that fit the world we live in today.

They’ve been hearing these messages repeatedly all their lives. It’s little wonder that Gen Y’ers exhibit an altruism that embraces the environment, poverty, and community problems. – Business Week

ShoutOuts! Much thanks and love to my mentor, Kyra Guant, Associate Professor at Baruch College – CUNY. Thank you for opening my eyes to the insights of adulthood from both sides of the fence. You know what that means, right? ;)

A huge congrats to Erica Goldson, a Millennial that I have no doubt will continue to push the envelope for herself and her peers. May we all be better people today because of the impacts we make and receive from others. Be sure to catch Erica’s speech, Here I Stand.

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on