// Let’s Talk About Xennials //

Author: Taylor Haney

Much ado has been made about Millenials.  Some good, some bad.  Ok, mostly bad. Wait, I thought this article was about Xennials? It is.  Let me get there.  As I was saying, Millenials seem to get all the attention these days. I’d argue it’s mostly unwarranted and unwanted.  Generally speaking, this particular generation – born 1977-1993 depending on who you ask – gets a bad rep.

Xennials: those born 1977-1983

It’s up for debate for who coined this term, but the meaning is important, I believe.  In summary, Xennials experienced an analog childhood with a digital adulthood.  There are plenty of places you can go online to read about this new micro-generation; one blogger even pointed out that the Star Wars Trilogy was filmed during this period (which is awesome!).  As the term has become accepted and popular, older Millenials (those born during those years) have been rejoicing.  Finally, a generation that neither associates them with the pessimistic outlook of Generation X or the disdain received by Millenials. In honesty, I’ve been one of those to silently rejoice, as I’ve never considered myself a Millennial or Gen X’er.

In my experience, the Xennials that I know are mostly successful and educated people.  My core group of friends are Xennials.  For years, I felt like I had to constantly defend our generation to the older because the broad strokes that had been painted on Millenials. My personal experience and those of my friends, acquaintances and peers, has been that of struggle and triumph.  Most of us graduated in a booming economy that quickly deteriorated into what is now known as the Great Recession (’08-09’ economic meltdown).  There were few jobs and even fewer dollars to be made.  Most of us started out with little opportunity and a load of student loan debt. I believe our childhood experience helped us to get through this tough period.  You see, when we were kids, if we wanted to be entertained, we had to go outside and figure out how to entertain ourselves (I know, X’ers and Boomers, you did too).  As we got older, we experienced the conveniences and wonders of technology.  But, we never relied on it.  When I was in college, if I told someone I was going to be somewhere, I was there. Period.  When I studied for exams, I went to the school library.  To the point: when things got rough during the Great Recession, my fellow Xennials took it on the chin and marched forward.  We didn’t rely on something or someone else to make it happen for us.  We made it happen.  I know I sound like a proud Xennial, but there is a point to this post.

Here it is…

Your “Generation” as it pertains to your life, is irrelevant. I mentioned my core group of friends being Xennials and also successful.  The moral of the story is simple: you are defined by those you surround yourself with.  I have friends in all four living generations.  My core group happens to be Xennials, but there are many Boomers, X’ers and a few Silent.  The common thread: they are successful, motivated, and caring people.

You are not defined by your generation, rather the people you surround yourself with.