It seems as if stigma’s for the millennial generation are piling up daily, but the most despicable one is “laziness”. Supposedly, we’re idle because we spend a lot of our time at the gym and sloths because we tend to live more in our parents’ basement. At least that’s what Jennifer Graham seems to indicate in her article in the BostonGlobe named “A Generation of Idle Trophy Kids”. Let me give you some reasons why we’re far from being the lazy generation.
Back in the day of Generation X’s twenties, people had to go out to gather information; today we do it simply by tapping on our Google app. The other day my professor told the class that we would find something much quicker on Google than his generation would; but if you’d ask Generation X to look something up in the Yellow Pages – that’s right, the “search engine” of the eighties – he would do it much quicker than us. He has a point: it depends on what you are more comfortable with. The means of communicating have changed, but didn’t make us lazier. We might as well be using Groupon to sign up for martial art deals!
Graham states, “Today’s kids simply can’t imagine downsizing to quarters like that. They’re victims of their parents’ success and frustrated that they see no way to replicate it. And why should they, if they’re already livin’ the dream?” Now, let me be clear: we’re not frustrated because we can’t replicate our parents’ success. We’re frustrated because jobs are hard to get since they require experience. But how do employers expect us to have experience if there’s no one willing to train us? After all, Millennials are the smartest. Our generation is the best educated in American history, according to a study released by Pew Research Center of 18- to 29-year-old Millennials.
A Canadian study from 2010 conducted a field study of the millennial generation and found that we place the greatest importance on individualistic aspects of a job. We also have realistic expectations of our first job and salary. Yet we’re looking for quick advancement and development of new skills while at the same time ensuring a meaningful and satisfying life outside of work. I think that’s reasonable because of our knowledge that needs to be challenged – or else we’ll be bored and deeply unhappy.
Every generation had its fair share of political turmoil and uprisings, but our experiences with such are different. In the nineties, the various revolutions in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe were strongly influenced by young people. In’89, China, protests were held by college students on the Tiananmen Square. Today, social media enables Millennials to communicate easily from a distance to spread true and direct news. In recent news, for example, the Ukraine looks more like a war scene than the intended peaceful protest and more than 15 deaths have occurred. Through Twitter, Ukrainians are able to report about day-to-day corruptive events taking place. Last year in Turkey at the Gezi Park protests, student-aged people used social media to their advantage and gained great recognition globally as the Turkish government censored TV and the Prime Minister’s lies came to surface. Due to these tweets and direct news, authorities from other countries had been able to interfere by for example blocking talks of Turkey joining Europe and cutting a supply for tear gas that has been used excessively. Or just take a look at the Arab spring. Enough said.
In a nutshell, this is what happened:
The amount of UNH students who are unaware of what is going on in the Ukraine is too damn high. While sipping on $1 beers and munching on $0.25 wings Thursday night, I explained to my friends what is happening in the Ukraine. With the aid of plenty body movement and letting my hands speak too, I was able to not lose their interest within the first minute. It’s important to know what happens around you, even if you’re not in near proximity of events with an impact. For instance, the situation in the Ukraine doesn’t only affect Ukrainians. As you read on, you will realize that global political relations, international laws and economy are influenced as well.
Plus, it’ll make you sounds smart when you talk to people older than you. Knowing about current events can help you form your own, polarized opinions that set you apart from the rest. Here’s what you need to know about the Ukrainian revolution.
The Ukraine had been under Soviet control back in the glory days of the Soviet Union. Ever since the union didn’t work out, the country had been trying to get back on its financial feet but struggled. For a while now, many Ukrainians aspired to join the European Union in order to prosper its economy and take advantage of other benefits of being a member. Imagine the anger felt by these people when President Yanukovych rejected a far-reaching accord with the EU in November 2013 because of his strong ties with Russia. Overnight, protests broke out into the Independence Square, known as the Maidan, in the capital of Kiev. The BBC reports that since it began, developments include, “police attacks on student protesters, severe new anti-protest laws, and the abduction and beating of opposition activists – caused the demonstrations spread and intensify.”
