It has been brought to my attention that superiors of mine, or shall we all laugh as I call them elders, are somewhat perplexed by the millennial usage of the word “adulting.”
I will start with my definition then compare it to different definitions I’ve gathered from across the World Wide Web.
I’ve used this phrase more times than I am proud to admit.
Most times when I use it, I’m referring to adult responsibilities that are usually not fun, maybe stressful and stuff I feel like maybe I wasn’t adequately warned about as an adolescent.
Also, this word is used by those who maybe feel like they aren’t all the way an adult yet, so performing adult-like duties may seem to be a bit of a behavior rather than one’s true identity.
TIME.com defined “adulting” in a short and sweet manner – to make someone behave like an adult; turn someone into an adult.
Another website hit it on the head, if you ask me, by defining adulting like this – to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grownups.
The common theme here is people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as a grown-up or an adult, having to, in fact, act like they are.
I recently saw a meme saying, “Adulthood is a lot like a board game that no one read the instructions on, nobody really knows what we’re doing, we’re all just kind of figuring it out as we go.”
That made me chuckle because there have been times where the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it” has never seemed more true.
Here’s a worthy question though: Why has my generation decided that we aren’t capable or shouldn’t have to do these types of things that people for generations have been doing?
I’m not certain, but surely we can’t be the first to complain about it… We are a vocal, meme-generating, social media activist generation, so maybe we’re complaining as those before us have, but we’re just louder?
Whether you acknowledge it or not, there are things that you do on a daily basis that you wish you could just skip.
A friend of mine just had to buy eight tires, yes I said that right, eight tires two weeks before Christmas because her and her husband’s cars had seen better days. That is what we call adulting.
Another example that may seem bogus to someone who’s been doing it for 20-plus years, but to a first time rent/mortgage-payer, seeing the biggest chunk of your paycheck go away at the beginning of every month can hurt.
That doesn’t mean we aren’t thankful that we have a place to live; it just hurts when you aren’t used to that kind of thing (Thanks mom and dad for keeping a roof over our heads all these years).
Have you started to catch on to this odd phrase millennials seem to wear out?
Who knows, maybe the next time you do something that you wish your parents could still do for you, or you get sick and the only cure would be to go home and have your mom take care of you, you may want to not “adult” for a day.
While some of us millennials need to just get over it and “get happy in the same pants we got sad in,” to quote my dad, there are others who are contributing members of society, and just one day we looked up and thought, “When did I grow up?”
If that’s the case for you or a millennial you know, take heart in knowing you are not alone.
The Lord does not give us any task that is too large to accomplish if we lift our eyes to Him and depend on Him for our strength, no matter how not fun it is.
This past weekend I served alongside others at my church youth group fall retreat. Friday evening we packed up about 90 students and headed down to Falls Creek for a fun-filled weekend.
It’s been a little while since I’ve spent an extended amount of time with teenagers so I was eager to get to know our group on a more personal level and hear their hearts for the Lord.
Now, looking back at our fun-filled and sleepless weekend, one truth reigns supreme. This generation needs love and attention.
Often, as young people today, Millennials are looked down upon. Whether it’s someone chastising them for being on their phones constantly, acting out with their friends, being too vocal/loud or simply being different, older generations don’t approve.
But what is the common theme among the list of behaviors I named?
Let’s break it down.
What is it Millennials are always doing on their phones? You see them with their heads down, unengaged with the people surrounding them. And while I don’t condone disregarding the people around you, because it is rude, what you DON’T see is that teenager texting a best friend who just moved away in order to keep their friendship going.
What you don’t see about the teenager that’s acting out is their home-life where they receive little-to-no attention. The only the attention they might receive may be negative, deprecating or even abusive. Maybe all they need is a friend, and the Lord has put you there at that very moment in time to be that friend.
What you may not realize about the loud teenager is a human being just wanting to be heard. Have you/we taken time to stop and listen to what they’re shouting before we disregard them completely? Encouraging engagement in current events and the world around them can insure an education voice, whether it’s shouting or standing silent.
What you don’t understand about the teenager that dresses in all black or has a funky hair that won’t ever help them get a job, is an artist using God’s creation as their canvas. We can all look back at some time in our teenage years and regret a fashion choice we made; don’t steal that laughter from this future generation.
These are all things I had to remind myself this weekend when there were times I became impatient or just wanted peace and quiet for one second.
I stopped and looked at these wonderful people the Lord has made to be our future and thanked him for their willing hearts to learn more about Him.
1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
As older generations, making a way for Millennials, don’t be the people to look down on anyone because they are young.
