The Forgotten Middle Child – 90’s Kids and Why We Aren’t Millennials

 

We all know the story. Some of us have even lived it. Forgotten, overshadowed, and pushed aside. Being the middle child was the worst. The oldest sibling received all the accolades and rewards, the youngest received all the attention. And there we were, waving our hands in the air trying to say, “Hey! I’m right here and I’m not like them!” And here we are, still waving our hands, still trying to push our way past the shoulders of our surrounding siblings. A little older, a little wiser, but still just as frustrated. Being a 90’s kid is tough.

 

 

Damn Millennials.” Many times have these words been uttered through the lips of baby boomers and Gen X’s. “All they care about is social media! They don’t know how to work hard!” We hear it. And we take it. But it’s a load of bulls**t. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back. The definition of a Millennial is someone who was born between around 1980 and around the early 2000’s. While the characteristics of a Millennial can vary depending on the source, the gist is relatively the same. Lazy, narcissistic, coddled, materialistic, disengaged. Positive isn’t it? However in reality, the term “Millennial” isn’t as generalizable as many make it out to be.

People born in the 1980’s are currently aged anywhere between 26 and 35 years old. Having been in the working world for around four or five years, this decade of people are usually seen as responsible employees and entrepreneurs, creating a name for themselves and making short work of corporate ladders all around the world (sounds like the eldest sibling doesn’t it?). Racking up accomplishments and higher salaries, they’re already integrated with Gen X and often aren’t thought of when someone mentions Millennials. People born in the latter half of the term “Millennial” are currently in the height of their teenage years, and because of their youth, are usually grouped in with the rest of the post-century birth crowd. This is where the stereotypes of being a Millennial stem from. But I’ll come back to that later. Right smack in the middle, as always, are 90s kids. Currently aged 16 to 25, we are forced to be grouped into this almost derogatory term, “Millennial”. However we couldn’t be more different than our two surrounding siblings.

I was born in 1994. A great year if I allow myself to say so. Nelson Mandela, Netscape, Rwanda massacre, World Trade Center Bombing…Kurt Cobain…O.J. Simpson… Okay so maybe it wasn’t that great of a year. My point though is that all this happened in one year. Look at what 90’s kids have been through over the course of their short lives: Y2K, 9/11, the dot com boom and bust, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq, Apple’s rise to power, the Great Recession, the first black president, the legalization of gay marriage. And those are just a few off the top of my head. We’ve been left to solve the energy crisis and are the last generation that can reduce climate change and global warming before it’s too late. The world has changed immensely in the past 25 years. It’s led to one of the greatest qualities that 90’s kids possess. Nostalgia. And a whole lot of it. We grew up in a time that was almost entirely analog and the biggest fear was Y2K instead of war and the economy. We came of age in a time of great turmoil both domestic and abroad. We became adults in an entirely digital age and a slowly recovering economy. We are incredibly young, and yet possess the nostalgia of an old man.

We yearn for the simpler times, when the TV was turned on only after finishing family dinners and calling our friend’s home phone was the only way to reach them (other than AIM). And now I’m currently sitting in front of two computer screens as my phone sits within an arm’s reach dinging with updates of text messages, emails, and social media updates (perhaps this nostalgia is why hipsters came about). This dichotomy in ways of life leaves us 90’s kids wishing we were kids again. And that age was only 15 years ago! This isn’t a bad thing though. Growing up through all of this change has allowed us to adapt to all of the new tech and be very proficient with it. But we also see the value in writing a handwritten note to an employer after a job interview and enjoy relaxing with a good book. In a way, we are the most tech savvy analog people out there. Yes, I know what a tape deck is and watched VHS movies. I also owned a CD player. 90’s kids learned on Gateway computers but can do programming on any Mac book or PC no problem. I could go on and on but my point is that in our eyes, technology doesn’t seem to be advancing that fast. See, we grew up at the same time Apple did. At the same rate Google and Microsoft did. The pace of new technological advancements is about as routine as our birthday coming around every year. And it’s allowed us to be a pretty rare breed. Yes, we are different. But don’t you dare tell me I’m a Millennial.