As frightened as I was, I did it. I lost my casino-virginity. Last Thursday I went to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut with a bunch of good-time friends who are more experienced than I am. We shared a suite on the highest of floors and had the most magnificent view over a frozen lake. After a couple of drinks, I made it down to the casino part of the hotel.
Before I go into the gambling part, let me tell you how capturing these casinos really are. First of all, there are no windows! No matter what time it is, it will always be dark. That is probably also the objective: these places want to get as much money as possible from you, so they take away your sense of time.
The enormous area illuminated the roulette tables and slots with flashing colorful lights, directing your eye and attention to the win-it-or-lose-it facilities. You won’t know where to look: every side looks completely different. While there is a huge plastic ice castle on your left, there is a wooden forest-like area to your right. It’s a world of magic; anything can happen.
I wanted to start small, so my other casino-virgin friend Chris and I made our way to the slots. Big mistake. We lost $20 just like that. We also had no clue as to what we were doing, so in a way that makes sense.
(For your entertainment, press play for a tune that will smoothly guide you through the post)
It won’t be long until ready-to-wear imitations will hang on racks at retailers such as H&M, Zara, River Island, Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. Despite fashion giants wanting to sue these retailers because they copy their creative effort at much more affordable prices, their items are just more accessible to the general public. Plus their available much faster at Forerver 21 than at the actual Dior store.
It’s a mad (fashion) world, but what would we do without new ideas and vague guidelines? I follow a systematic approach of keeping up with news. Facebook is solely for friends and classes, Twitter is strictly for horoscope and current events, and Instagram is for fashion and artistic activity.
Instagram is a great tool for being in the ever dynamic now where fashion designers, magazines, advocates and models display trends. There’s a couple that stuck out to me and needed to show you from last week’s Paris Fashion Week (I’ll start off with an overload of Blumarine I ADORE the brand):
1. Blumarine: Konichiwa
Like any other senior in college, I constantly think about what's going to happen after my golden years. Sometimes the anxiety takes over and I fall in a black hole for a couple of minutes; the panic is intense. I barely have any work experience, quit my internship and started getting serious about putting myself out there only a couple of months ago.
But guest speaker Steve Savoca, Spotify's global content and distribution manager, said something interesting, "The best way of networking is to go to conferences." It's something I never thought of and as soon as I got home, I researched journalism conferences. YES, THEY EXIST! In fact, there's a great variety to choose from.
The one that caught my eye immediately is the one in Hawaii. I mean, what doesn't sound great about it, right? Yup, this is it, the perfect opportunity to get to meet people in the business and getting a new stamp in my passport simultaneously.
My time there will be very limited, but I want to see as much as possible. Besides (DUH!) going to the beach, I want to explore the island.
Here's a list of things that I intend to do in Honolulu:
I bear Turkish blood, appear Indian and was born and raised in the Netherlands and Germany. In a religious aspect I should therefore be Muslim, Christian or Hindu. References are made on a weekly basis, whether on the bus, at restaurants or on campus. With respect to all religions: I don’t have one, hence I deserve an equal amount of respect. Right now, you believe that I’m either Atheist or Agnostic. In reality, neither of those is applicable. Society likes to attach labels to my non-existent religion in an attempt to understand and recognize an unheard of phenomenon. My friends are situated around the globe and my Facebook newsfeed is filled with posts from various time zones, so I’d consider myself open-minded.
I’ve seen a/my fair share of beautiful, historic sanctuaries decorated with the most luxurious of hues and designs. While from an artistic view I can appreciate the work, I feel uncomfortable in holy places; irony at it’s finest. The significant churches, mosques and synagogues I’ve encountered take me back to the medieval ages, back when Church and State weren’t separated yet. The problem with that is that technically churches have been governmental buildings draped in the poor wealth of the majority of citizens. In those days, a large divide in economic inequality existed.
