By Michelle Adams, Staff Writer
Millennials are often accused of being lazy, unskilled employees and students. Our views in politics, world issues, and even education vary extensively from older generations, causing much clash and frustration. We fight for acceptance from our parents and grandparents, while battling our inner morals and pushing for progressive change. Despite conflict and backlash, millennials are relentlessly fighting for change in all areas of our lives, from school to global problem solving, and studies show that their attempts are going to be widely successful:
Millennials in America are some of the most educated people in the world. Despite the fact that the cost of college is constantly rising, higher education is becoming less of an elite opportunity, and more widespread. Because of this, the faces of education systems nationwide are rapidly changing.
Because millennials are requiring more diverse skills in the workplace, general education is at an all-time high. We aren’t afraid to spend a little more to learn this information, though: Generation Y is staying in college a little longer. Only 19 percent of full-time students are finishing their degree in four years. We need to be well-rounded for the constantly-changing industries that we seek to work in, so we focus on the quality of education, not the time spent working on it, unlike many of our elders.
In The Workplace:
Even though many of us are still in college, millennials are already changing workplace values. Because we hold family and psychological health highly, the United States is becoming more like European nations in that work does not dominate our lives as much as it used to. We are more focused on actually making change in the world than completing just our job as well, prompting us to run more well-rounded companies, rather than simply create products.
Currently, on the job, millennials are constantly trying to adapt to the wants of our bosses from older generations – but this will soon change. By 2025, Generation Y will make up a whopping 75 percent of the workplace; the face of corporate America will be the face of the millennials.
In The Nation:
As millennials become old enough to vote and take part in politics, the political world is changing. Politicians are unable to ignore the requests of their youngest constituents, some even changing their platforms to appeal to young voters.
Gen-Y had a large impact on the allowance of gay marriage, because, as David D. Burstein, author and millennial advocate, says, “whether or not gay people should be allowed to marry is not a big moral question,” to millennials. “To us, it seems obvious that the answer should be yes,” he says.
We are also becoming active in elections, and were one of the key reasons for the election (and re-election) of President Barack Obama. We hold politicians to a higher standard than our elders, have a genuine mistrust for government, and expect our representatives to be open-minded to directly helping make our lives better.
Clearly, our voice is being heard – whether older generations like it or not.
In The World:
Once we’ve changed things on a domestic level, millennials won’t stop there. We are increasingly looking to become global citizens, and are concerned about the wellbeing of cultures outside of the United States more than past generations have been.
“Millennials don’t have much sense of American exceptionalism,” said Robert Cruickshank, a Democratic campaign manager. We are much more likely to be immigrants, to travel, and to accept diversity than our elders. We see a place for ourselves in the world, and we want to take advantage of that by expanding our goals to a global scale.
Why Are We This Way?
The values of Generation Y are making us powerful and innovative, from college to career, in the United States and throughout the world.
Entrepreneur Stephen Blair Venable even calls millennials “the highest iteration of the modern homo sapien.”
“As a generation, they are the least racist, least sexist, least homophobic, least xenophobic, most inclusive, collaborative generation,” he said.
We refuse to sit around and wait for change to happen – we are go-getters who want to be the change we want to see. We keep an open mind, but make decisions and stand by them. We aren’t afraid to take a stand against social injustices. We take steps to make things happen, and that makes us unstoppable.
As millennials grow, our views are only becoming more defined – giving us confidence to make change. There is no doubt that millennials will make global change during their lifetimes – one step at a time.