Being a millennial is not a label I had anticipated having to overcome seeing as I had enough on that front being an African American female. Being an African immigrant, the idea of blackness is one you sort of grow into and learn to be a part of not one that you are necessarily born with.
Coming to the land of opportunity- America, my belief growing up was that my womanhood was not a point of contention because you know, there are laws against that. Till I learned about the glass ceiling, that women in power are hated and called bitches and other gender discrepancies. These are realities I have come to recognize, grow into, and am learning to navigate.
As a millennial growing up with non-millennial immigrant African parents, your millennial identity is not the easiest thing to grow into. You are raised on a strict diet of conformity to a success formula we have mostly come to recognize as outdated. We all know the story. You are expected to be female in all the traditional ways and you are expected to succeed in academics in all the STEM concentrations both of which can be really difficult to accomplish at the same time. You know, you sometimes have to sacrifice cooking and cleaning to do your homework and best believe you will catch some flak for that sacrifice.
Now lets add to that the revolution that our generation has undergone and the fact that we have no models to show us how to navigate this new landscape. The digital revolution has changed the way we as humans interact in every aspect of society. Now, a lowly worker bee at a company of Yelp’s magnitude can make a very detailed complaint about the company and the CEO actually gets to hear about it.
So yes, it’s hard and it’s a lot to navigate. It’s also not unique to our generation to encounter a different set of circumstances in adulthood than our parents. It’s just called life. My contention is with the narrative of this set of circumstances. As a millennial, every time I see or hear the word, I steal myself for a narrative declaring my laziness and entitlement. The thoughts and feelings of an entire generation of people are gradually being whittled down to these two negative adjectives which has inspired millennials to engage in this asinine debate about which generation has had it harder and others seeking validation by detailing their “hard work and sacrifices” in order to distance themselves from you know, the real lazy millennials.
The funny thing about this particular stereotype is it’s randomness. Somehow we have managed to demonize a phenomenon that occurs in young people of every generation. We’re idealistic, we’re entitled, we’re lazy? *Sigh * I apologize for seeing life from the perspective of someone who still has it in front of her to live and for being able to accomplish the same things in half the time and labor because there’s an app for that.