Don’t Understand Millennials? Maybe Reading This Column Will Help
My name is Erin, and I have a confession.
I’m a millennial.
We get a bad rap. And why wouldn’t we? Born between 1981 to 1996, ours is the first generation capable of ordering a meal, finding a job, video-chatting with our general physician, and securing a date, all from the comfort of our bed. I get it, I’d be jealous of me too.
We vape instead of smoke, love our boozy, bottomless brunches, and have become the champion of avocado toast, the ubiquitous millennial meal. Which we probably munch on as we lounge on our parents’ couch, as it takes us longer to move out compared to generations past.
By now, we’ve trashed those participation trophies from our youth, as we must rid ourselves of anything that doesn’t “spark joy,” under the auspices of cleaning maven/Netflix star Marie Kondo. And we’ll probably dedicate a six-part Instagram post or an entire podcast episode on the process, as anything we do in life must be documented as a testament to our “personal brand.”
We travel the world in lieu of regular careers, a marriage, and a mortgage. Because a one-way plane ticket to a far-away land where Sallie Mae doesn’t reside is much more affordable than scrounging together enough cash for the down payment on a house as we struggle to climb out of the oppressive weight of student debt.
Any inconveniences in life we attribute to that pesky mercury in retrograde. Especially if, heaven forbid, our Amazon Prime packages arrive late, or that restaurant we just ate at did not match its Yelp review.
Work for millennials is not just confined to the usual 9-to-5. Instead, work permeates into other facets of our life, and more often than not, our employer name can be found in both our LinkedIn and Instagram bios, blurring the lines between professional and personal.
And now, I’d like to officially join that cohort. At 28-years-old, I am what I’d like to call a “mid-level” millennial and proud of it, and I think it’s time that I give all my fellow Westchester neighbors a glimpse into the millennial milieu.
This is the first of my eight-part monthly column, “Millennial Matters.” Millennial Matters will explore various topics, such as money, love, education and other interests concerning the millennial generation. I am here to be the unwanted, and certainly unasked for voice for my generation.
It’s not like my fellow millennials need me, either. Since we have upwards of 280 characters to tweet out into the universe our most inane thoughts.
A bit about me: I’m a native of Westchester and a life-long resident. I was born in White Plains hospital and then returned there, 27 years later, to get my appendix removed. What can I say, I’m brand-loyal. I’m a former Valhalla Viking and can confidently say that I led the Lady Vikings tennis team to no town, county, or national championship title. We lost, and we did it well. I worked at the North White Plains Branch Library throughout all of high school and college, and the Dewey decimal system still eludes me to this very day. It was at the library where I once accidentally locked a member of the North Castle Police squad in the men’s room. Consider this a belated, “my bad.”
So welcome, my Westchester neighbors, to your crash-course in millennialism. Make sure to take notes, and yes, of course you can use your iPad.
Erin Maher is a writer in Westchester County, N.Y. Find more of her musings at erinmaherwrites.com, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erinmaherwrites.