*photo by maisierobinsonstudio*
In high school, I had a teacher (let’s call her Mrs. G) who gave a class “lecture”, in which she defined what our generation is. She said we were Generation Y, or better yet “Generation ‘Y’ do anything?”. We were told we don’t bother to stand up for what we think is right, our ambition was lost – we are the kids that sit around and watch TV and play video games and interact with our phones while eating junk food. If we really were doing what we want, she said, then why were we sitting there listening to her in class when we really could be making a difference or moving on with our lives?
Listening to her, I looked around and began to read the other students body language in the class. They believed her 100% and they were starting to feel uncomfortable. Many of them were agreeing with her and nodding their heads. Was it possible that her slightly suggestive remarks about Gen Y were subliminally playing to them? How could they agree with this over-generalization?! I wanted to scream “this is not true!”, and so many things were going though my mind. I sat quietly in my chair saying to myself, “but I don’t even watch TV”, “I do what I want”, “I’m not ‘good for nothing'”. While part of me was bothered by what she said due to the fact and that so many kids were agreeing with all the false, negative accusations, the other part of me was really motivated to step it up in terms of making my ambitions and goals a priority. (BTW – Nothing but love for Mrs. G – she gave this lecture to see who would challenge this generalization.)
After leaving class pretty pissed off at what she said, I sat and thought about what it is that I believe. I strongly believe we are a generation of huge change and we are not the result of the idea called “Generation ‘Y’ do anything”. Rather our habits and actions and motivations are the result of new technology and just like a new iPhone, we are still working out the glitches, seeing what works best for us, building ideas from each other in hopes that we will find the answers to what we’re looking for. We are teenagers! Curious individuals looking to find ourselves, figuring out what we want to do, scared to leave our homes and move on to our futures! And, for me, my immediate future includes attending college at Parsons School of Design in NYC come Fall.
As an individual, I have always been excited about my future and I’ve always been fully supported by family in my choices. Even though this is true for me, leaving for college is a very scary thing. I never would’ve thought that I would be one to say that. I have known what I am going to do in life since I was in 5th grade and I am still clear on that path. Now that the time is finally here to go off on my own, I am often flooded with emotions and feel scared and sad. It is overwhelming feeling like you are leaving everything to go and do something for yourself. Realizing I am an adult. SHIT.
Everyday my friends tell me how much they are fighting with their parents. It sucks because we as teenagers do not want that at all, and sometimes it feels like a different person causing us to lash out, but it’s our fear that controls our words and actions. It’s a coping mechanism for loss, to start our separation early so that by the time we are away it might not be as hard. Realistically that coping mechanism so many of us are dealing with now is very ineffective and likely won’t make the transition any easier. Your biggest supports are hopefully the ones you surround yourself with, and if they aren’t, then you need to find people who believe in you. Either way, before we leave to start our lives as adults we owe those who have contributed support to our dreams the respect they deserve.
So, then, as a member of Generation Y, I’ve seen the astounding beliefs and curiosity among friends and acquaintances I have known while living in Los Angeles and my extended friends through Social Media. I plan on meeting even more of you when I move to NYC in a month. If anything “Generation Y do anything?” has proven itself to be a false theory and to all the “Mrs. G’s” out there – we accept the challenge and are highly motivated to keep proving you wrong. To my friends and followers, as a proud member of Gen Y – join me! Let them know are the Generation of (wh)Y NOT!
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