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Who are we?

Sofia Hashi | Fulcrum Staff

EVERYTIME SOMEONE SAYS to me, “tell me something about yourself,” I have a mini panic attack and think, “Oh dear God, who am I?” Producing clean-cut facts about myself on the spot is about as easy as solving Fermat’s Last Theorem without the cheat sheet. Now, you can imagine what went through my brain when someone asked what our generation—the millennial generation—is all about.

“Oh dear God, who are we?”

This question was posed during one of the Fulcrum’s weekly meeting. It got me thinking, what has brought the Generation Y together? Is there a specific event that marks our very essence? Or are we a generation defined not by one moment in time, but rather something very different altogether?

It’s difficult to define our age group by a couple of sentences—especially when most of us are meandering young adults just starting to discover who we really are. But, undeniably, there are a few distinct things about our generation that makes us, well, us.

A quick Google search would lead you to believe we’re “Generation Me”—a bunch of entitled, self-absorbed, bratty twenty-somethings. That’s not true. Sure, we’re a little self-obsessed, but isn’t anyone with a Facebook account? And then there are those who believe the economic downturn of events have greatly impacted our generation. However, the important thing to take notice of is that the recession of late has only impacted us millennials, it hasn’t defined who we are. Sure, the doom-and-gloom prospects of life after a cushy college campus is frightening, and the current job market isn’t helping, but that’s only helped shape us Generation Yers. If anything, we’ve become more savvy and smarter players in the employment market.

There are those who believe education is the cornerstone of our generation. After all, we are the most educated group of people of all time. According to Stats Canada, the number of university graduates rose a whopping 43 per cent from 1992 to 2007—and that’s not counting the number of Canadians who just attended university.

While I agree whole-heartedly with education being a defining, significant feature to our generation, there’s a whole other entity that’s imprinted on us. Yes, I’m talking about the Internet. We are distinctly unique thanks to the wide spread use of technology and the Internet. We’re plugged in and texting away—either on Tablets, iPads, smart phones, or laptops—and have more information available to us than any other generation. We’ve become global citizens, all thanks to the Internet.

And to those who said we’re too engrossed in ourselves to pay attention to anything else, we’re actually more aware and informed than anyone other age group, grâce à la World Wide Web.

So while the sentence, “Tell me something about yourself,” still petrifies me, at least I can know soundly answer any question asking about who we are.