They are selfish and over sensitive about everything. I hear that all the time when people talk about millennials. Oh they are the me, me , me generation. Are they though?

Millennials first came to existence in 1981 and the last ones were born in 1996. Parents of millennials are mostly baby boomers, who we all know have their own flaws. Most of which are forgotten since they now control the narrative. Although millennials are grouped all together, there is a divide between them that will be explained.

As someone who exists on the edge between Gen X and Millenial, I get frustrated by the clear lack of knowledge about the years in question. Not every one in that timeframe had the same experiences. This is not a bad thing, but this is why I hate generalizations.

Between 1981 and 1993, President George HW Bush was in office. This seems to be where the dividing line between the millennial lies. Half were born when President Bush was in office and the other half were born when President Clinton was in office.

Economically, the country was not doing well during the reign of George HW Bush. The national debt was rising and taxes were increasing. This meant that the average household had less money and opportunities to succeed. Computers and the internet were not commonplace. Neither were smartphones or social media.

Something happened when Clinton took over the office of the presidency. The economy had a miraculous recovery. Due to his policies, people were finally getting a break and able to easily find work. It was during this time that advancements like cell phones and internet were starting to take off. Social media was also slowly appearing through things know as forums and message boards over the internet. Although this seems arbitrary, this difference has an impact

Let’s fast forward a bit to the 2000’s. In 2001, President George W Bush was elected into office. Immediately, there was a catastrophic event that changed the way of the world and we were thrown into a significant recession. This lasted well into the Obama era, and had a meaningful impact into the lives of millennials who graduated college between 2005-2010.

Those of us that graduated college during that time were tossed into a world that offered no employment. I remember applying to jobs, showing up for exams, and sitting in a room with hundreds of other applicants. Of course, this was only if I even got to the exam stage. I applied to hundreds of jobs with no results. Instead, I spent those years working at my college job hoping for some miracle to take me away from that place.

Sadly nothing happened, so I did what any other person who was in my same situation, I became immersed into video games. Depression took hold and I thought that I would have to make the place that I was at my home. Luckily, I have since moved on and now have a career that I feels me with accomplishment.

Compare that to those that graduated between 2011- 2017. The economy was trending upwards and jobs were plentiful. This half of millennials did not have to go through the stress and disappointment that the first half had to go through. Not saying that their lives were a piece of cake, but am commenting on the different state of the world during that time.

Those that are also from this later half of the millennial group also had the benefit of growing up with cellphones and internet. Information was easy to come by and social media exploded. Every person was on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. People of an older age who were not used to this new world quickly jumped on the bandwagon that millennials were these self-absorbed entitled brats.

Maybe instead of judging, we take time to look at the circumstances surrounding those situations and attitudes. I am proud to say that I am a millennial, and our time is just starting. The hatred towards us will only make us stronger.

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