As I mentioned before, I believe the term Millennial comes from the stereotypes derived from the post-turn of the century kids. All these kids know is digital. This group of kids was seven years old when the first iPhone came out. Is it their fault? Not to me it isn’t. It’s the result of being thrust into a rapidly advancing, tech dependent world and having a cell phone in their hands since 1st grade (that’s not an exaggeration, see the link at the bottom**). Look, our society is convenience oriented. Everything is about what makes things easier and faster. Is it any surprise that it has rubbed off on the very kids that are in their peak of susceptibility? Call it lazy if you want, I call it the effects of their environment. And everything is faster and easier. My cell phone (or mini-computer, however you look at it) has the capability to do anything I want and more. It houses the ability to connect with anyone I know in about 30 different ways. It’s no wonder these kids live and breathe social media. When everyone is connected to everyone else at all times, it’s easy to want to keep attention on yourself (after all, they are the youngest sibling; attention is everything). Has it implanted an entitled “me, me, me” loop track in these kids heads? Gen X seems to think so. And I’m inclined to agree. This is what is scaring employers and causing feelings of regurgitation every time they encounter a so called Millennial.

Sure, call me bitter. I think all of us 90s kids are. We are sick of being grouped into all these Millennials stereotypes. But it is not us. I suppose it’s our fault we’re included in this. We’ve had our heads down, working hard to build a name for ourselves. Haven’t heard of us? Well you’re about to. We are the kids from the 90’s. And we’re about to step out from behind our siblings and shake up the world.

*This article expresses the opinions of a possibly bias student born in the 90’s.

** http://abc7chicago.com/technology/study-53%-of-kids-get-a-cell-phone-at-age-6/637197/

Written by Devon Dietrich, senior at the University of Montana majoring in Marketing, Management, and Psychology.

Sources:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-millennials-are-coming/

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/03/here-is-when-each-generation-begins-and-ends-according-to-facts/359589/

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=90s+collage&imgrc=pxdfMx4kof5G_M%3A&ei=ZC4wVu3EDIiojwO0wr7oDw&emsg=NCSR&noj=1#emsg=NCSR&imgrc=pxdfMx4kof5G_M%3A

http://theodysseyonline.com/ole-miss/middle-child-syndrome-it-is-real/93262

http://www.partyfeverltd.co.uk/party-supplies/birthday-party-themes/60s-70s-disco-80s-party.html

Social Media and the Internet: A Retrospective

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College Football Playoff 2015. Who’s in?

college-football-playoff-logo
Halfway into the 2015 college football season we have seen more parody in the current college football season than the previous five seasons combined. Although we have embarked upon only our second college football season with a “four team playoff”. I believe that it is safe to say that every weekend in 2015, has felt like a playoff thus far. Honestly with fourteen undefeated teams after nearly seven weeks into the season, you could say that the 2015 college football campaign is challenging enough. Not to mention throw in a last second heartbreak for Michigan, an ineligible quarterback for Florida and a iconic Steve Spurrier resignation. The 2015 campaign has been flirting with a lot of emotion, but enough about emotion. Football is a game of disillusion and this blog is about the best in the land this year in college football (FBS). So without further ado I attempt the inconceivable and break down the college football conferences to see who will make the college football playoffs in 2015. May the odds be ever in your favor.Picture odds

1. American Athletic Conference

american-athletic-conference The first conference breakdown will be the American Athletic Conference. A conference that is often quiet when it comes to the N.C.A.A selection committee. However the American Athletic should not be overlooked with three of the fourteen undefeated teams hailing from this conference. Which consists of Houston (6-0), Memphis (6-0) and Temple (6-0) respectively. This conference although often underestimated due to strength of schedule should not be overlooked on any account. Already bolstering impressive wins by Temple over Penn state, Memphis over S.E.C powerhouse Ole Miss and Houston over Louisville earlier this season. This underrated conference should gain some respect. However, that being said it is important to highlight the key games remaining in this Conference. Especially if one of these American Athletic teams can earn respect from the N.C.A.A by post season time.

