It’s time for the next edition of Millennials Defying Stereotypes! This week, we’ll meet Riley! She’s a 19-year-old spiritual leader, teacher, mentor, and blogger.
AM: How are you defying the millennial stereotype?
RR: I am not allowing it to be a part of my story. Millennials aren’t supposed to be driven, so I’m driven and dedicated to my work. Millennials aren’t supposed to respect their work, so I’m respectful of my work. To me, it’s important to build something that I truly believe in, so I put all of my energy towards inspiring and empowering myself so that I can then inspire and empower others. I know that you have to work hard for what you want, and I know that you can’t get what you don’t work for.
AM: Why do you think your stereotype is so rampant?
RR: I think that baby boomers, as well as older generations, tend to project their previous coming of age fears into their perception of Millennials in order to not feel ashamed of themselves for not creating the life that they aspired to create when they were 18-30 years old. This is a shame because many millennials take those stories to heart, and as a result, they don’t create the lives they want.
AM: What can other young people do to defy that misnomer?
RR: Be authentic. Go after your dreams. Don’t spend all of your money on college tuition; spend it on those brilliant ideas that you have hidden in your heart and bring your light to the world- it will be worth it later. Dedicate your life to the pursuit of happiness and do not let anyone get in your way.
AM: What do you want the public to know about millennials?
RR: Your perception of us is mostly just your vision of who you were when you were our age, and this has unfortunately turned into a reality for some Millennials. However, most of us, many more than you may be willing to acknowledge, are here to bring light and positive change to the world.
I’m Alix Maza, a 24-year-old writer and blogger. I’m also a college student at West Texas A&M University majoring in PR/advertising and possibly minoring in marketing. I’m also an avid reader, coffee addict, and dog lover.