Early last summer, when someone mentioned the word “Millennial,” the TV show Girls came to mind. In the first episode, Lena Dunham’s character Hannah (high on opium) even says to her parents, ““I don’t want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation—or at least a voice of a generation.”
Of course, Hannah and her friends became exaggerated versions of Millennials I knew. Confused, self-involved, and taking on the world with a sometimes overly-optimistic approach. But I knew these 20-something girls weren’t an accurate portrayal of my generation.
Beginning in September, the staff at Ball Bearings has been working to start a meaningful conversation about what it means to be a Millennial today. After covering everything from religion to culture to sexuality, we have published nine digital issues and one print issue, “We Are Coming.”
Lena Dunham’s character Hannah is a voice of our generation. But it is not the only voice. Dozens of stories, hours of research and many interviews later, we have added many voices to the conversation surrounding our generation.
Millennials (those now between the ages of 18 and 34) took over the Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the nation this year. At 75.3 million strong, we are the largest generation in the workforce. We are set to be the most educated generation in history. The majority of us favor same-sex marriage. We are the most diverse generation with only 56 percent of the population being white. There’s no doubt about it: the huge generation gap left by the Baby Boomers means we are changing the way Americans work, live, and think.
As we wrap up our coverage of Millennials, we invite our readers to sit down and read our best stories. Earlier this month, a USA TODAY/Rock the Vote Millennial Poll revealed the top issue by far for Millennials is the economy. Starting next week, we take a closer look at the economics and cost of college. For now, enjoy the best long-form stories from the past six months.
We Are Coming, by Kourtney Cooper
As the largest generation in history, Millennials are outnumbering Baby Boomers and changing America.
A Millennial’s Journey to Atheism, by Alex Kincaid
Although raised a Christian, Christina Guy chooses to become unaffiliated with religion, a trend occurring among Millennials in higher numbers than in all previous generations.
A Shift in Support, by Anthony Lombardi
One transgender woman’s journey to self acceptance.
The American-Muslim Divide, by Victoria Ison
Many American Muslims continue to feel prejudice in the United States.
The Aftermath, by Miranda Carney
One in five college students admits to driving while drunk. Daniel Bertram was only 21 years old when he flew off his motorcycle, landed in a coma, and became one of them.
In College and Living in Poverty, Anthony Lombardi
An increasing number of college students can’t afford nutritious food. One Ball State organization tries to fix the food insecurity problem in Muncie by starting its own food bank.