Millennial

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You don’t get a choice about being a millennial or any other generation. A generation title like that is a description of a demographic based on your birth date. It doesn’t matter if you identify with the particular trends within that demographic, you’re still part of it. None of the trends are an inherently trait of being from that demographic either, they are just observations of the most common attributes of people born during that time period and shaped by the major events unique to their lives.

These are the major events I would say have shaped millennials:

Born into the end of the Cold War and raised in a world where the US is the sole superpower

The rise of the internet

9/11 and the ensuing/ongoing war on terror

The Great Recession and it’s lasting impact on our economic prospects, especially since it occurred just after or just as we entered the work force proper

1/3 of our lives so far lived in a period of economic prosperity, the other 2/3 in economic slump

These are all things that have happened to us and they form the context from which our beliefs and behaviors have evolved. Or these are the things I would point out. We don’t have a choice about the events that have shaped us this way. And just because these events have nurtured some behaviors and beliefs over others, doesn’t mean each individual embraces them specifically. But odds are, you’ve embraced at least a few from one category or another.

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