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Sydney Erhardt

Is Millennial synonymous with sloth?

          “The sloth is the spirit animal of the Millennial generation”- that’s the title of a Buzzfeed article from July, 2013. They weren’t wrong. Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) take immense pleasure in thrilling mid-afternoon naps but don’t we all? Time Magazine issued some broad descriptions: “They’re narcissistic. They’re lazy. They’re coddled. They’re even a bit delusional.” But they don’t always drag around their three-toes, Generation Y is a better generation than what it’s perceived to be. Politics, economics and technology are all trees that every Millennial has climbed once or twice. Of course, some were faster than others.

            Politics are more laid back to Millennials who are active participants in government both at the local and national level. The only difference really is that they are just more likely to let go of personal liberties for the security of their “me me me” generation. Discovery concluded that these sentiments came from defining moments in their lives like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 9/11, and the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings. These events alone make them a generation of awareness.

             After frequent job hopping and low retention rates, employers have long been frustrated by Millennials who have now been dubbed as “boomerangs.” They literally leave home, go to college and end up right back in their parents basements. It’s no fault of their own though. Market research firm, Pace Communications, proposed that most have endured crushing student loans and high unemployment rates leaves them without much choice in the matter. Delayed adulthood is only occurring because as a nation Americans have suffered the worst economic market since the Great Depression.

When Millennials become consumers, however, they are incredibly conscientious. Pew Research Polls found that most try to reduce driving times for the sake of carbon emissions, they’re willing to buy “green-friendly” products even if they are more expensive, and companies that support a social cause are especially targeted by Generation Y. Matt Bors, Pulitzer Prize winner for editorial cartooning, says that Millennials were invited to the party last and served up crumbs. Which they’ll proudly Instagram before they eat.

            Millennials cannot be torn from their devices but there are positive aspects to their many connections. Global technology is radically changing because of high demand for an even faster connection. Attracted to corporations who embrace the digital world they could be the most significant faction leading the Technological Revolution of the Twenty-First Century. Their emojis really are worth a thousand words at this point.

            Perception of this generation of Americans has been increasingly more negative in recent years, portraying every kid taking an innocent selfie as a vapid narcissist. Maybe the critics are the ones who should loosen up their skinny jeans a bit more. Sloths can be our spirit animal if we let it. Buzzfeed continues, “We are the Millennial Generation. We are sloths. And we’re going nowhere fast.”

"Unwalkable" Health Care

When asked why they didn’t exercise more, 40% of Americans, according to a recent GfK report, responded by labeling their neighborhood as “unwalkable.” Scarcity of nearby walkable destinations was the second most often cited reason for not walking. Ironically, Gallup Polls concluded that almost the same percentage of American youth have no familiarity with the new health care law. Although 73% of U.S. citizens know that they should be walking more for their health, not as many know how Obamacare could affect them in the future.

A disorganized inauguration of the website leaves 2014 as a time for reformation. Democrats are left hoping that after a year of progress millions more Americans would be insured with privatized plans and expanded Medicaid. However, almost 5 million people have had their preexisting policies cancelled due to plan requirements. Part of this hope will be in the Millennials as their enrollment will subsidize the expenses of the older recipients. So far, just shy of a quarter of Obamacare sign-ups have been in the demographic of 18-35 years old.

The other primary target group for the health care law is low-income individuals. Not unexpectedly, Generation Y’s uninsured 25 year olds have an average income of $17,800. Though many have questioned how stable younger memberships will be, analysts concur that rates of Millennial acceptance will continue strongly despite the amount of the population that is uniformed.

Some in the health and exercise survey commented that “walkability” of a neighborhood was an influential factor in property sales saying that it implied a “high density” area. “Not familiar” with the health care plan might now imply that these “young invincible” haven’t taken their stroll around the block with this critical legislation.