Millennials Pay Their Dues (westfall)

Millennials will not be the end of society as we know it.

by Belinda Westfall

Kids these days.

I know what you’re thinking.  This is the start of another Baby Boomer’s rant on how Millennials are entitled, lazy and antisocial. But think again.

Despite the negative labels often pinned on today’s students, millennials are pretty impressive, a good thing considering as of 2015 they outnumber Baby Boomers according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Antisocial? No.  Although the tools have changed from the folded notes passed in geometry class in 1980, these kids are connected to their peers and their families.  Pew Research reports the millennial generation has closer familial relationships than the previous generation.

Entitled and Lazy?  No.  The number of full time students who hold down after-school jobs has grown steadily since 1970.The National Center for Education Statistics reports that as of 2007, 45 percent of the traditional undergraduate population were working while attending school full time and 80 percent were working while attending school part time.

Consider Ryder Parker, a junior majoring in English at the University of Oklahoma.  He works evenings as a server at Chuy’s to help pay for his college classes to alleviate financial stress for his parents.  When I approached him for a spontaneous interview, he cheerfully accepted and let a total stranger shoot video with a personal cell phone.

As I fade into the sunset with my fellow Baby Boomers, I’m not worried about what the future holds.

These kids are cool.  I think we’ll be okay.

 

 

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