Millennials are stuck with a stereotype they do not deserve

If you were born roughly between 1980 and 2000, you may be considered selfish, lazy, entitled, egotistical and pretentious. How does that make you feel? I am pretty offended by those assumptions.

Millennials are not hard to pick out of a crowd. You can often see us with smartphones and Air Pods, tapping away at screens diving deep into the boundless information found in the online world. So, why do we get such a bad reputation in society, and why are we all lumped into a group of 20 to 30-year-old people who are claimed to have no work ethic? Our generation is called the “me” generation, when we did absolutely nothing but grow up.

The world of social media and online dating has taken us by the horns, drawing the attention of society’s middle-aged population. There are so many different types of social media applications available to society, that it is almost impossible to keep track of them all. It just so happens that the technological advancements that allowed us to have anything we could want at the tip of our fingers were created in perfect timing for our generation to abuse them.

Older generations argue that social media is pointless. In all fairness, we probably do spend a bit too much time glued to our phones, but because of our generation and social media, there have been extraordinary positive impacts.

The ALS ice bucket challenge went viral across all social media platforms and  helped raise $115 million allowing scientists to research a new gene tied to ALS, according to The New York Times. Although constantly seeing videos of people dump ice water on their heads may have gotten old and annoying, it did positively impact  medical research, and millennials were major contributors to the cause.

Besides the obvious millennial-like things such as social media trends that give us a bad reputation, the point that we as a generation lack work ethic and good character is the most offensive. There are individuals born in every era that have qualities, both good and bad, that define themselves as human beings, so why are we targeted and grouped into a stereotype, especially without facts to back the opinion?

In fact, the Pew Research Center did a study on our generation showing that 33 percent of millennials have at least a bachelor’s degree. That percentage is higher than any previous generation. How about that for work ethic?

One may argue that to obtain a job, a college degree is necessary, but if we as a generation are lazy and entitled, we would not feel the need to go to college. We work hard in spite of the alternative opinions.

As for good character, I do not think our generation slacks off in this category either. The golden rule in my household growing up was to treat others the way you would like to be treated, and I have carried that into my early adult years.

I have faith other parents raised their children as mine did, and research can back my inkling.

Pew Research Center released the results of a survey of millennials, saying that millennials value being good parents, having successful marriages and helping others in need. If nothing else, our generation has a good head on its shoulders, it may just be hard to see through the technology, fads, and Snapchat filters.

Our generation gets such a bad rap for no reason whatsoever. First of all, every generation has lazy and entitled people, so it is unfair to clump us all into one group. Older generations look down upon us in fear for where we may lead the future of this country, but honestly, we should be as confident as ever.

Nearly 50 percent of our generation is optimistic about the future of our nation, while only 42 percent of Generation X thinks our future is bright, according to the Pew Research Center. How can those who raised us question our capabilities to bring about a positive future? Instead, they should be excited to see what positive impacts their children can make.

It is time to prove incorrect the stereotype that surrounds us. If you do fall into the category of lazy, entitled and selfish, it is never too late to change your mentality. But for those who are sick and tired of being categorized by your generation’s so called “obvious characteristics,” keep your head to the grindstone and make the most out of your life, because we as a generation have much more to offer than the stereotypes attached to our age.