While the word millennial as an adjective denotes a period of a thousand years, as a noun it nowadays means a person coming into young adulthood around the year 2000. The batch of 2016 college graduates is part of the millennial generation. There are many theories about the traits of this generation.
Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote about the Millennials in Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069. Widely credited for naming the “Millennials”, Strauss and Howe coined in 1987 the phrase “around the time ’82-born children were entering preschool and the media were first identifying their prospective link to the millennial year 2000.” The two authors predicted that the Millennials would be more like the “civic-minded” G.I. Generation with a strong sense of community both local and global.
In contrast, Jean Twenge, author of “Generation Me”, talks of Millennials as having the traits of confidence and tolerance, with a sense of entitlement and narcissism.
The University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” and the “American Freshman” survey of new college students since 1966, conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, found an increasing proportion of students who valued wealth (i.e. 45% for Baby Boomers, 70% for Gen Xers, 75% for Millennials). Those who felt keeping abreast of political affairs was important fell (i.e. 50% for Baby Boomers, 39% for Gen Xers, 35% for Millennials). Involvement in environmental cleanup program dropped (i.e. 33% for Baby Boomers, 21% for Millennials).
But perhaps what is telling, at least for me, are the findings of Fred Bonner in his study entitled “Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs.” Bonner believes that commentaries on the Millennial Generation, while partially accurate, are overly general. He believes that many of the traits used to describe Millennials apply primarily to “white, affluent teenagers who accomplish great things as they grow up in the suburbs, who confront anxiety when applying to super-selective colleges, and who multitask with ease as their helicopter parents hover reassuringly above them.”
More importantly, Bonner says, “It’s not that many parents (of diverse backgrounds) don’t want to treat their kids as special,” he says, “but they often don’t have the social and cultural capital, the time and resources, to do that.”
Bonner’s assertions are probably what best applies to Filipinos. The vast majority of Filipinos are still very much concerned with meeting their physiological needs.
Sure everybody is into mobile phones. Netizens are growing in number and influence. But technology has yet to financially uplift the greater majority.
That is why personal finance for the Millennials has more than ever become a calling to help others. A true Filipino Millennial will not be characterized by when he was born but more by his educational background and the financial opportunities he is afforded. And a true Filipino Millennial is characterized by one who is patriotic.
A patriotic Filipino Millennial is not one who, when he sees other poor Filipinos, will say to himself, “If I study and work hard, I will not be like them.” A patriotic Filipino Millennial is one who, when he sees the poor, will say to himself, “If I study and work hard, and invest my savings back into the economy, I will be able to help them.”
(Originally written by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)
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