12 Things We Learned About Millennials

By Sara Feldman and Jennifer Rudo
JCS Prevention/Education

millenial blog

It’s no surprise that Millennials are known as the generation that’s plugged in, but not connected. They may communicate often, but it’s more via social media than in person. We suspected there is more to them than people think. Because of this, Jewish Community Services (JCS) Prevention Education launched the “Millennial Voices” movement to give members of this generation the opportunity to speak their truths.

We invited Millennials to complete the phrase: “If you really knew me, you would know….”  After collecting thousands of responses through post cards and online, we reflected on what they were telling us.  Here is what we learned – the real secrets from real Millennials.

Millennials are:

1. #Selfconscious
“I hate my body”
”I am ugly … without my hair and make-up done”

2. #Optimistic
“I get depressed often but found that life is beautiful and worth it”
“My situation doesn’t define me”

3. #Infatuated
“I have been in love with you for years and every time I see you, I secretly hope  you will kiss me”
“I would marry you if you would only ask”

4. #PeoplePleasers
“I take on too much because I ‘m afraid to say no”

5. #Survivors
“I was assaulted last week by one of my guy friends. I am sad about the assault but more upset that I can’t hang out with that group of friends anymore. Am I crazy?”
“I am a survivor of mental, physical, & sexual abuse”

6. #Contradictory
“I am insecure and extremely confident”
“When I laugh and smile, part of me wants to hurt you”

7. #Activists
“I am terrified being left with this country’s  debt, political … divisions, international relations with other countries and its treatment of non- white , non-male, non-heterosexual people”
“I have no patience for injustice but I know when to pick my battles”

8. #SexuallyComplex
“Homophobia is complex – way more than people who’ve never felt it can imagine”
“That I am me but I identify as pan-sexual – (I love people, not gender) but my deepest fear is falling in love with a woman because I am afraid my parents would never accept me for who I am”

9. #Regretful
“My dad died when I was 16. I still really miss him but I can’t tell my mom because I think she is glad”
“If I could go back to my 15 year old self, I would remind her how beautiful she is on the inside and the outside. Over these last years, with a lot of therapy, and love for myself I can now appreciate the body that I have.”

10. #Sentimental
“I watch SVU all the time because my grandma introduced me to it and it’s my way of keeping her memory alive”
“My mother’s ashes are still sitting in the box they came in in my room and I don’t know what to do with them. I feel lost without her”

11. #Funny
“Sometimes the dentist’s magazines are delivered to my office instead of his…and I KEEP THEM. #freemagazines #badperson #guilty ”
“I never sleep without socks”

12. #FamilyOriented
“My dad and I look exactly like another and I wouldn’t have it any other way”
“I am ready to start the next phase of my life with the person that I love”

“Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world.”  – Frank Warren, Postsecret

Many of these anonymous secrets were displayed at our Millennial Voices Launch Party in September.   Our hope is after you read this you are more aware how similar we all are to one another and that this often misunderstood group is as complex as the generations that came before them.  Join the Millennial Voices movement by sharing your secret at ifiknew.org/mv.

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