As a millennial, it is not surprising to be looked down upon by older generations. It is, of course, not an attack on us as individuals, but one targetting our entire generation. Does this make it any better? Not really. It might make it even worse.
Many older people like to complain that we are too absorbed in technology and that our eyes are “glued to our phones.” This doesn’t really seem like it is our fault, though. For many of us, we grew up in a world dominated by technology. We were always presented with the next best thing, so can you really blame us for getting caught up in the wonder of all the new gadgets we’re being inundated with?
People criticize our use of technology, but sometimes they like to take it to the next level by insinuating that we are “self-absorbed.” Sure, we like to take the occasional selfie here and there, but why does this mean we are full of ourselves? If you feel good about the way you look, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of wanting to take a picture. We should be embracing the times when we feel good about ourselves, not feeling bad about it.
Furthermore, just because we like to check out the newest trends and stay updated on celebrity news does not mean we are completely absorbed in our own being.
Another thing is, aren’t we supposed to be lifting each other up and teaching self-love? Many times we hear the advice, often coming from older generations, that we have to love ourselves before anyone else can love us. If this is the advice we are recieving, it makes me question why wanting to take care of yourself is such a bad thing.
I also think it is really important to learn about yourself around this age. In college, I believe one of the most important things is finding yourself. This does not have to have some big deep meaning. For me, it simply means finding your passion and learning about the things we do and don’t like. The only actions I would apply the term “self-absorbed” to are when people intentionally hurt others in order to benefit themselves. This is the only time being self-absorbed is really an issue.
Right now, in your college years, it is the time to be selfish! Most of us don’t have spouses or kids yet, so why not do the things we enjoy doing? This is the time to find our callings, travel, go out at night and just enjoy life in general. We have responsibilities now, but none like what we might have in 10 or 20 years. So why shouldn’t we be a little selfish now?
It’s not being self-absorbed, it’s being smart. “Figuring it out” is how I like to describe this time in my life. We’re going through college and trying to find what we do best. Now’s the time when, if we see an open door, we can go through it—we have the freedom to just give it a try. In most cases, if we don’t like what we see, we can turn around, shut the door and find comfort in the knowledge it is just not for us.
College is an opportunity for taking chances. We may not be completely sure about what we’re doing right now, but we can certainly evaluate how we feel when we’re doing it. This evaluation can lead us to figure out who we are as individuals.
So when I say we need to focus on ourselves right now, I don’t mean we need to change the way we treat others. I just mean we should be truly opening up our eyes to every possibility because we never really know what is coming our way.
It’s the time to be young, adventurous and selfish in the sense that we are most certainly striving to figure it all out.
Breanna Connell is a fourth-year student. She can be reached at BC810217@wcupa.edu.