Why I refuse to identify as a “Millennial”

I am not entitled

I grew up in a town that I knew I didn’t want to stay in. I had no control over where my parents decided to raise a family. However, I knew that going to college would be the only way I could possibly get out of there. I didn’t know what I wanted to be or where I wanted to live so I visited colleges, found one, then took my time deciding what career path would best suit what I enjoyed doing. My parents did NOT pay for my college. There was never any agreement that they would help pay for it either. I had student loans like the majority of these ‘entitled millennials’. We aren’t entitled. WE’RE POOR and WE ARE IN DEBT! We need to work!

 

I am not lazy

During college I worked 3 jobs. Sometimes they would all fall on the same day. My day would start at 5am serving coffee at a drive-thru Scooters. Then I would go to my second coffee shop and work until about 6pm. After that I would go downtown to the bar that I served pizza at until 2am. Everyone preaches about these ‘lazy millennials’ that don’t want to work and think they deserve a $20/hr minimum wage … what!? In fact, none of my ‘millennial’ friends fit this category. Half of them were college atheletes AND worked jobs while going to school. Some of them worked more than one job as well! Let’s also not forget that College classes are NOT easy. I failed more than one and had to keep trying (and paying) for it.

 

I didn’t go to college to party

Did we party? Hell yeah. But, did we pay for our partying ourselves and not with mommy and daddy’s money? Hell yeah! College taught me that I was going to have to pay for my rent, gas, food, booze, books … all of it. Myself. I had to figure out a way to do it and it made me a much more resourceful person. I know how to budget my money. I know all about credit and how much it sucks to dig yourself out of a credit card hole. I know what it’s like to completely fuck up and not be able to afford groceries. I figured out that I could sell my clothes to a store named Plato’s Closet and get cash on the spot for it. No one helped me. My parents told me to work if I needed money. So I did. I got a job that paid tips as well as hourly so that if I needed money I could pick up a shift and have cash immediately.  I believe that college is much more than classes and semesters and grades. College is truly being thrown into the world and being forced to learn how to survive while sacrificing the majority of your day sitting in a class to receive a piece of paper to say you are worthy of a job. No one WANTS to sit through that and then go work the rest of the time they have outside of school. Going to college is a huge sacrifice. You give up 4 years of being able to work full time and make good money, to sit in a classroom in hopes that you will have less of a struggle to get where you hope to be. Did I live with my friends? Of course. How could I not? None of us could afford to live on our own.

I’m not the youngest person working my dream job

I’m still struggling in the field that I finally prefer. I spent 5 years in an office that had nothing to do with what I went to school for. During those 5 years I did side work for groups/companies that I hoped to work for some day. I applied for jobs constantly and got rejected because I didn’t have enough experience. There was virtually no way to gain experience out of college if no one would take a chance on an entry level journalism major. I found a way to write my resume in such manner that depicted my office job as the best experience possible for my chosen career field and it eventually worked! Though the office job was boring, I learned how to be punctual, professional and efficient at whatever I was doing. I learned how to work my way up the pay scale by showing responsibility could be handled and handled well. I learned to work with people I didn’t like.

 

I think people that didn’t go to college are brave

          I have always been a big dreamer. I have been striving for success ever since highschool. College is how you specialize in your field. It is how you say to an employer, “Hey, this is my dream. I take this seriously and I spent 4 years learning everything relevant I could about the field that you work in and I want a shot at thriving here.” I applaud people who didn’t go to college and have become successful. You’re braver than I am and you took a chance on doing something the unconventional way and you made it. If you didn’t go to college and you make a great living then you skipped the expensive part of getting there and have been making great money for 4 years longer than I have. There is no shame in either road and it’s about time we stop making a case that one is better than the other. Some people are phenomenal athletes without having to practice. Others spend summers in training camps to perform on the same level as that natural athlete. It doesn’t matter how we get there … it just matters that we do.