Don’t be mistaken as history is bound to repeat itself. About three years ago, a Turkish Department of Education backed live TV show asked viewers to donate money towards building new schools or renovating older ones in rural villages. Standing schools were so dirty the kids became ill from impracticable toilets and freezing cold classrooms. Out of benevolence, close relatives of mine have decided to build a new school without having physically seen the area. The elementary school was built for 100 children including an area for disabled kids. When I visited the village in Çorum, Turkey, I was outraged: Just a couple of blocks from the school, the second mosque had newly been built. The newly built school is the only one in the village. It’s the second in a village stretching 17 miles and populated by 233 as of 2012. Nearly half of the residents had a second home in Switzerland. This school is the only one present.
The mistake in my view, in both historic and contemporary sanctuaries, is a wrong order of priorities. The vast amounts of money could have been well spent on educational institutions, infrastructure, health, housing and transportation. For a community it is important to recognize the needs of society and environment combined. When a community fails to do so, I find them to act greedy.
That reason attributes largely to my non-religion, but there are other variables that add to it. I’m not partaking in the endless debates since my opinion will be overthrown no matter what and every generation has experienced wars due to religious disputes. What I believe in is free and equal choices: accept and respect.
I'm in this one class. I love the class because 1. the material is interesting and 2. my classmates are great, but the essential motivation to complete assignments quickly turned into frustration with no hope of ever getting it right. Why? Well, he likes to perform tricks. But we're not at Hogwarts, we're seniors who are about to graduate. And no, it's not just me; my classmates have an interactive discussion about our class to vent and attempt to understand assignments on a regular basis.
The class is supposed to be challenging as it is a senior seminar about cyber communication, but it's not challenging anymore when the entire class (about 22 people) are utterly confused and lost. No, that's when it's just playing games. I'm worried about tests. If the assignments are virtually impossible to be done right, how on earth will we manage tests?
After the first assignment, the class and professor discussed the issue and the professor promised no more tricks. But the second is as well and I can't help but worry about the third assignment. Just like I said in that discussion, I will shift my primary focus from this class to all my other classes. I figured if I get A's in all my other classes and a B (at best) for this one, I should be fine, right? I really hope so.
I feel bad for the professor. It's his first time teaching the class and his ambition is evident. He's smart, friendly and very engaging, yet I don't get the impression that he is listening to his students; a crucial part of communication. Granted, most of us suffer from Senioritis but nonetheless we are willing to work hard to deserve that good grade. I just feel like we don't receive a fair chance. That professor might or might not see this post, but if he does I hope he will take it into consideration for this class and future classes.
(President Barack Obama, U.S.A.)
The thought of indulging myself in a rewarding cigarette has crossed my mind probably a dozen times a day since I quit smoking on Feb. 5. Despite tempting thoughts - even though it’s not as difficult as others claim it to be - giving up the one thing I have loved since nearly six years is a good thing. I can’t wait for my lungs to repair, skin to flourish and say goodbye to stinking odors.
I was ambivalent about withdrawal symptoms. Going cold turkey as a heavy smoker raised the expectations (and probability!) of long and dreadful weeks to come. But in the end, I knew it was better for my asthma. Here’s a reminder for all my fellow asthmatics out there: smoking and asthma is a DEADLY combination. But whether you suffer from respiratory problems or not, quitting will give you the miracles of reduced coughing (better described as the sound of death) and increased activeness.
The wackiest thing I’ve experienced was a dream as vivid as the sky on a sunny day. I woke up completely distraught as I rarely remember my dreams ever and couldn’t distinguish reality from reverie. My dream went as follows:
"When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals." - Anonymous
Anti-heroes are the most realistic of all heroes and don’t receive as much credit as they should. Imagine a modern-day anti-hero; a virtually faceless person whose mind functions through programming by an assembly of tech-savvy people. That is how Anonymous accomplished it’s goals which consist of making wrongs right. In fact, you’ve probably seen the anti-heroes’ Guy Fawkes masks that were worn by the protagonist in the movie V for Vendetta. The mask portrays a white face with an over-sized smile and wide mustache upturned at ends, red cheeks and a thin vertical pointed beard. They symbolize the collaboration that is run by a group of volunteers. It’s time to put away the traditional cape and make way for the digital one. The stronger will protect the more vulnerable to provide some sort of equality. It’s the foundation of a community. On a larger scale, it is the foundation of our global community. And that’s what Anonymous is here for.
