Just recently, much has been written about the Millennial Generation and how they will reshape our culture. After a review of the literature concerning Millennials I have concluded the following.
They are young people born roughly between 1981 and 2000. They are second only to the baby boomer generation in size. Unlike Generation Xer's they are more conventional; they believe in social rules that are more consistent with their parents. They are heavily influenced by their parents and most maintain a solid relationship with them. Millennials may have been the most wanted generation in American history. Most have been treated as special and have been heavily praised for their accomplishments.
Millennials may have been the most protected children with mandatory car seats, school lockdowns and signs everywhere. Signs in the community that say, "Slow Down We Love Our Children" and those yellow signs in car windows that say, "Baby On Board" are a couple examples. Millennials were rarely left unsupervised and most have been heavily scheduled with extracurricular activities during their childhoods. They have had more homework and less free time than previous generations. Parents advocate heavily for them, both at school and in the community.
Millennials are more team-oriented than previous generations. They do not mind sacrificing personal identity for their group. Because they communicate so frequently with each other, they form tight knit groups that they rely on. Millennials have grown up with the Internet, IMing , Face Book, My Space, Cell Phones and Blackberries.
They are achievers and are hard working. Grade point averages are rising while crime rates have fallen for Millennials. Most expect to attend college and believe that college will get them where they want to go. Millennials care about social issues and the problems that we are facing as a nation.
I believe that Millennials are special people because they have been protected, nurtured and praised. I believe that they have the potential to be the greatest American generation in history. While they are not facing a world war, they are facing two overseas military involvements. They are inheriting a world that may be even more complex than at any other time in history. Millennials must solve the serious environmental issues that confront us and most Millennials are very concerned about this. They are confident, hard working, civic-minded, hopeful and happy.
Because Millennials communicate well with each other and are known for sacrificing individual interests for the greater good, perhaps they will be able to surmount the many challenges before them. Millennials may be able to close the gap that exists between so many Americans around politics, economics and social issues. Maybe Millennials will lead the nation with a uniting philosophy that first, we are all Americans. Remember that all kids count.
Scot Hurlburt can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org