Technically, I suppose I’m a Millennial. I actually am not really a fan of the term and the association and don’t really want to identify as a Millennial but considering what year I was born, I suppose I just have to accept it.
I saw an article today about Why millennials are trending towards minimalism and it pretty much hit home 100% for me. I’m not really a minimalist yet (so many hoarding tendencies), but I think I’m starting to get there. And I absolutely agree with several points in the article:
- Technology – I remember growing up and owning a ton of CDs and DVDs in my early 20s. Now? Why would I? Netflix and spotify. Done. I used to buy books. Now I have a kindle. There is no longer a need to keep media.
- The value of experience – this isn’t just my generation – my parents are definitely this way and this is how I was raised. Experiences have always been more important than “things” – even when I grew up in the middle class midwest (aka as a part of the great consumer class), my parents definitely instilled the values of camping/travel/spending time outdoors more than shopping and stuff.
- Mobility – living overseas and knowing that you will probably undertake several more overseas moves in your life definitely mean that having a lot of stuff is impractical.
- Debt – having a ridiculously huge student loan from 7 years of grad school makes the thought of any big purchases seem silly. When you’re already paying the equivalent of a mortgage each month, why would you add a car payment or an actual mortgage to that?
- Economic uncertainty – Yes, I absolutely am convinced I am living in a very different economic world from my parents and grandparents. I feel quite lucky that I left the job market and started grad school before the huge crash (sure I have those huge student loans, but at least I didn’t buy a house in 2007). Sure I’ve spent many years where I’ve technically not really been earning – but those years were the years that many of my peers weren’t really making much economic headway. So maybe I’m not as far behind as I once believed I would be. It’s starting to seem the grad school might actually not have been such a bad decision after all.
How much do you think the year you were born and your “generation” shapes your beliefs and values?