I sat at my dining room table after dinner last night while my aunts and uncles of the Baby Boomer and Generation X generations got in an intense conversation regarding what their generations were leaving behind for my cousins, my siblings, and myself- the Millennials. I sat there quietly listening to them, thinking how utterly convenient the timing of this conversation was, considering the topic of this week’s blog post. One of my aunts posed the question of how I will approach marriage, to which my other aunt responded, if “she even chooses to approach it.” I knew that their reference to me in this conversation was actually a reference to my overall generation. Just before my family came over for dinner, I had taken the Pew Research Center quiz, and was only a few pages in to the Center’s analysis on Millennials. I was kicking myself for not having read further so I could incorporate more of their conversation in to my post this week. Multiple times I thought “should I get up and get my phone so I can write down and remember what they’re saying and use it in my post this week?” Just as I was about to do so, the conversation unfortunately took a turn towards a topic I have ZERO interest in-Politics (despite the fact that I was born and raised in Washington, D.C.). I decided to get up from the table anyways so I would not have to listen to this awful topic.
While reading the Center’s analysis on Millennials, I found that my lack of political interest is apparently something I have in common with the majority of my generation. Likewise, I learned that I am included in the majority of Millennials who identify as being less religious. Despite the fact that I was raised Catholic and attended a Catholic school for thirteen years, I only go to church on Christmas and Easter, and only because I am forced to, not because I necessarily believe in the religion. It will be interesting to see the role that religion will play in the lives of our generations’ children. Since a large amount of my generation is less religious, will we impose religion on our children, even though we do not practice or believe in it ourselves, or will we just not acknowledge the topic at all? Finally, I definitely identify myself with the 47% of Millennials who say that having a high-paying career is very important, but not one of the most important things, which is being a good parent.
In terms of jobs, Millennials are characterized as wanting careers that actually matter. Through discussion with friends, I can tell that a lot of them have a very clear idea of the exact career that they want as soon as they graduate, and are not open to looking in to other careers that may be more achievable for someone right out of college. While it is important to strive for a career that makes a difference, I think some Millennials may be limiting their career opportunities because it is not the exact position that they had imagined, despite the fact that their major, such as Economics, is applicable in many different positions. In the future, I think that this attitude will prevent a lot of businesses from receiving applicants because their available positions are not exactly what a Millennials had intended, even if it is their very first job. Research shows that it is likely that Millennials will switch jobs and/or careers throughout their lifetime. With that said, Millennials must realize that their first job out of college likely will not be the same one that they will have in twenty years. Millennials must consider the trade off between getting exactly what they want, getting nothing at all, or settling for something they had not envisioned, learning from those experiences, and working their way to what they had envisioned.
Ultimately, I think that it is very important for society as a whole to discuss generations. Without such discussion, generations would not be able to function in society without understanding or being aware of the reasons for differences between age groups, and how values vary amongst such groups.