Column: Why being a millennial is a like wearing a scarlet letter

By Jason Burger, Assistant News Editor

Growing up as a kid and into my young adult years, I always wished I would be someone with an incredible backstory—a story that would explain my drive and hard-nosed personality, and also show the outside world my motivations for my actions.

I wanted to be a purpose-driven person, and as a journalist, I am always trying to connect with sources and subjects on a personal level.

In my Christian faith, I have always been fascinated by people who come to know God through their previous darkness.  Ex-gang members, ex-atheists, people previously addicted to drugs—the list goes on and on.

One of my favorite examples of this kind of person is found in Brian “Head” Welch, the lead guitarist for the Nu-metal band, Korn.

Welch previously had not been a Christian, and found success in his band’s work throughout the mid 90’s and into the 2000’s.

Welch found himself addicted to meth, and also as a father of a young girl.

In his interview with the producers of the Youtube series “I Am Second,” Welch tells how God blatantly intervened in his life and helped him to sober up to not only take care of his daughter and quit Korn, but eventually rejoin the band years later as a much different man.

I bring all this up to say this: I do not consider myself someone who has had to endure very much hardship in my life.

I come from a family that has had nothing but my best interest in mind, and I have two parents that have sacrificed more for me than I am ever going to be able to repay.

This is why it is difficult to deal with my longing for a good backstory.

I have no frame of reference when it comes to overcoming major downhill slides in life.

I think the reason why I feel convicted about this is due to the current socio-political culture that has been created in recent months and years.

The “Millennial” generation is accused by those which precede it of being entitled, arrogant and lacking the work ethic and motivation to go out and succeed in the United States.

I see no reason not to agree with those accusations, and while I want to join the social factions against millennials and shake my fist in disgust, I have to remember that I am Exhibit A.

Most “millennials” have been blessed with much comfort and little adversity in their lives, just like me.

However, I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t come down to the cards that you have been dealt in life, but rather how you play them.

Even though I have no story such as Brian Welch, or have had to struggle with paving my own financial path, I’ve realized that it is how I handle my situation that counts.

It would be stupid to blow the opportunities I’ve been given because of my supportive family and obvious luxuries.

I’d rather be known as a millennial who used his opportunities to his advantage rather than someone that blew it all away.

All that being said, I take pride in knowing that I have overcome adversity in my past despite the privileges I have enjoyed.

At age 10, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and survived to tell her story.

My father was forced to move away from my home when I was 16 for work purposes.

My parents made it work throughout that period of time.

Bottom line, I might wear the “Scarlet Letter” of a millennial as a brand, but stereotypes do not define all, and I know I have played my cards right—I know that both advantages and hardships define my Christian walk and determine how I will handle the future.

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