Lead the way in setting examples for these young believers in your daily speech, in how you conduct yourself in less-than-ideal situations. Love these Millennials without holding back. Show your unwavering faith and how the Lord is faithful and good to those who put their trust in Him. Present pure hearts of worship and praise to our High King.
Next time you see any of the above-mentioned characteristics or any i’ve missed, instead of running and hiding, see if there is a way you can offer love and guidance to a Millennial. I know you’ll find, while they may be a little stinky and/or sleep-deprived after a weekend at Falls Creek, they’re not that bad after all.
What is a Millennial you ask? Let’s define exactly what these mysterious beings truly are.
Merriam Webster defines a Millennial simply, “a person who was born in the 1980s or 1990s.” While Dictionary.com goes into more detail saying, “A term used to refer to the generation, born from 1980 onward, brought up using digital technology and mass media; the children of Baby Boomers; also called Generation Y.”
Now that that’s cleared up, do you ever wonder what goes on in the mind of Millennials? Well, you’re in luck.
My name is Emily, resident Millennial here. I can help explain how our brains work.
This week, I’ll discuss how I think Millennials are more involved than ever in the presidential election.
1. Social Media
It may be more than we want at times, but social media has played a large role in the 2016 presidential election. Why is that you ask? Put simply, Millennials.
As a generation raised using technology at a young age, some younger than others, we are big-time consumers and participators in the media.
Social media has become an informational highway littered with political opinions that most are ready to not see on their timelines or newsfeeds, but the fact of the matter is people are talking about the election, and that’s a good thing.
Facebook added a feature to the top of each newsfeed that asked if you were registered to vote and provided a link to register online. There are almost no excuses anymore to NOT get it done in time to vote. Presidential debates trended on Twitter as users tweeted MEMEs and GIFs of the sometimes comical but mostly tragic behavior of candidates.
NOTE ** MEME (meem) – a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
GIF (g-if) ((there is much debate over how this is pronounced but just trust me, it’s a hard G sound)) – a MEME that moves or short video usually with no sound.
There are people my age whom I know registered to vote and exercise their civil liberty because of social pressure to get involved. Millennials want to have their voices heard. Whether we agree or not with what it is they’re shouting, I’m glad more of my peers are paying attention.
2. Daily Conversation
I am only 23, but I remember the day when who you were voting for or your political party affiliation was not something you discussed in public.
However, the days of private beliefs are long gone. Millennials want to know what you believe, why you believe it and of whom those opinions are leading you to vote.
While I know it’s not just Millennials talking about whom they’re voting for, sometimes I feel we are a bit louder than most. Hear me now, this can be a major fault of Millennials.
We can be too quick to speak and not slow enough to listen. Again, I would rather my peers be passionate and involved than indifferent and not involved.
So I say, converse about the election as long as you can stand to do so.
3. Public Forums/ Rallies
Presidential candidates swept the country this past year, gaining support and drawing large crowds. Who was in those crowds? It wasn’t just Baby Boomers; it was Millennials as well.
I know people my age that drove many miles to support their candidate. I also know those who went to opposing candidates rallies to protest or get a better idea of the opposing side’s ideas.
While I may not agree with those protesting or how they go about it, it comes back to Millennials developing their own opinion and passionately sticking to it. That can take guts and makes me proud to be a part of such a generation, however misunderstood we tend to be.
4. At School
Students in college have taken it upon themselves to make sure we are an informed voting body. Whether it is via a TED Talk, an open forum, or standing on a campus corner handing out materials, Millennials are talking.
NOTE** TED talk – TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics, according to ted.com.
Professors have a part in this movement across college campuses, too. By encouraging (mostly) intelligent discussion on why we believe what we believe, they make way for critical thinking. This provides a platform for informed voters to learn why others believe the way they do.
At my Alma Mater, The University of Central Oklahoma, there will be full election coverage on our campus news station. Students have been preparing for tomorrow night all semester in an class specifically devoted to the election. The election is important to us!
5. We’re Voting
According to NPR (National Public Radio), “Millennials are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomers according to an analysis of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center, which defines millennials as people between the ages of 18-35. Both generations are roughly 31 percent of the overall electorate.”
We want our loud opinions to count for something, so we’re doing something about it.
In my sophomore year of college, the 2012 presidential election, I was the only one of the people my age, whom I knew, who voted. Now, almost all of my peers are making it to the polls and even voting absentee, which is incredibly intentional.
I say all of this to encourage you to encourage civic engagement to the Millennials you know rather than discounting them as a lazy, uninformed generation. We’re a highly influenced body of people, and we are the future of this great country.
God’s blessings be with you tomorrow as you go to the polls. I am thankful that, regardless of who holds the presidential office, the Lord remains in control of our great country, and that is how I will get through this election season.