Important Games
Temple VS Notre Dame 10/31
Houston VS Memphis 11/14
Houston VS Navy 11/27
Memphis VS Navy 11/7
Memphis VS Temple 11/21
Conference Championship 12/5

My Prediction
Memphis over Temple

Playoff Teams
None. With the other power conferences it might be a while before an undefeated American Athletic team makes the playoff before a one loss team  from a power conference.

2. Athletic Coast Conference ( ACC)

ACC Conference Moving into the first of the power conferences and the conference represented in the playoff last year by Florida State. It is important to mention that the Atlantic Coast Conference or A.C.C is loaded with depth this year. In the Atlantic Division of the A.C.C their is two undefeated playoff hopefuls in last years semi-finalist Florida State Seminoles, who is led by old Notre Dame QB Everett Golson. In addition new playoff hopeful Clemson who knocked off Notre Dame in Death Valley. In the Coastal Division of the A.C.C the playoff contenders consist of Pittsburgh, Duke and North Carolina who are all (5-1) respectively. Which shows an array of talent throughout a conference which will more than likely get one playoff team.

Important Games
North Carolina VS Pittsburgh 10/29
North Carolina VS Duke 11/7
Pittsburgh VS Notre Dame 11/7
Florida State VS Clemson 11/7
Pittsburgh VS Duke 11/14
Florida State VS Florida 11/28
Conference Championship 12/5

My Prediction
Clemson Over North Carolina

Playoff Teams
Clemson. With a very diversified Atlantic Coast Conference, it’s anybodies ball game. It is only expected that one team advances to the playoff and it’s most likely Clemson, who has the most balanced attack.

3. Big 12 Conference

Big 12 Conference Image. Entering perhaps the most talented conference of them all in the 2015 college football season, the Big 12 conference is loaded. Consisting of three undefeated teams Baylor (6-0), Oklahoma State (6-0) and T.C.U (7-0). The Conference should end with a fight to the finish. Also to be considered Oklahoma is right their with only one loss thus far at (5-1), making it even more unbelievable that only a year ago this power conference was denied a spot in the first college football playoff. Something desperately looking to  be changed in 2015, while possibly even being the first conference to claim two teams in the newly formatted playoff.

Important Games
T.C.U VS Oklahoma State 11/7
Oklahoma VS Baylor 11/14
T.C.U VS Oklahoma 11/21
Baylor VS Oklahoma State 11/21
Baylor VS T.C.U 11/27
Oklahoma VS Oklahoma State 11/28
Conference Championship 12/5

My Prediction
T.C.U Over Baylor

Playoff Teams
T.C.U. only, although two teams is a possibility in the playoff especially in this division. I just don’t predict it happening this year. T.C.U’s balance with senior leader Trevone Boykin will outlast Baylor and push the horned frogs to the playoff.

4. Big Ten Conference

Big Ten Conference The parody is at it’s biggest in the Big Ten this year. In a Conference that was represented by the National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes last year. The league now has three legitimate contenders which contains the Bucks at (7-0), Surprise Iowa at (7-0) and Miracle Michigan State at (7-0) after a Michigan disaster on special teams. In a league that is a football powerhouse and continuously beats up on each other week to week, I don’t see more than one contender coming out of the Big Ten. Meaning that Big games in the Big Ten are expected right around the corner and should format to the playoff accordingly.

