We’re here. We’re everywhere. Get used to it.

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Starr Benson

Millennials aren't all about smartphones, Facebook and Instagram. This generation has more to offer beyond the surface.

We, the millennials, are not the worst generation. We’re a pivotal one.

Time magazine labeled us as the “Me Me Me Generation.”  We’re conceited, selfish, lazy and always on our phones. In addition, we are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. We aren’t as bad as we are portrayed to be.

Of course every generation has its good and bad, which is highlighted through our various embarrassing videos that end up on the web. Many have seen the worst of us. Positive role models are becoming rare and most of today’s mainstream music surrounds three topics: sex (explicitly or subliminally), money and drugs. The previous generations do look at us in disgust and scowl in distaste for our lack of creativity because of our overuse of autotune, sampling and shallow lyrics. However, we are not the first to do that. Hello, did people forget about “Ice Ice Baby”? Generation Xers can’t take all of the credit, they’ve had quite a few bad calls too.

Now let’s talk economics. With the rising costs of living and especially college education, those before us not only criticize us but pity us as well. While college is a means to strive for a higher life, student debt has crippled today’s college students making it harder to graduate debt free. Although this is a daunting fact, we have a glimmer of hope that through this adversity we become stronger.

In fact, according to Pew Research we are on our way to become the most educated generation in American history. While many perceive us to be highly materialistic, we have become increasingly aware of how much the human race affects the earth. Although it is not entirely mainstream, cutting costs and living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is becoming an effect alternative now more than ever. Recycling awareness has recently increased with recycle bins for paper, bottles and plastic on the corners of campuses and grocery stores. Almost anything can be recycled. YouTube videos and Pinterest boards are flooded with ideas on how to make, sew, or design anything yourself. In recent years, eco-friendly household items such as: recycled napkins, bamboo eating utensils and organic laundry detergent have become increasingly popular.

Many people fear change, and that’s exactly what the millennials are here for. We have the power to change politics, fight for social justices, break stereotypes and promote equality more so than the generation before us. We are more open to change and are more likely to fight in something we believe in, even if that means breaking some old traditions and combating social taboos. For instance, there is more of an acceptance of gays in mainstream society than there has been in the past. Gay marriage is currently legal in fourteen states which may lead to other states to legalize it in the not too distant future. Ellen DeGeneres, an openly gay woman, has her own talk show on daytime television that airs five-days-a-week.

Another example includes interracial marriage. In a study done by Pew Research, only 5 percent of millennials say that interracial marriage is bad for society. That’s miniscule in comparison to 14 percent of Baby Boomers who say that interracial is bad for society. America is becoming less black and white and a little more gray. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, within the last 10 years, the number of respondents that checked off more than one race has jumped by 32 percent, which is becoming a fast growing category. Our generation is more accepting of interracial marriage and relationships than the previous generations.

According to the Huffington Post, 61 percent of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference. The world around us is constantly in turmoil and instead of complaining we each have a duty to make it a better place, not only for ourselves but for future generations too. There is a current fight to raise minimum wage. At one time, flipping burgers and making minimum wage could get you through college, now it’s pocket change in comparison to the constant increasing price of living.

We aren’t perfect. There will always be a flaw in each generation. However, due to certain stigmas associated with millennials, we are often looked down upon and thrown under the bus as being the most spoiled, bratty and lethargic generation ever, which include just some of us are, but not all of us. Young adults and teens are more prone to being more egotistical than older people but not every young person is like that. Don’t underestimate us, we’re here, we’re everywhere, get used to it because we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.