The Millennials

Google is one of my most intimate confidants, really. In my opinion, the internet is the most resourceful hub of information. (Scripture can be found on digital text, so my point remains valid.) The insertion cursor simply begs to provide entertainment, insight, and inspiration.

My recent browsing history divulges my latest study – Millennials. Despite the negative stereotypes I share with my cohorts, I am a proud member of Generation Y. I have been assigned to present an informational speech concerning this topic tomorrow morning, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my extensive research, simply because this subject relates to me personally… was that last statement too narcissistic? “Generation Me,” what can I say.

Anyhow, being that this study was for speech purposes, I wrote and memorized an outline containing an introduction and conclusion. I considered writing out my findings in essay format for the sake of my readers, but really, who would be willing to devote time into analyzing a four page report? So I concluded to simply post an outline of key phrases and bullet points – it entails the gist of the message and will hopefully be of some form of benefit.

Prefer media? I created a presentation using the below outline. Check it out!

 

How to Avoid Negative Millennial Stereotypes

Intro:

Gesture towards individuals in the audience. You only care about yourself and have no regard for others, you are lazy and have a poor work ethic, and you are disrespectful and have no social skills. These stereotypes refer to the Millennials, individuals who were born between 1980 and the early 2000s. There are various names for this generation, such as Generation Me, the Entitlement Generation, and Generation Why, all of which are demeaning references. But despite the negative assumptions about this age group, not every individual is a contributor towards these labels. In order to avoid these stereotypes, one must contradict these misconceptions by embodying a selfless, committed, and respectful character.

Selfless:

To avoid the label “Generation Me,” which refers to the idea that Millennials are inconsiderate narcissists, one should present himself as selfless and humble.

• Exercise independence, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Personal experience: Although I may be on the verge of legal adulthood, my mother is on speed dial in times of panic.

• Express individualism, but be willing to consider others’ ideas.

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” –Oliver Holmes

Collaboration is often more effective than solely relying on ideas presented from a singular perspective.

Committed:

The stereotype of “Generation Me” is deterred by selflessness; another similar label is the “Entitlement Generation,” which communicates that Millennials are spoon-fed slackers who believe everything should be handed to them at no cost – this stereotype is disproven through commitment.

• Work efficiently.

Definition: “To perform or function in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.”

Take pride in your work; do not disregard quality in order to get the job done fast.

• Invest time and effort into future goals, rather than simply living in the moment.

“Details create the big picture.” –Sanford Weill

Consider the end result.

Respectful:

Millennials are able to avoid harsh misconceptions by being selfless and committed individuals; another common stereotype is “Generation Why,” which refers to the concept that this group is not afraid to challenge authority. To avoid this label, one should master the art of tact – presenting thoughts in a respectful manner.

• Understanding one’s reasoning is one thing, being argumentative is another.

Choose your battles carefully; one should ask himself if this topic is worth debating and risking offence.

Consider the opposing party’s perspective rather than automatically assuming your method is best.

• Appreciate an elder’s input.

Age does not necessarily guarantee wisdom, but experience holds a bearing.

Trust than an authority figure keeps in mind the welfare of those below him.

Conclusion:

Many have cast derogatory stereotypes on the Millennial generation, but these labels can be prevented by portraying selfless, committed, and respectful qualities. No generation wishes to be viewed by society in a negative light; an intelligent individual would not associate himself with such ill regards. The opposition of these misconceptions promotes the morality of mankind and works towards social development. Will you embody a praise-worthy character, or will you simply be locked in a negative stereotype?

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Google and Rescue Operation

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A Weighty Error

Suck in, zip up an inch – this has to fit, I know I’m a size six. Formal is next week, and this dress has been reserved for months. Maybe I’m just a little bloated, or perhaps it was the massive burger I had for lunch – I knew I should have gotten the salad! However, my eating habits haven’t exactly been health conscious these last few weeks. Junk food is easily accessible in a college dorm; it’s mini fridges full of coke products and pantries loaded with quick-fix microwave dinners and ramen noodles. The infamous warning of the “freshman fifteen” is no myth.  I was influenced by others’ habits, so it’s not completely my fault, right? Who am I kidding, I’ve lost all sense of self-control. Hostess is my vice, and Red Bull is my confidant.

“How you doing in there? Should I grab a different size, perhaps a wrap to accessorize?”

I hate when sales associates badger me with questions, especially when I’m trying to focus on whether the outfit accentuates the incorrect locations (makes my butt look big). “No, I’m doing fine, thank you!” Lie. I’m starting to feel light-headed, perhaps due to the fact I’ve been restricted to shallow breathing for the past couple minutes. Suck in a little more, tug the zipper up another fraction of an inch.

