The world is a different place now than when I was growing up. I still remember how nervous I was when I was told one day in kindergarten that we would be going on a computer. I did not have a computer at home, and I was befuddled by the idea of this strange technology. I remember refusing to spend time on the computer, learning the ropes by playing Hangman, The Oregon Trail, and Block Breaker. Instead, I sat at a table next to the kindest computer lab supervisor in Chisholm, Bob Francis, as I colored away to my heart’s content.
Eventually, I got over my tech reluctance. The demands of today’s world dictate that you do so.
This is the world that I have adapted to. Although all of us have made peace with the direction that technology has taken the world, millennials were coming of age as this technology was also coming into its own. Back in my day (*slaps thigh emphatically*), kids did not grow up with cell phones. Now, these proverbial kids are the new workforce, and we have taken this tech to heart. The cell phone is the center of the psyche, for better or worse.
This has earned my age class the title “Millennial”, often spit out with derision when discussing a group of individuals without direction, purpose, earned confidence, or gumption. I know many people my age that prefer not to be referred to as Millennial, as they see the term as a slight. This is no different than the way Time Magazine covers in the 1990’s wring their hands at Generation X, nor is it a departure from the articles that were published about the Baby Boomers (you crazy kids, you).
No, this group of individuals, the largest since the Boomer generation, has a passion for their jobs, which they look at as callings and a sense of purpose, rather than professions. I guess I am not too worried about being called a Millennial. I can see the good work that is coming from this age group, particularly in the Millennials involved in ReGen. We have a direction (advocacy for the future of the Iron Range), a purpose (attracting and retaining folks to the Iron Range), we are working on confidence through our process of crafting new projects (and failing or succeeding accordingly), and we surely have gumption (sisu to you Finns) to be launching this website and starting other efforts within our community. Our technology has allowed us to connect with each other and bring about change. This is what this website is about, in part.
-Jessalyn Sabin, a Millennial ReGen-er on the Iron Range