 

 

People say that it’s the Millennials that are the world’s problem. We’re lazy, we’re entitled, we didn’t do anything but party in college and we think that we are better … that couldn’t be farther from my truth. Maybe it is true at Ivy League schools, but not here in the Midwest. We know how to work and

How Ireland Changed Everything

You Get To Keep Your Experiences. You Get To Let Them change You and Completely Shatter the Way You Thought The World Looked.

 

I’m booking a ticket for Ireland. In 6 months, I’m going for 11 days!” I said to my mother. “Alone!?” she exclaimed.

After a particularly frustrating time in my life personally and professionally, I decided to book a ticket to Ireland 6 months out and go. No matter what. I knew that it would be too expensive for me to change my mind and we all know how trying to refund a plane ticket goes…

I needed out. I needed an adventure to set my worldview on fire. I needed a new reason … Something happens when College ends. You no longer have a reason for being in the city you’re in. You aren’t home, but you aren’t a stranger. The thought of working, paying bills and dying is the most depressing future you can think of. Ireland set my soul on fire. This place changed the way I looked at travel and the craving, that wanderlust feeling hasn’t left me since.

 

There was absolutely no way that my mother was going to allow me to travel across the World by myself. Even though I was 24-years-old and completely capable of doing so without her permission … This woman has never been out of the country. She doesn’t travel that often and she rarely travels without my father by her side. So imagine my surprise when she asked me how much she needed for a plane ticket and insisted that she was going with me!

 

I can make a comprehensive list of all of the tragedies that took place in Ireland:

  1. There she is … at Airport Security. My Mother. Explaining why she’s attempting to leave the country with an expired license … here we go.

 

  1. We travel 13+ hours. Land in Dublin, Ireland. Remember she has an expired license and I am only 24-years-old and we need to rent a car. Seriously.

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  1. Our rental car is a miniature spaceship that we have illegally rented and couldn’t figure out how to start. We named him ‘Scooby’. We proceeded to smash Scooby into rubber reflectors alongside the roads (more than once, but she’ll fight to the death to say it was only one).

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  1. We knock on at least 10 B&B doors only to hear that they are completely booked all week, until someone finally informs us that it’s Ireland’s NFL Championship that week … comparable to our Superbowl, and that there are no open B&B’s in Dublin and we will have to drive to the next town over.

 

  1. It’s raining.

 

  1. We don’t know how to control the windshield wipers & we’re driving on the opposite side of the road.

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  1. The roads are very narrow. Often lined with thick brush with no emergency lanes. A large hay truck was barreling down said road heading straight for us. My mother stopped the car as close to the ‘edge’ as we could get. We rolled down the windows, pulled our side mirrors in, held hands and screamed as this hay truck missed us by a quarter of an inch and then laughed like fools and went on our way.

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  1. We forgot to pay our bill at a pub while we were being harassed by a drunken old man

 

In short, Ireland was everything that I needed it to be. It was everything that Nebraska wasn’t for me at the time. It was hilarious. It was fun. It was relaxing, different, culturally diverse, and beautiful. It was the adventure of a life time and I am so incredibly grateful that I have the type of mother who will pack her things and get on a plane with me when I know she does not particularly want to leave the Country for 11 days, but does it any way.

We sang American classics in a pub with drunken Irish college kids on a Tuesday. We got completely lost in Scooby and stared blankly at the confusing road signs. We ate leftovers for dinner in our parked car because we were lost and hungry. We wandered through the most beautifully restored castles and museums filled with rich history. We let ourselves be transported to a place so early in time that it was hard to imagine life.

 

It opened my eyes to a much larger picture. People will come and go from our lives constantly. College will end. Jobs will change.But You get to keep your experiences. You get to let them change you and completely shatter the way you thought the world looked. I want to keep searching for sights that will completely blow my mind and take my breath away. Views that will render me speechless and immobile and just stand still and revel in the world’s beauty and diversity. I want to meet people from all over the world and connect with them on the most basic human level.

We experienced another world. The craving for travel of this type hasn’t left me since. Ireland left its mark & changed my heart.

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