The anonymous collaboration is a notorious international network of hacktivists, which is a hybrid between hackers and activists. They fight corruptness that is mainly but leads back to politics. Member Jeremy Hammond from Chicago is a political activist and computer hacker who stole 60,000 credit card numbers and the personal information of 860,000 customers of Stratfor (the intelligence contractor Strategic Forecasting) and other government, law enforcement and military suppliers' websites and forwarded the information whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. The 2000GB worth of data from companies and government agencies such as the US Army, the Department of Defense, Coca Cola, Dow Chemical and Bank of America. As a result, Anonymous donated at least $700,000 to charities and personally didn’t gain any profits. Hammond received the maximum sentence of 10 years in US Federal Prison. The group has been active for 10 years and despite some more recent drifts from their primary objective (due to “hacking tutorials” on YouTube), they have restored justice via the ways of the Internet. They hack for greater political good and have also targeted big names such as Sony, PayPal and the governmental institutions.
I witnessed the incredible aid Anonymous has given to millions of Turkish people who couldn’t properly and accurately inform themselves on current news due to government censorship that particularly affected social media. What started as a beautiful peaceful protest, later led to a more deep-rooted problem in Turkey over the past summer. The modern “democracy” lacks freedom of speech completely and hides the crimes (e.g. brutal police violence, excess use of tear gas) committed by people in governmental positions against the Turkish people. Anonymous’ reaction was to launch operation #OpTurkey, which aimed to attack the Internet and communications assets of the Turkish government. They have made way for Turks to be up-to-date with current concerns about corruption, police violence and protests.
Last night, I took that romantic walk on the beach with Ziggy Marley singing into my ears. Once the perfect bench came into sight, I needed to relieve my sore feet. As mesmerized as I was, a selfie was in order. The lady on the next bench down laughs and kindly offers to take a picture. She was with a man who played guitar and chatted with the odd one out: Keith. Keith is one of the many homeless people in Honolulu, Hawaii. And you know what? I had a great time unfolding his story along with newly found friends.
As for Keith, he claims to not once having picked up anything from the trashcan. He receives government subsidies in order to buy medications for his Parkinson’s condition, schizophrenia and the spastic nerve in his thigh. I think he had a thing for photography. Every time someone walked by the scenic area we were in, as friendly as he is, Keith offered to take a picture. He had good intentions, but people nonetheless vaguely smiled, turned around and walked faster. What these sprinters don’t realize is that the homeless are the ones with the most unique of stories.
Why do we curb around homeless people when we see them? We do everything in our power to avoid possibly exchanging any words or physical contact. Are we afraid they’re going to bite us? They become especially apparent when there aren’t many people around. Here in Waikiki, they sleep right across the Mariott, Hyatt and Hilton next to shiny BMW’s. It’s impossible to ignore. But when in crowded places we barely notice them.
On Saint Patrick’s Day in Hartford, Connecticut this year, I noticed the flipside of the vast drinking event. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This day is cash day for the homeless who return the neglected empty beer bottles and cans on the ground. I spotted some that walked around with large trash bags collecting the goldmines as they were thrown on the ground. And don’t forget the trashcans that are filled t the top with valuable goods! Our days of holidays are their days of work.
I urge you to treat these people in the most human way possible. They will be forever grateful for a simple dialogue. Keith thanked me 10 times just for talking to him. Give them a chance, there are so many things you can learn from people who don’t have a permanent residence and money to splurge on.