Important Games
Michigan State VS Ohio State 11/21
Iowa VS Nebraska 11/27
Michigan VS Ohio State 11/28
Michigan State VS Penn State 11/28
Conference Championship 12/5

My Prediction
Michigan State Over Iowa

Playoff Teams
Michigan State. Sticking with the plot of Senior QB’s I take Connor Cook and Michigan State to represent the Big Ten in the Playoff. I predict Michigan State over Ohio State on 11/21 too. Sparty On State fans. Only one team advances from the Big Ten.

5. Conference U.S.A

Confernence Usa Pics In a conference that only consists of two real competitors for a playoff spot and clutching to a lackluster hope of even making the playoff. It’s pretty safe to say that Conference U.S.A may win the trophy for being patriotic, however will probably not have a chance to raise the National Championship trophy in 2015.

Plain and Simple

Important Game  Marshall VS Western Kentucky 11/27

Conference Championship 12/5

Prediction

Marshall over Louisiana Tech

Playoff Teams

None. This conference just doesn’t have the talent this year. The Conference U.S.A will play for pride and bowl eligibility this year.

6. Mid-American Conference ( MAC)

Mid American Conf In a conference such as the Mid- American it is hard to judge quality opponents and a solid strength of schedule. However when Northern Illinois University put together four solid quarters against last years National Champion Ohio State earlier in the season. Myself and many others started to become believers in a little conference called the M.A.C.. However as far as the Playoff goes, the M.A.C only has one real contender in Toledo at (6-0).

Important Games

Toledo VS Northern Illinois 11/3

M.A.C Championship 12/4

Prediction

Toledo over Ohio

Playoff Teams

None. Toledo didn’t schedule strong enough and will most likely be left out.

7. Mountain West Conference

Mountain West FootballIn the Mountain West Conference this year the teams are playing for bowl game positions and the opportunity to win the Mountain West Conference. Competitive teams in the Mountain division are Boise State and Utah State. While in the West division San Diego State and San Jose State are the respective leaders.

Important Games

Utah State VS San Diego State 10/23

Utah State VS New Mexico       11/7

Boise State VS New Mexico      11/4

Conference Championship       12/5

Prediction

Boise State over San Diego State

Playoff Teams

None.

8. Pacific 12 Conference ( PAC 12)

Pac-12

In a conference that has been so well represented by a steady favorite in the Oregon Ducks. The Pacific 12 Conference has found a new identity. In the pacific south division that team is the undefeated Utah Utes at (6-0). The Utes have gone on to do the unthinkable dethroning Oregon 62-20 and have even defeated the Michigan Wolverines earlier in the season. The Utes Playing as the new Pacific 12 favorite for the playoff will still have competition from the Pacific 12 North who has Stanford and California at (5-1) respectively. Keep an eye out for at least one team to represent the Pacific 12 in the College Football Playoff.

Important Games  

Utah VS Arizona                       11/14

Utah VS U.C.L.A                         11/21

Stanford VS California             11/21

Stanford VS Notre Dame         11/28

Conference Championship      12/5

Prediction

Utah over Stanford

Playoff Teams

Utah. The Utes will represent the Pacific 12 Conference and finish the regular season at (13-0) before heading to the playoff. The Pacific 12 will only get one team.

9. Southeastern Conference (SEC)

SEC-Logos

In a conference that has represented more B.C.S National Champions than one can imagine, and each and every week is battle tested. One might say that the Southeastern Conference is a survival league. In a conference that is broken up into a west and east division,no team walks the path of least resistance. In the treacherous west division, playoff tested L.S.U is the lone undefeated team sitting at (6-0) after close calls against both Mississippi state and Florida. In which the Florida gators sit atop the east division controlling their destiny over the (5-2) Georgia Bulldogs. Contenders in the west include both Alabama and Texas A@M each respectively with only one loss behind the undefeated L.S.U tigers leading for a tight race down the stretch.

