Millennials, Generation Y, the doom of the world. Those are all words that have described my generation. Just say the word “Millennial” and you can feel the tension and disgust behind it.

First, let's get some logistics out of the way. The Pew Research Center released a report this year that defines Millennials as those born from 1981 to 1996. That means the oldest Millennial is 37/36 while the youngest is 22/23 years old.

Generation Z , or Post-Millennials, are typically defined as anyone born mid-1997 onward. With that being said, kindly stop grouping me and other Millennials in with Generation Z because they’re the ones who give Millennials a bad reputation.

I've often heard or seen comments or posts about how Millennials are entitled, selfish and self absorbed, narcissistic and lazy. On and on and on it goes.

Advertisers and stores advertise specifically to Millennials using modern technology or “hip” terms such as “bae,” before anyone else, and “lit,” which basically means something is cool or a party is exciting.

Listen, I am a Millennial and I despise how Millennials are labeled. I don’t deny that my generation can be incredibly selfish and lazy, but I also know we aren’t the first generation to act that way.

My generation was the last generation to grow up without internet. As a kid, I played outside, built tree-houses, rode my bike and explored the outdoors. I don’t see that happening very much anymore.

Here’s my thing: How do you expect us to feel any pride or desire to be better if we’re constantly belittled and put down? Of course the new generations are doing badly when they constantly hear how awful they are.  Just because a handful of people that are considered Millennials act idiotic doesn’t mean that’s how we all are.

Each generation seems to hate the generation that comes after, claiming they’re ruining the way life should be. But maybe it’s time to stop pointing fingers and start looking at the people who raised the generations you love to blame. Or maybe start looking at the technological advancements and social changes and ask yourself if you hate the generation or hate change.

I am guilty of being a generation-hater. I don't like Generation Z. In my opinion, they're the ones who are entitled and lazy. I see 13 year olds walking around in tube tops and shorts, carrying designer purses and holding the latest iPhone, and I can't help feeling disgusted. When I was 13, I was wearing mismatched socks, had braces and didn't care if I had a cellphone or not. But just because these kids are growing up different than me doesn't mean they're awful people. After all, they're most likely being raised by Millennials like me. It's time to embrace the change and see the good in our future generations.

 Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at or 315-4353.