Generation Y: A Modest Introduction

Jesse-Justin Cuevas, Editor in Chief

WELCOME to Early Risers, where Generation Y isn’t a dirty word.

This weekly magazine answers assumptions about the iGen. Rather than bemoan our stereotype, we engage it. Rather than censure our generation, we question it. The Millennials aren’t who you think they are—or maybe we are. The point is: it’s too early to cast the ballot of condemnation just yet. We are not doomed; we’re just getting started.

You have heard this before; you know our coming-of-age story. We were growing up as the Twin Towers were falling down. Our first political scandal included both the devil and a blue dress. The Presidential Elections of our childhood threatened either to break or to restore the Bush dynasty, and we voted in the United States’ first Black President. We are the children of the Information Age, a generation more plugged in than our predecessors, whose “emerging adulthood” experiences necessitate an entirely new official psychological stage of development.

Kids these days, eh? Certainly, we are a force to be reckoned with.

Today’s 20-somethings and their kid-sibling rising voters are making moves. Our “graduation-career-family-retirement” sequence may not follow the same temporal markings as our forefathers’, but that is exactly what sets us apart as a generation. We learned from our parents and their parents before them, but we ultimately break tradition. We simultaneously work within the system and outside it. Our brand of pragmatism blends our history lessons with modern technology.

When we feel underrepresented, we don’t storm the courts or our university courtyards. Instead, we take to the Internet; we carve our own outlets for venting, our own channels for organizing. Sure, we protest, picket, canvass and campaign in the traditional sense—and I think it’s fair to say we excel when we do—but we also construct our own worlds for action. When we feel silenced, we start our own press. When we feel ignored, we make a scene. When we feel excluded, we create our own communities. Growing up during the decades of America’s greatest prosperity and direst frustration since the Great Depression (or maybe just the Carter Administration) lends us a near inherent resourcefulness, and we love to DIY.

Early Risers is not just another publication by the Internet Generation. Our authors are our subjects, and we humbly self-criticize.

Jesse-Justin Cuevas graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2009, where her political activism transformed into a love for writing political and social commentary. She is an associate editor at The Politicizer and the editor in chief of Early Risers.
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