Revisiting the M Word

Man riding a bicycle

Millennials were forged in an era of uncertainty. We came of age on the back of the financial crisis, adapting to a changing economic world in which our degrees suddenly didn’t matter so much, and we are paid only in exposure and experience. We fight for basic housing situations and low-paying graduate jobs, while more and more of us pursue a higher level of education in the hopes of kick-starting our career. We are all old enough to notice how horrific events in other countries could now heavily impact our lives here in Australia.

And we have also grown up with the power of the youth vote. We know the power of social change and how an individual can affect their community for better or worse. We value fairness, equality, merit and communication. We grew up on both sides of the golden era of tech innovation; we had childhoods playing outside and also have benefited from the wonders of the internet. And we are more connected than any generation preceding us.

All this we can say with certainty about our generation. Yet roughly a year and a half on from the beginning of the Millennials Project, there is still no clear definition of what exactly a Millennial is. The Pew Research Center defines millennials as those who are born between 1981 – 1996, but estimates vary. The biggest range I have found is those born between 1980 – 2001. This puts the oldest possible millennial at 39 – on the cusp of early middle age!

So, millennials can’t be seen as kids anymore. As one of the youngest millennials, I juggle three jobs and Masters degree studies – while many thirty-somethings are considering settling down and a career change. As teenagers and young adults, we were seen as lazy, entitled, almost obnoxiously socially active and, at once, financially illiterate and economically conscious to the point of toppling whole industries. We have been termed environmentally savvy in our lifestyle and eating habits, while also denigrated for our hipster mindset (is it so bad to want nice things?) We are innovators, entrepreneurs and ambitious go-getters (and all from the comfort of our smartphones), but what are we becoming? Millennials are taking the responsibility from ‘The Olds’ and yet we still seem uncertain about our place in this world.

As a new generation is entering adulthood – the ‘post-millennials’ or ‘gen-z’ ­– how will we, as millennials, define our generation and the future we leave for the next one? This is where you, as past, present and potential contributors to The Millennials Project, come in. What are the thoughts, concerns and dreams of this generation? What challenges you and your friends and peers, and how do you overcome these challenges? And what are your hopes and goals for the future, for yourselves, for society and for the planet?

Here at the M Project, we want to hear what you’re concerned about and what you celebrate. Submit your articles and blogposts to us via Submittable, or start the conversation via our email address

Looking forward to hearing from you.


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