I glare at the mirror in front of me with a look of utter disgust. That pouch wasn’t there a few months ago, and walking in sky-high heels is difficult enough, much less with thighs that will be chafing by the end of the night. These observations are reason enough for me to forgo the dress, never mind the gaping side zipper that refuses to comply with my weight gain. With a solemn (limited) sigh, I chose to remove the beautiful gown.

The zipper sticks. My mind is jolted to a horrific childhood memory of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in a rabbit hole because of his gluttonous tendencies towards honey. I go into a distressed panic – the dress constricts further the more I wrestle to break free. What sadistic designer would create a bodycon dress without a trace of lycra or spandex – a situation like this was bound to occur, and it would obviously affect me personally. I consider screaming help, but that would be just a tad bit awkward. Think rationally – in times of distress, simply enter said predicament into Google’s search box. “What to do when a zipper sticks?” I quickly scroll through the results praying for deliverance, but to my disappointment, I didn’t think to come prepared with a bar of soap. How negligent of me.

“Still doing alright?”

Desperate times call for desperate measures – “Actually, it appears I’m stuck. Is there any chance you could be of assistance?” That didn’t sound too terribly pathetic, did it?

“Oh, well that’s not good!”

You don’t say. I unlock the stall door and lift my arm to indicate my dilemma.

“Well let’s see what I can do.” She has a look of sympathy and concern written on her face, but she must be smirking inside. I wonder how many times she’s been put in this uncomfortable position – I’m inclined to think I’m not the first chubby girl to get stuck in a dress.

She inspects the zipper and fiddles with it for a moment, then plainly states, “It’s jammed beyond repair. I suppose we’ll have to cut you out.”

My eyes bug and heat flushes my face to a deep red as I legitimately consider dying of humiliation.

“I’m just joking, honey! Don’t look so frightened!” the worker laughs as she gives one quick yank to the closure, releasing its grasp to the surrounding fabric. She pulls the zipper down and I inhale deeply to recollect my nerves.

“Thank you,” I breathe. I genuinely appreciate mockery and the realization that I’ve packed on the pounds right before my first college formal. Really, I do.

She leaves me to finish changing, and I place the demise of my dignity onto its hanger. As I exit the changing room, I surrender the dress to the employee. She looks confused and says, “You don’t want to try on a different size? How about you go up to a size six?”

Daily Prompt – Silence is the new Social

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I’ve found a new appreciation for solitude, but not in a recluse sort of way; often times, I simply want to seclude myself from the people I know. Many consider me to be very outgoing, being that I embody developed people skills and am often the designated planner of group events. But as important as my loved ones are, I sometimes feel the need to break away from the social circle and seek refuge is a mom-and-pop coffee house or local bookstore. I like to be out in public and feel unobligated to entertain others. If I could take friends out and not feel forced to continuously engage them in conversation, that would be optimal. However, this is not the case, hence my recent inclination to be alone for the majority of my free time. Silence is the new social, the willing wallflower mentality – the presence of people without personally interacting is the innovative public relationship.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: _____ is the new _____

Daily Prompt – Thank God, Hallelujah!

Prompt: “You get some incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully fantastic news. What’s the first thing you do?”

My first ideation was to dedicate an entire post to a description of my happy dance, a series of gyrating seizure-like movements that loudly broadcast my jubilee, but I doubt my readers would be too interested – although they should be. It’s a class act spectacle, really.

This post is actually intended to be on more of a serious note. When reading this prompt, the phrase “wonderfully fantastic news” automatically linked me to the thought of getting my first college acceptance letter (hopefully happening in the near future). This may not be applicable to all readers, but make the prompt relate personally – your boss informs you of a raise, a pregnancy test reveals itself positive, Annie reminds you the sun will come out tomorrow – whatever would plaster a smile on your face. Now what do you do?

When I have the pleasure of experiencing such an occurrence, I have to thank my God first and foremost. “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17) and I am obligated to “give thanks to the God of Heaven” (Psalm 136:26). I cannot emphasize enough my gratitude for my Savior and all the blessing that occur in my life every day.

