The Next Great Generation

Essay by sleeptodreamCollege, UndergraduateA-, July 2004

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Generation Y, they've been called, as though they were nothing more than mere spin-offs of the people who came before them. But a one-letter name doesn't even begin to compensate for such a group of individuals born in the years 1982-1996, who are continually astounding the rest of society by challenging the many presuppositions that has been imposed upon them as young people. Truth be told, these so-called Gen-Y-ers possess attitudes and behaviors which break away from those of Generation X and defy the themes of the Baby Boomers, and they are changing the face of humanity as we know it, to a better one at that.

Also called the Millennial Generation, the Net Generation, and the Nintendo Generation, they have come to be known as goal-oriented, practical people who believe in their capabilities as individuals who can become anything they would like to be. They are a group with five-year plans, who map out the details of their careers and families, who take on various responsibilities which before were merely "for adults only."

It is normal to meet a high school junior running a handbag business with her friends, or a college sophomore with his own web-design company. Credit cards and bank accounts exist in their name, and are personally managed. Stereotypes against "nerds" and "overachievers" are changing because of them - now, being smart and diligent isn't a bad thing. They are go-getters who are prepared to get involved in order to make things happen, not only for them, but also for the larger community.

Which brings another aspect of the value system of this generation - the sense of community. In lieu of the importance given to individualism in the past, this generation gives greater appreciation to belongingness. Being part of one or more circles of...