Making a Difference: The Power of Millennials
by ASCSU President Jason Sydoriak
Here at ASCSU we are trying a few different things this year to help us become more connected with the community. One of which is this blog to help articulate what departments are pursuing what initiatives on a more intimate level.
The widespread emergence of blogs is part of the larger conversation on how culture is evolving. Many celebrate the expanding ability to connect to billions of people with mostly worthwhile thought; however, there is always a loud group of people who show concern at our generation’s current trajectory claiming it is an erosion of morals. Honestly this isn’t anything new, and we have the Times magazine to always remind us of this.
I think that is something to keep in mind. It is very easy to become nostalgic and claim that where we came from was a better place. Yet there are many reasons why we should disagree with that sentiment. What is harder to do is to have the courage to put ourselves out there and make an attempt to define the future. I believe that our generation has a greater capacity to do so than those before us. The term “Millennial” is often used a lot in conversations with little understanding of what it means. I don’t mean to say that I am an expert, but what I do believe is that we could very well be the next greatest generation.
Now it might seem as if I am talking in hyperboles, which seems to be fitting for a fellow millennial, but I truly do believe that. We will be the first generation that, as a collective whole, must take on some of humanity’s greatest challenges. We will be on the front lines of climate change, over consumption, global unconventional warfare, etc. Although these issues have faced other generations before us, what makes it much more daunting and intricate now is that these ‘wicked’ issues require solutions of collective action. A whole generation of people must come together and inspire those that came before them to work in unison. Of all the generations, Millennials have the greatest capacity to do so. Throughout history, humanity has progressed to expand it’s empathetic capacity. Expanding from being able to connect on a tribal level, to a clan level, to a national level, and now a global level. In addition we are revolutionizing the paradigms of work, education, and other ways of thinking about how to accomplish tasks and issues differently than we have in the past. Those who are growing up in the digital age are viewing their world more so as a network rather than in a linear fashion.
Of course this sounds more like rhetoric than reality. After three combat deployments I know how grim the world can be outside of this office. But I have also seen what this generation is capable of under grueling circumstances. I believe that this drive extends further than military service. I by no means intend to discredit the generations before us. We would not be here or hold this potential without the foundation that they lay for us. As a generation we should not wait to challenge ourselves and become leaders in the world. So while ASCSU tries to push the envelope so should you. Define your future as something new rather than receding back into what worked decades before us. Whether you are continuing or starting your college experience begin to explore your potential and embrace this cultural shift as we here at ASCSU plan to do.
For more posts from Green and Gold Roundtable, visit http://ascsu.colostate.edu/blog/.