I never really thought much about my generation until I saw this past season of Survivor on CBS: Millennials vs. Gen X. In this 33rd season of the show, they cast members from the two different generations. As I watched throughout the season, I found I had more in common with the Millennials than I did the Gen X’ers. Typically those born between 1983-1997 are defined as a millennial and a Gen X is born between 1963-1982. These ages vary slightly depending on the source, but generally if you are currently 37-52 you are a Gen X and if you are 20-36, you are a Millennial (Pew Research, 2016).
I have always had a young perspective on life and thanks to my parent’s genes I’ve always been told I look younger than my actual age. This has most certainly helped my younger mindset and have often joked that my birth certificate is wrong. I missed being a Millennial by a few years, but overall, I have more characteristics of a Millennial than a Gen X’er. And here are the top 4 reasons why…
Importance of Higher Education
Millennials value a higher education. According to Lucky Attitude, “Without a doubt, educational achievement and getting a college education is very important for Millennials. The majority of us think that education is a big factor to achieving success in life and we are willing to put ourselves into debt in order to get that increasingly expensive piece of paper.”
Millennials do place a lot of value in education and especially higher education. More and more women are getting Master’s and Doctorate degrees than ever before. I earned my first Master’s degree in my early 20’s from Syracuse University in Broadcast Journalism, specializing in Television Broadcasting. And even before I earned that degree, I always had a long term goal of earning a Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology. I wish I would have gotten mine at a younger age than I did, but I eventually went back to school after years of working in various industries and even though I am drowning in student loan debt I still feel like it is worth every penny. It has opened so many doors for me that I never imagined possible and hope it will continue to do so. I intend to use both my television experience with my psychology experience one day – so stay tuned!
Technology Driven & Knowledgeable
Millennials are known to be very technologically savvy. Granted I do remember a time when the Internet, cell phones, and social media didn’t exist (gasp) but most of my young adulthood until now has been based around keeping up with the newest technology and immersing myself in emails, texting, and social media. I remember a time when pagers were the most popular fad of communication but even then my friends and I didn’t send our phone numbers for a callback but special codes and messages to each other. I consider it the archaic way of texting. And now the majority of my day job is done via technology based devices, especially my laptop and phone. I much prefer meeting up and connecting in person, but often arrange those face to face meet ups via email and or text. Don’t get me wrong I love a good old fashioned letter in the mail but cant remember the last time I had a long conversation on the phone. I have brief conversations for business purposes and my friends use apps like Voxer to communicate instead. And I didn’t realize it until recently but most of my friends that are the same age as me aren’t on Instagram, but Facebook instead. I don’t know the age breakdown of Facebook users versus Instagram users, but in my personal case this is true. I typically only check my Facebook accounts once a day but I am constantly checking and interacting on Instagram. According to research, “Millennials are not only most likely to have created a profile on a social networking site, but are also most likely to visit their profile page “several times a day” (29 percent say they do, compared to 19 percent of Gen Xer’s and 11 percent of Boomers).”
Funny enough when I was growing up all I wanted was to play and fit in with all my older sister’s friends but once I became an adult myself, it shifted, and now the majority of my closest friends are 5-10 years younger, in the millennial generation. My husband is even 4 years younger than me. Maybe this is because I pursued my education and my career before I got married and had children later in life and while I have a toddler and a newborn at home, most of my friends that are the same age have school-aged children and even children in middle school, high school and college.
Adventurous and Experiential
Millennials are known to seek adventure, want an experience that is fulfilling and memorable, and have a desire to travel the world. I have been traveling the world almost my entire life. I have dual citizenship in the US and UK and would love to even live overseas for a year once my children are grown. My husband and I have a list of numerous places we want to travel to together and would love to make a million memories to last a lifetime during our travels. I know I am definitely more adventurous than others my age and to them I may be considered more of a rebel or a “think outside the box” kind of gal, but I do seek taking risks and being different. I have embraced the new world of change more so than others in my age group. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a very conservative value system and moral mindset, but I accept our world the way it is more than others I know that are the same age.
In addition, as a play therapist, everything I do is experientially learned rather than book learned. It’s more about the experience for me in the courses I teach, the workshops I speak at, and how I help my clients in private practice. I am very sensory oriented and so are many of my clients. Children, in general, are very experiential and that is what comes out in the work that I do. As an adult outside of the office, I love experiencing new and exciting things with my family and friends. Even if we go to a restaurant, I much prefer food I can cook at my own table than one that is delivered to me by a server. When I go shopping, it’s more about the ambiance than what the store is selling. I love the way a store looks, smells, feels, and I even listen carefully to what kind of music is playing in the background. It all goes back to the senses and the experience.
Millennials are known to be more entrepreneurial. According to a study done a few years ago http://www.bentley.edu/newsroom/latest-headlines/mind-of-millennial millennials are more likely to be self-employed and prefer a more flexible work schedule. I have never fit into the 9-5 box. I always tried to find jobs that allowed me flexibility with my hours and tasks. I knew I always envisioned myself as having my own brand and business, and now I do. I resigned from my day job last year and have been working from home ever since. I also sought my doctorate degree with the expectation that I would have a flexible work schedule of writing, teaching, and private practice not only to be my own boss but to also be home with my children and to create my own hours and work experience.
According to Forbes, “Millennials enjoy the possibility of collaborating with businesses and brands, as long as they believe their say matters to the company in question.” They also have a “community” mindset and like to work to accomplish a common goal together than compete against each other. I can’t tell you how true this is for me – especially being an influencer on social media. Not only do I strive to support my fellow influencers, but also brands that I love. In fact, I just posted the other day about the importance of having and supporting your tribe and how it takes a village not only to raise our children, but to work together in harmony.
Speaking of entrepreneurs, I recently had the pleasure of virtually meeting two amazing moms, Jaclyn & Chelsea, that started their own blog and business together. Their shop, Copper Two, has so many mom friendly items to choose from including totes, mugs, and wine glasses with the best sayings on them!
I own the Thankful Grateful tote in black and it’s so big it fits everything a mom needs for trips to the park, the beach, or anywhere motherhood takes you! I keep mine in the back of my car with a blanket, a towel, some water, and some snacks for on the go fun!
The mugs in the shop say “Grump be Gone” and “Exhausted but Worth It”, which I’m sure all of us moms can relate to during our morning coffee break. Wait, the words mom and break don’t go in the same sentence! Luckily lukewarm coffee still tastes good in these mugs.
Their stemless wine glasses are just as fun and unique. “Mama’s Turn to Wine” and “Let’s Drink About It” are both so fun but my favorites ones say, “Wine is my Favorite Play Date” and “My Therapy,” which as a therapist I find so charming!
They have been gracious enough to offer YOU a discount code, too! Take 20% off until the end of the month by using the code PARENT. And you’ll also get FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50. To shop click here https://www.coppertwo.com
And stay tuned for tomorrow when they post the interview they did with me about my marriage on their blog Gin & Zin! You’ll learn how my husband and I met as well as take a look into our marital life and advice we have for other couples! Here’s the link http://www.ginandzin.com
To follow Gin & Zin on Instagram click here https://www.instagram.com/ginandzin/