Examining my Own Generation (Who am I, Exactly?)

I was born in July of 1987. I was born not knowing if I had a title. I didn’t even know my name or who the hell was holding me. I was just a mere human being.  As I grew older labels were added. My name, who I was related to and what generation I was assigned.  Most of my life I remember being called Generation Y.  Then 9/11 happened, and things got crazy (for obvious reasons).  After awhile I noticed my generation wasn’t being called Generation Y, but the 9/11 generation, the trophy generation and then we were part of the millennials. The generation was dropped. We went as one word now, like Prince or Madonna.

I don’t remember caring what I was called until I hit college and studied marketing.  That is when I noticed that each textbook had a different name to call my age group.  Some even seem to forget us late 80’s early 90’s kids existed. It brought on feelings I struggled to define.  I would ask for people’s opinions in class, on Twitter and among my friends.  Everyone seemed to have different ideas of what we should be called, how we acted or where we stood in the grand scheme of identifying generations.

I can never get a straight answer.

What generation am I officially allowed to be in and which one do I relate to? Are millennials just Generation Y with a sharper name? Something that rolls off to tongue especially when the media is mocking us?

Where do we stand?

What is a Millennial Now?

I researched into who falls into the Millennial prototype. Almost everyone had a different idea of who we are. From the dates to character traits, people who study this are just as confused as the people living life as a millennial.  It’s like, after Generation X, something happened. Sociologists didn’t know what to think of the kids born in the 80s or early 90’s.

According to an Atlantic article, each generation is clearly defined (Baby Boomers and Generation X) then things get hairy.  Generation Y is something George Masnick of Harvard Join Center for Housing Studies said was born in the mid 70’s to mid-2000s. However, this Atlantic article claims Gen. Y is made up and not to, “worry about it.”

So, Generation Y was just a placeholder since us kids that were definable. According to one guy at Harvard and a magazine publication.


I found a website from someone named Jason Dorsey the self-proclaimed expert on Gen Y and Millennials. According to his research Generation, Y came about because they didn’t know what to call the kids born after Generation X. It was a placeholder.  Since then the idea of millennial took over and now that is what we are called. Though this was a good point, globally the use of Generation Y is much more popular than millennials. I didn’t even think globally. Like most Americans, I was only thinking about myself.

I also found an organization called, The Millennial Legacy, that feels that Gen Y is for the kids born in the 80’s since we would be considered an extension of Generation X. I feel like this is a reach but not a bad idea.

So, from this very limited research, I am to think that I’m a mix of Generation Y and Millennial. I’m allowed to identify any way I want regardless of what is popular in America or beyond.

You’ve Got Personality!

Trying to identify with what I’m called is even harder when all I see is how Millennials are perceived in the media. You could argue that every generation has been made the butt of the joke at some point, but millennials have whole shows dedicated to how “useless” we are.

The media runs with how obsessed we are with technology, self-absorbed with our own problems, raised by helicopter parents and we think we deserve a pat on the back for every little thing we accomplish.

Yeah, we have our issues. We are only human.  I doubt our issues will get the world blown up.  There are aspects of being a millennial that doesn’t jive with how I feel.  I’m sure every generation has people who don’t fit into the box the media has painted.  It just feels that media box has higher walls for millennials. I fall into some of the millennial traits I’ve read about, but at the same time, I don’t fit either.

Yeah, I have helicopter parents (Mom mostly), but that is proven beneficial to me in life. I learned from my mom that no one is allowed to walk all over me. Without my mom hovering over me as a kid I might have never learned that.  Same goes for the trophy comments.  I’ve accomplished a lot in my life.  I skated on Olympic ice. I graduated from community college, a 4-year college and graduate school. I mastered the art of knitting. I can float on my back in a pool for hours.  There are lots of things I have accomplished, and yet I didn’t expect anyone to care. That was all for me. For some reason, older people think being proud of those accomplishments means I’m feeling entitled to praise. I am not. It’s just another brick in that judgment wall.

In fact, I’m not the only one not to relate to how the media portrays us. We are much open to change; we were raised by single parents, and we have been witnesses to many traumas, which include 9/11, Columbine and Katrina (just to name a few).  We are more willing to communicate and overshare, which leads to different experiences to be shared with others.  We were taught to think globally (My god, I just quoted my alma mater. They must be so proud). We are taught to think beyond what we were told.  Like with any other generation, we are trying to be better. I feel like that isn’t bad at all. I relate to that idea of a Generation Y/Millennial.

Right now, if people are still reading, some might think I’m bitching and moaning.

Why are the other generations being so mean to me?

Blah Blah Blah. I do not think that at all.  I’m just trying to figure out where I stand.  Why don’t I feel like I fit that archetype the media has presented to me? Why do I feel like I’m falling behind a generation I was born into? I’m still not sure where I stand with my generation, but now, at least, I have an idea. I know that what the media has told me about being a millennial/Generational Y isn’t entirely accurate.  My generation ebbs and flows and is trying to do better. I can relate to that.

What do you think? Do you relate to your generation or are you still trying to fit in yourself? Tell me down below in the comment section!

Until next time.

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