Am I really a Millennial?

This week, NPR asked Millennials to submit a selfie with the hashtag #NPRcensus for their New Boom project. Within the selfie, they requested the standard info: age, sex and race. They also asked for fields that wouldn’t be a part of the standard U.S. Census survey, fields that more accurately define an individual.

A few weeks ago, one of my awesome team members, Chelsea, and I were talking about our office culture and what makes the workplace worthwhile for her. We have “huddles” to discuss team projects. We go for walks together. We focus on wellness and we are leading the Health Department’s participation in the Louisiana Marathon.

But when the conversation turned to what Millennials really want, she pointed out that I am a Millennial. Most of the time, I don’t feel like a Millennial. I don’t really like taking selfies. I work in what some would call a boring government job. I haven’t started my own business or taken a year off from the “real world” to travel and explore different cultures. Mostly, I worked in high school, during college and nearly every day since graduating. Now I pull 60-80 work weeks (unhealthy, I know) and I don’t get out much.

All that said, Chelsea was right on the mark. I am a Millennial according to the definition. I was born smack in the middle of the 80s and for all my fussing about feeling more like Gen X, I am part of the culture shift that is being led mostly by ambitious 20-somethings.

So when I saw the NPR challenge, I decided to post a submission.

#NPRcensus #newboom @NPR Because we don't fit into just one box.

A post shared by Olivia Watkins Hwang (@sweet_olive) on

So what does my selfie say about me? I work a lot, probably too much. I’m lucky enough to come from a family with a mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, plus siblings from each of those marriages. As if I weren’t already too lucky, I’m marrying this guy. I’m a little uncomfortable at the notion of taking selfies unless I’m doing something really awesome, like I was when I took this photo on a motorcycle with my father over Thanksgiving last year. At my core, I am a writer. I work pretty hard to be a yogi and, no matter how many odd, uncomfortable stereotypes come along with it, I’m a Southern woman.

My submission looks pretty different from most of the ones that have been posted thus far, but maybe that’s the point: Millennials come in all shapes and sizes; we’re hard to box in.

If you posted a #NPRcensus selfie, what would it say?

 

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