Millennials make changes



Despite their financial burdens, Millennials are still the nation’s most stubborn economic optimists. More than eight in ten millennials say they either currently have enough money to lead the lives they want, 32 percent, or expect to in the future, 53 percent. Some of the Millennials’ optimism may simply reflect the timeless confidence of youth.

Caroline Gao, Executive Editor-in-chief

The people of the millennial generation are those born after 1980 and make up the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.

Millennials are characterized by a variety of traits, tending to be relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, connected by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no hurry to marry, and optimistic about the future.

English teacher Thomas Gaffigan said, “A Millennial is someone who has probably grown up with a lot of screen time, doesn’t read as much, whose attention span is diminished from other generations, but is charming none the less.”

Millennials are also known as America’s most racially diverse generation. This trend is driven by the large waves of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have come to the U.S. within the past half-century and whose U.S.-born children are now coming into adulthood.

In a sense, Millennials are a transitional generation. Around 43 percent of Millennial adults are non-white, the highest amount of any generation.

According to Pew Research Center, half of Millennials also now describe themselves as political independents, and around 29 percent say they do not affiliate themselves with any specific religion.

Those statistics are, or come close to, the lowest levels of political and religious
affiliation recorded for any generation in the last quarter-century.

Millennials have also taken a stance against another core institution of society: marriage. Only 26 percent of this generation is married, which compared to earlier generations, is an extremely low percentage.

Senior Ted Vlady said, “It’s very interesting to look at the trends of Millennials compared to other generations. These trends can show how we have evolved over time.”

Millennials are also the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment and lower levels of wealth and personal income than Generation Xers and Baby Boomers had at the same stage of their lives.

The Millennials’ liberalism is apparent in their views on a range of social issues such as same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and marijuana legalization.

In all of these realms, they are more liberal than their elders. However, on some other social issues, including abortion and gun control, the views of Millennials are not much different from those of older adults.

Senior Astrid Cabello said, “I have full faith that this generation can make a big difference in the world and make it a better place.”

To read more on Millennials, click here.