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Generation Me, Myself, and I

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"You can do anything you put your mind to." This popular cliché has been passed down throughout the years from parent to child, teacher to student, or even coach to player; furthermore, this statement insinuates that anyone can grow up to be whoever they would like to be, just as long as they dedicate time and effort to their goal. Unfortunately, as disheartening as this may sound, many individuals disregard the idea that not every dream is attainable. If desires and aspirations were as feasible as they seemed, then the world would be filled with doctors, lawyers, athletes, and movie stars. Today's generation has been pampered and programmed to believe that they can conquer the world; however, this hopeful group has become unaware that hard work, perseverance, and tenacious effort are essential in order to obtain one's objectives and endeavors. When determining the most conclusive description for Gen Y, the Self-Absorbed label ideally fits most of today's generation because of this particular group's focus on individual prosperity and well-being.

In order to fully grasp Gen Y's "self-absorbed" label, the characteristics of this brand must be taken into account. Being self-absorbed represents an arrogant and egocentric outlook on life. Those who are self-absorbed are concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit and pleasure. This particular viewpoint leads this generation to believe that the only person they need to be responsible for is himself or herself. This group strongly presumes they have a sense of entitlement as well. They tend to forget that privileges are earned, not given. Consequently, this generation's priority in success and personal triumph justifies the "self-absorbed" brand of the majority of today's young adults.

Parents, teachers, and other notable figures have raised Gen Y in a way where they are both high-performance and high-maintenance; and moreover impelling these individuals to overwork themselves and strive for certain things which are unachievable. This rampant movement will only produce negative results. This generation has grown up with the impression that they will all be thriving; however, by the time they reach the work force, they will soon recognize that their lack of experience and proper training has left them unprepared for the real world. According to David Morrison, president of Twentysomething Inc., "This is a generation that has grown up in an accelerated culture and forced them to be older before they're ready" (Jayson 87). It has already been placed in their mindset that excellent grades at school and a fantastic career, with a phenomenal salary, are the necessary elements for an auspicious future. Frank Furstenber Jr., a University of Pennsylvania sociologist, points out that this generation's widespread lifestyle "has become normal behavior" (qtd. in Jayson 85). Additionally, James Cote, a sociologist at the University of Western Ontario, states, "The traditional adulthood of duty and self-sacrifice is becoming more and more a thing of the past" (qtd. in Jayson 85). As a result from the demands and obligations from school and while growing up, Gen Y has become too over-ambitious and unaware that they are trying to achieve more than they can actually handle.

The way of life Gen Y has grown and become accustomed to has left them unaware and untrained for the challenges of the 21st century. Many people have blamed parents and a flawed educational system for producing a generation filled with individuals without a sense of responsibility and commitment. When comparing Gen Y to their parents' generation, these "highly educated, seemingly sophisticated, media savvy and worldly kids just don't seem very mature compared with where [their parents] were at the same point in their lives," which shows how the yearnings and expectations of their times seem completely opposite (Jayson 86). Today's generation just do not have the same lives their parents had when they were their age. The term generation implies change because "it suggests new life and new growth--new styles, new values, and new ways of living" (George and Trimbur 65). The rest of society then begins to perceive these young adults as an unmotivated and undedicated group. In addition to this newfangled generation, Gen Y has redefined the definition of adulthood and



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