I am a millenial. I can’t believe I have just called myself that. The first time I came across this term was when I was reading through some literature for an Advanced Industrial/Organizational Psychology class in graduate school. Although it was rather taken as a cohort of a study on a type of employee in an organizational setting, on the surface, I thought I was part of it. But the simplest definition was “a generation that happens to be born from the 1980s until 2000.” It was believed that people born within these years are less supervised, ambitious, self-directed, and self-controlled. Though this may seem true, it was still a concept abstracted from mere theory born out of direct observation or immediate judgment based on preceding notions layered by biases and experiences.
Consequently, the millenial phase is rather labeled by Human Development and Psychology as the Post-Adolescence Stage, but more popularly known as that which includes the “quarter-life crisis.” This just came about because of the easy talks in social media and the proliferation of the idea because of experience and self-acknowledgement. What is interesting about this is that this stage is rather more highlighted during this generation we call the Y generation. This developmental stage has just emerged past the fundamental stages of human development. This phenomenon has made experts curious about so many things on many levels.
But recently, having experienced just yet another great local, theater performance set as a play, I have come to embrace the concept more than just a psychological and developmental phase.
No Filter, produced by the Sandbox Collective, has captured every millenial heart, including mine. It was self-deprecating, self-confessing, raw, real (at least within the Metro cohort), and self-affirming. It was just spot-on accurate, at least to my experience. The struggles, the dilemmas, the many personal issues, the challenges, and the way of living were set in monologues written by a collective of just spectacular writers.
Reviews after reviews have come out, and it was simply praised on the level of rawness and experiential appeal. But I would rather bring my reflection to the table. And I just hope I share these with the rest of the millenials. At the onset, as a context, many believe that millenials are self-absorbed, entitled, abominating, lazy, shallow, delusional, and unstable. Well, I must say this is true. But this should be set in environmental context, with the existence of technology and the social media. Everything was just around technology. But to this, with my affirmed millenial self, I share 5 realizations:
1. The struggles are real.
Just as how No Filter did it with so much flare and pizzazz, there was the affirmation that our struggles do exist, that no matter how shallow it may seem, there is that reality that what we are going through is just part of living. Millenials do not make up stories. They do not exist on pretense and disguise. They do not just lie in bed to savor life’s essentials and meaning. These things happen because they are definitely part of the reality of living. And just the thought of it just makes it relieving in the process. There is acceptance, and with acceptance, there is continuity in living.
2. I am not alone.
Most would definitely feel that “crisis” of finding, seeking, floating, fleeting, and just walking around. But this is not exclusive just to the self. The acknowledgement that every millenial experiences at least in part of their lives, there is a collective sense of living this way. And this just make things a little better in the process. By hearing most of the audience laugh, giggle, and react in the most hilarious way just makes everything feel okay, that one is not alone in this phase.
3. This is as normal as any human development stage, much like the hippie era.
Just as the baby-boomers were put in question when the hippie era, of “high” moments and “peace-out” events, just came in advent, the millenials are reduced to being shallow and lazy, technology-dependent and delusional. This conception is the same as the LSD back in the 70s. But this is rather social in context, more interactional in the process. But this stage is just part of the human development. The play made philosophical segues in the latter part, which I delved into settling thoughts. It’s a matter of not thinking too much of what this millenial thing is. It’s just as simple as accepting it because it’s just normal living.
4. There is definitely a tomorrow to face, and a beginning to work on.
For the reflective existentialist, pragmatist, and realist millenial, it may seem dark and languid in the coasts of progress. But in reality, there is still that tomorrow, that bring light at the end of the tunnel, because there is still life ahead. The process is great and amazing. The struggles make us real people who happen to be ourselves in the future. And it’s just completely okay. We will change, and change is inevitable. It’s what’s making this world just interesting.
5. The world isn’t that scary, to think the least.
Come on. It is not the end of the world. There may seem that loosening of the grip from that hope to live a brighter future. But everything else is just going to be okay. Friends, family, and fellow-millenials will get it anyway. It’s just up to us to live and relive.
And the following are my tweets right after the play; micro-blogging post play enlightenment…