Important Games

Florida VS Georgia               10/31

L.S.U VS Alabama                 11/7

L.S.U VS Ole Miss                  11/21

L.S.U VS Texas A@M            11/28

Florida VS Florida State      11/28

Conference Championship 12/5

Prediction

Alabama over Florida

Playoff Teams

Up to the N.C.A.A Committee! If Alabama beats L.S.U on November 7th than every team in the S.E.C would have at least one loss before the S.E.C Championship. Meaning that the outright champion would be a one loss team and would have to rely on the committee to pick them over other undefeated teams. Creating the controversy of possibly leaving the S.E.C out of the College Football Playoff in 2015.

10. Sunbelt Conference

Sunbelt Conference 2014

Rounding out the last of the major F.B.S football conferences may be the most geographically diverse conference of them all in the Sun Belt Conference. Now although the Sun Belt in 2015 doesn’t seem to have any real threat for the 2015 College Football Playoff. It is important to mention that F.C.S powerhouses Georgia Southern and Appalachian State have made some healthy strides in transitioning to the F.B.S and are now contending for a conference championship in the Sun Belt both sitting at (5-1) respectively. Don’t expect much push from any other conference foes besides Arkansas State who sits at (4-3) but is also undefeated in conference. Its Important to note that this Conference doesn’t have a conference championship. So the overall season winner is the outright champion.

Important Games  

Georgia Southern VS Appalachian State 10/22

Appalachian State VS Arkansas State      11/5

Prediction     

Appalachian State wins their first Sunbelt Championship

Playoff Teams

None. This Conference is a couple steps away from the College Football Playoff.

11. F.B.S Independents

independent-teamsFinally last, but not least what would college football be without the independents. The history of college football lives within the Independents and who better represents the Independents than the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Out of all the Independents Notre Dame stands the only chance at making the playoff this year and at a very respectable record of (6-1) with their only loss coming to Clemson. Don’t expect Notre Dame to make the Playoff just yet. However don’t count them out as their strength of Schedule is always the best in the land.

Important Games

Notre Dame VS Temple       10/31

Notre Dame VS Pittsburgh  11/7

Notre Dame VS Stanford     11/28

Playoff Teams

None at the moment. Notre Dame will need some help from the N.C.A.A committee if they want to play in the College Football Playoff.

The Final Four. Who’s In?

The moment has arrived and I surely have angered multiple fans who have not given up reading this far into my blog. However just as difficult as deciding who is deserving of the chance at the national championship trophy. One must learn to live and die by their decisions. In no particular order below I have listed the four teams I believe who will make the College Football playoff in 2015.

  1. Michigan StateRepresenting the Big Ten Conference and Led by Senior Quarterback Connor Cook. I look forward to watching the Michigan State Spartans battle it out in the College Football Playoff. Michigan State’s never die mentality this year will carry them far and just might help them hoist the national championship trophy!
  2.  T.C.U FootballRepresenting the Big 12 Conference and Led by Senior Quarterback Trevone Boykin the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs relentless offense will push them to the 2015 College Football semi-finals and possibly beyond. I look forward to see what T.C.U can do and ask myself if this is the year of the Horned Frog?
  3. Clemson vs. Furman football game.Representing the Atlantic Coast Conference and led by Sophomore Quarterback Deshaun Watson. It is expected the fast paced Clemson Tigers could potentially push their way to the top and take home the National Championship trophy.
  4. Utah Utes FootballLast, but not least representing the Pacific 12 Conference and led by Senior Quarterback Travis Wilson the high power Utah Utes, will look to attain a National Championship with balance on offense and defense.

Closing

If the end of the college football season in 2015 is as unpredictable as the beginning has been. Predicting the final four playoff teams can never be a certainty. As previous seasons have shown predictions can be blown by the wayside with just a single snap. Going forward happy football season to all and may the odds be ever in your teams favor.

Best regards,

-Connor Campbell

Connor Campbell is a Senior at the University of Montana graduating in Fall 2015 with a degree in Business Administration.