Growing up there wasn’t much representation when it came to people being open about their struggles with mental health, body acceptance, loving oneself as there is now. Personally, when I’m feeling down mentally and spiritually I have a list of people that I can listen to, watch or read to make me feel better. After having conversations with my parents, who were born in the 50s and 60s, they couldn’t say the same.
I’m not saying we are perfect, but this generation is full of trendsetters, innovators, and leaders who take no mess when it comes to standing up for what they believe in. Most of these articles probably exist already but here is mine to reinforce that millennials of this generation are indeed lit and there is no denying it.
- Social Media Geniuses: Snapchat is fun and cool and some use it for not so nice things. However, utilized correctly this form of social media can be used to rally a large group of people within hours. For example, after the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, FL students across the nation and even across borders used social media to show their support for those who have lost their lives and those who have to live on with that tragic memory. It makes our “big” world that much smaller because we are able to connect with people who are going through a similar struggle.
- Social Change Agents: When something doesn’t sit well with us, there will be someone who is willing to make him or herself visible to highlight the injustices that affect the marginalized people in society. We see these people both celebrities and non-celebrities making a change within their community, statewide, and globally.
- The ability to bypass ‘NO’: This trait may have differences based on an individual, but in this generation the word “No” doesn’t exist in anyone’s vocabulary. Are they scared? Yes. What about being arrested? Of course, yes. But the pain of what they are fighting through, which is often more painful to endure, pushes them forward.
- Engaged Entrepreneurs: This generation is all about filling in the gaps and finding solutions for niche audiences within this generation. This is evident for people of color who marketers tend to exclude; a notion that this growing generation has picked up on. Some examples of entrepreneurs are Leanna Archer (Leanna’s Essentials), Maya Penn (sustainable fashion designer), and Jaylen Bledsoe (Global Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker). These young people utilize their skills and knowledge of the world to create a business that caters to their community as well as the world at large.
- Enhanced Political Engagement: Most millennials today (due in part to social media) have taken up an interest in politics. Some have even taken it a step further to become a change agent by running for office in their city/state. Some examples of this are Kaitlyn Beck (20), Solomon Goldstein-Rose (22), and Brandon Dean (24), all three ran for office in their respective districts. Their wins or loses aren’t important, it is about their position and what that means to the communities that will benefit from the laws that will be passed during their time in office.
- Mental Health Priority #1: I’m not sure of the other generations before us, but I think this generation has pushed the importance of taking mental health days and how detrimental it can be when we push our feelings to the side. It is so important that we have apps, Pinterest boards, Instagram/Twitter threads all dedicated to how we can take time for ourselves in the smallest ways. I don’t know about you but that is pretty awesome!
Being a millennial myself, I can attest to the fact that we aren’t so bad as the older generation (or anyone else for that matter) makes us seem. We are bold and courageous. We are doing what some of our parents didn’t get a chance to do and even though it may seem scary or impossible, it is not. If the older generation step aside and allow us to lead they too may be surprised about the good that could come from us.
By: Kaycia Sailsman
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