You Are Not The 20-Something Every 20-Something Article Tells You To Be

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I’ve been apart of the “20-something” population for a grand total of like three months, so I may not be the best authority on this, but let’s be honest, who is? After finally turning twenty I felt that it gave me every right to start poring over every “20-something” article religiously. “10 Ways to be a Wildly Successful 20-something,” “8 Ways to Not Make Your 20s Suck,” “20 things to do before 21…” That was a mistake. Whatever. It’s like because I’m a part of this decade of awesome people, I’m placed into this tiny box of how I’m supposed to be and act. Update: we’re a generation of some really terrifically weird and unique individuals.

We’re the middle of the millennials; a generation characterized by our dynamic positivity for the world around us, our daunting goals of wanting to save that world, and our ability to live, love and learn at a pace so fast that it’s hard for the generations around us to keep up. Those older generations have decided we are entitled, spoiled, and if life were a high school yearbook they’d probably deem us “Most Likely to Ruin America by Turning it into a Liberal Cesspool.” Unfortunately, as an age group we’ve let these opinions define us. I mean, yeah, we have some similar characteristics, but the cool thing about the 20-somethings of today is that we’re perfectly poised to change those opinions and I bet you a hundred dollars (That’s a joke. I don’t have $100 to bet. Thanks, college!) we’re going to. We were basically bred to rebel against authority, and that’s not a bad thing. An even cooler thing is how different we are from each other; be it political affiliation, religious or sexual preference, hobbies, opinion on the environment, etc. We are all so unique and becoming so unafraid to be ourselves. We are at the age of “finding ourselves,” (whatever that means) and our newly discovered trademark of nonconformity is coming out in full force.

As a population, we were shaped by tragic events and natural disasters, like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, which helped develop us into pro-social humans that are ready to change the world at a young age. Our major problem is this: we want to change the world, we are passionate, but we are fickle. We have a new passion and new ideas monthly, sometimes weekly. It’s hard not to, when raised in as rapidly of an ever-changing society as we were, especially technologically. We have endless knowledge literally at our fingertips that takes no more effort to find than a quick Google search. However, we don’t use this to its full advantage. We are educated, we are smart, but it’s rare that we are truly wise. Blame it on the fact that we’re young, blame it on the fact that we were honestly raised to be pretty dependent, blame it on whatever you want but none of these reasons are valid. The only ones we can blame are ourselves. We’re too focused on HOW to do things rather than actually doing them. Take this as a sign to take that idea you’ve bounced around in your head and actually accomplish something positive with it (unless it involves law breaking. You probably shouldn’t do that).

You, as a 20-something, are completely different from your peers, and contrary to the beliefs of some, that is an amazing thing. You don’t fit in a box. You don’t fit a description placed on you by the media influenced society that we live in. At this stage in our lives the words of Dr. Seuss have never been more accurate…

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

Today, you have the opportunity to actually make a positive difference in the world. There has never been a generation in more of a position to do so than we are. Take advantage of it. Forget what you’ve been told, forget the stigmata that’s been placed on us, we are going to change the world and it’s going to be a wonderful thing. TC Mark

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