We get it. Things are tough for Millennials. There aren’t many job opportunities for us, our student debt is crippling and it’s hard to access adequate medical care. When was the last time you heard our generation described as anything other than narcissistic and incompetent?
Still, Thanksgiving is a good time to consider the things we’re grateful for. Millennials face many challenges, but we’re privileged to be living in a time of extraordinary changes that may shape the future for the better.
1. Communication is Easier Than Ever
There are endless ways to communicate people, whether it be with Snapchat, Twitter or text messaging. Millennials have grown up with these burgeoning technologies and have the know-how to utilize them to their fullest. It’s never been easier to connect to people, no matter the distance.
Did you know GenYize is bicoastal? I’m based near Los Angeles and our founder Becky Graham lives in Washington D.C. In fact, Becky and I have never met face to face, but we talk almost every day via Facebook and Skype.
2. Our Parents Took Us Back
Nearly 40% of Millennials have shown up at their parents’ doorstep at some point, asking them to let us move in- and they’ve taken us back.
While there aren’t many statistics on how parents actually feel about the so-called boomerang generation, they’ve given up some of their financial resources and personal freedom to let their now-adult children move back in.
While your new relationship with your parents may not be easy to navigate, it’s important to appreciate the sacrifices your parents have made to support you beyond childhood.
3. The Internet
This one is a given. Millennials are digital natives and the internet is so ingrained into our every day lives, it’s hard to calculate the impact it’s had. The internet is so pervasive, we rely on it for almost everything, from navigation, to finding dates to seeking out cute corgi videos. Aside from making our everyday lives easier, knowledge is more accessible than ever. Millennials are the best educated generation to date, and our desire for information is fueled by the ease of connecting to these vast databases of knowledge.
4. Greater Awareness of Social Issues
While our generation is often criticized for our “slacktivism,” the ease of accessing information has helped raise awareness for critical issues among Millennials. Issues that previously would not have been brought to our attention with mass media, like the Ferguson Case, are now common knowledge. While this is largely due to the rise of easy communication via the internet, people are now more informed of and involved in issues of injustice.
There are a plethora of serious injustices that have yet to be alleviated, such as the lack of protection for LGBTQ rights, racism and gender inequality, awareness of these issues is helping change hearts and minds. Hopefully, that awareness will help create positive alterations to our cultural, social and legal landscape.
5. Our Collective Generosity
For the generation that gets so much flak for being self-involved, Millennials sure do give a lot. A recent survey from World Vision found 56% of Millennial men have given a charitable gift, compared to 36% of older men. Overall, 60% of Millennials donated an average of $481 every year. That survey didn’t measure the amount of time Millennials volunteer donates, but many institutions like my alma mater, the University of San Francisco, require their students to volunteer.
Though some of these may not apply to you, there is almost always something to be thankful for. Whether it’s your dog, your friends, the second chances you’ve been granted or just the fact that you’re alive and well enough to be reading this right now, take a moment to share your gratitude with others.
GenYize and I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.