Three years ago, my family was very close to having our house foreclosed. The only way to reach economic sufficiency would be to cut cost in unessential areas; it seemed the only resolution was to remove my brother and me from our private Christian school in order to save money on tuition expenses. However, after months of stress and struggling, good news arrived – the company my parents were negotiating with approved the lowering of our monthly mortgage payment, saving both our house and mine and my brother’s education arrangements. God provided not only our monetary needs, but He also protected me spiritually – at that time, if I had transferred to a different school, I have no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I specifically remember praying together as a family, thanking God that our housing situation had been resolved. Now looking back, I also thank Him for protecting me from further negative influences and allowing me to stay at Schaumburg Christian, which ultimately became the location in which I found my Savior nearly a year ago. “God is my refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1), and I pray that the habit of thankfulness to the Provider reoccurs in every instance of receiving good news.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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Other Affairs – Daily Prompt

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Emotion plays a huge role in my writing. Whether the piece is written as reference or fiction, I cannot seem to get past the onset of writer’s blocked caused by negative feelings. The worst is attempting poetry during these times; my work ends up resembling a mediocre emo band’s song lyrics from their earliest EP – it’s that bad. At that point, I normally decide it would be advantageous to take a step back from my overheating processor, for the sake of both my writing quality standard and the readers expecting genius dissertations. The pressing question: when not blogging, what does the developing eccentric do with her unstructured time? I greatly enjoy art and have experimented with various styles and mediums; this probably comes as no surprise, being that sketches and painting are simply the visual exertion of a creative mind. Much of my time is allotted to reading, from blog posts via WordPress to classic works of literature preserved by the ancient stylus pens of scribes. I am simply enamored with the city – the swelling excitement when exiting the dank Metra terminal, followed by the bustling throng of individuals carrying briefcases, textbooks, and DSLR cameras that few know how to function. [Listening to] music is another major interest; men who wear flannel button-downs and endorse unruly beards are often the creators of much of the bluegrass indie/folk alternative I’ve grown fondly accustomed to. The remainder of my time is shared with my family and friends, people who never cease to inspire and support me. Well there you have it – despite the fact I may appear blurry eyed and have the symptoms of premature carpel tunnel, I do occasionally click the “power off” button of my laptop. However, my phone is a completely different story – to expect one to disregard all sources of technology and thereby render him helpless without the 4G speed to answer to all life’s questions? Why, the idea is preposterous and utterly unheard-of.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Bloggers, Unplugged.

Daily Prompt: Social Networks, Health Care, and Miley Cyrus

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The given prompt asks the question, “What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?” My response is simple: anything that is up for debate. Author and environmentalist Edward Abbey once stated, “How could anything non-controversial be of intellectual interest to grown-ups?” I’m definitely described as a multi-faceted person, embodying a plethora of various studies and beliefs. This being said, a wide range of subjects interest me – factual content is always beneficial, personal accounts are amusing. But what captures my undivided attention is controversy – I cannot identify with the passive individual who is complacently ignorant and refutes development of opinion. I feel that it is imperative to have a stance on important controversial topics; this refers back to Hamilton’s statement, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Despite the fact that this cliché is reblogged ten thousand times on Tumblr (typically meaning the post is of no scholarly merit), the concept couldn’t be more accurate – to truly be knowledgeable in a contentious subject, one must be familiar with various perspectives and form a personal opinion that can be supported with dependable information. To simply become a conformist of others’ ideas is unprofitable, considering most base their opinions by referring to untrustworthy sources. (e.g. No, Obama is not constructing concentration camps for conservatives… however, he is socialist.) The example given is most definitively a controversial statement, and any reader who passionately disagrees now feels the need to comment on this post in order to degrade me and my thoughts towards this issue. Bingo! – controversy produces discussion, intensity, and the opportunity to share one’s conceitedly dogmatic thoughts. (This is why everyone feels the need to criticize, for example, a post that praises Miley Cyrus as a role model.) Anyhow, when participating in these heated conversations, it is always important to consider the opposing party. Feel free to solicit my opinions on issues concerning religion, media, sexuality, environment, politics, and so forth; I would love to hear others thoughts as well. We are all intellectuals striving for excellence in thinking and constantly in need of reproof. Growth is caused by open-mindedness, respect for the opposed is imperative, and eclectic education is key.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Reading Material

Idiosyncratic Idioms – Daily Prompt

Last night, I was down to the wire and running around like a chicken with its head cut off, but my procrastination turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Original price, these concert tickets would have cost me an arm and a leg, but I was saved by the bell thanks to StubHub. Those online markets are sometimes a toss up – I know people who have had bad experiences with such websites, and I wouldn’t want false tickets to queer the pitch tonight. But I went out on a limb and bought the seats with high hopes. And now time is moving at the speed of molasses; I’m on pins and needles, dying to head off into the city. Iron and Wine should be top notch, and the fact that the venue is the Chicago Theater is the icing on the cake. Let me cut to the chase – I’m one of those people who doesn’t know how to hold their horses. It might drive some up the wall, and most probably aren’t willing to lend me an ear, but when I’m excited I can’t seem to put a sock in it. To make a long story short, I’ll master the virtue of patience when pigs fly.

written for the Daily Post, Daily Prompt: A Bend in Time