Not all college students are millennials anymore. Although often mistaken for this highly controversial age range, most students right now belong to Generation Z. The assumption that all young people are millennials means they are hit with negative stereotypes.
Those born between 1981 and 1996 are millennials, while anyone born after 1997 is Gen Z, according to Pew Research Center. The oldest millennials turn 38 this year and entered adulthood before many current college students were even born.
It seems as though people aren’t taking the time to fact check the term millennial, instead automatically attaching the term to anyone who is young. It is unfortunate that they are faced with stereotypes they don’t deserve.
For example, Forbes contributor Sieva Kozinsky said in a recent article that millennials “expect on-demand services that are available at any time and with low barriers to access.” She also describes millennials as “more career-focused earlier,” which is not necessarily negative.
I would say this is an example of working smarter, not harder. There is nothing wrong with that. Because Gen Z grew up with fast-growing technology, they have adapted to these tools and enhanced their learning and work ethic. They’re typically more well-versed in current events and pop culture by the time they reach early adulthood, which is not a bad thing.
How often do you hear that millennials are ‘entitled,’ ‘lazy,’ or ‘killing industries’ future’? This is attached to millennials, but aimed at people who are technically Gen Z. It is a perfect example of how these misconceptions are creating a bad reputation for a misrepresented group.
Caitlin Consolo, a 23-year-old Thousand Oaks resident, said she disagrees with the stereotype that young people are lazy.
“I actually think they are just more interested in doing work they are passionate about,” Consolo said.
Remember, when someone in their mid 20s to late 30s speaks poorly about millennials, they are really talking about themselves.
Millennials need to stop complaining about themselves, and start being open-minded about Gen Z, because they are the future, regardless of what people believe about them.