In middle school, I mocked my father’s dollar-store plastic wayfarer sunglasses as hopelessly unfashionable. In high school, I bought a pair for myself.

In college, I purchased an oversized, decades-old sweater from the men’s section of a thrift shop that incorporates almost the entire color wheel. I wear it with skinny jeans from H&M and my black Converse.

A word bubble pops up in my head whenever I watch my dad read the newspaper or switch on the news channel. The word bubble says a lot of things, but the words “obsolete” and “media” are often in bold.

My guilty pleasure is putting my iPhone on Do Not Disturb — and leaving it that way for days (I’ve done it for weeks at a time before).

I hate how public Facebook feels and I love how intimate Instagram feels. It was a disillusioning moment when I found out Facebook owns Instagram.

A TBR 2015 Millennial Essay Contest winner

I studied abroad at the University of St Andrews, a Scottish university founded in 1413. There’s nothing quite like finishing your English literature courses in a cool, misty coastal town with British friends and Oxbridge professors.

I’m an English major and positively bleed the humanities, yet I want to work in tech. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Hello basic coding skills and amped-to-the-max personal branding.

Other responses:
Iron Man by Brooks
Reinventing Work by  Corsentino
Out the Bathroom Window by Fleming
Generational Choice? by Kampič
Balance by  Jacobs
Myths by Harbauer

I’m working on a book project with my brother geared toward millennials and named after David Brooks’ phrase, “The Odyssey Years.” We hope to eventually sell it on Amazon as a low priced e-book.

I have started and abandoned at least five WordPress blogs in the last six years.

Two generations in Tallinn, Estonia.

Photo courtesy Stephan Rebernik, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Two generations in Tallinn, Estonia.

I listen to music on Spotify for at least three hours every day. Consequently, it took me almost two months of spite and stubbornness to finally buy Taylor Swift’s newest album 1989 after the Spotify debacle.

I’ve pirated countless movies and TV show episodes — but I barely choked down my self-loathing when I read an illegal PDF of Toni Morrison’s book Beloved after watching her interview on The Colbert Report (and developing a serious girl-crush on her).

My dad and I used metal pliers to bend the corner of my Macbook Pro back into shape after I fell off my bike with my backpack on.

For the second half of high school and first half of college, I used Moleskine day planners. Then I switched to the app Errands on my iPhone for a year. Now I use both.

I love my Macbook Pro, but nothing feels more creative or sensuous than writing in my hardback, fancy-brand notebooks. Also, the difference between writing with a 0.7mm mechanical pencil and a 0.5mm mechanical pencil feels to me like the difference between finger painting and using a fine brush.

I go to bookstores in order to find well-recommended titles to check out from the library for free. One day (long after my money-less college days), I hope to be a frequent-purchaser at bookstores.

I memorized Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” in 10 minutes in the hopes of reciting it to myself at night as I’m trying to fall asleep (in order to slow down my anxious brain). It wasn’t long enough though, so next up: Paradise Lost (jk).

I love walking everywhere. Catching buses spikes my blood pressure and driving induces road rage. The ideal situation: getting a ride from someone else (like when I was in second grade and my parents drove me everywhere).

I love NPR so much. Like, so much.

The blog Brain Pickings induced an entire worldview change. Other blogs that have changed my world: Wait But Why and Hyperbole and a Half.

The millennial generation, hard at work.

ITU Pictures / flickr (CC BY 2.0).
The millennial generation, hard at work.

I spent my spring break in Paris during the semester I studied abroad in Scotland. I went by myself — I didn’t take a single picture — I spent most of my time in an English-language bookshop — and I emailed Brain Pickings creator, Maria Popova, a picture showing the children’s book she helped publish sitting on a shelf in the bookstore. She emailed back. Thrilled.

Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times Op-Ed columnist, followed me on Twitter so he could direct message me for my basic information in order to mention me in his February 4, 2012 column, “After Recess: Change the World.” He still follows me on Twitter.

As a research assistant for my creative writing professor David Shields (a middle aged, New York Times bestselling author), I tried and failed to convert him to the cloud. For the record, Google Drive does kind of suck.

I quit my assistantship for David Shields after one quarter. Anybody over 40 would think I’d made a huge mistake (the whole New York Times bestselling thing), but I felt renewed. The things he wasn’t good at — I wasn’t good at either — and after quitting, I felt free to pursue involvements that played to my strengths and not my weaknesses.

I moved to a big city for anonymity and unlimited opportunities, and almost drowned in the isolation, loneliness and chronic feeling of ‘new-ness.’

Every time I get on the freeway in Seattle and see the glittering skyscrapers towering over the dark water and boat harbors, I remember why I moved to a big city in the first place and I forget the maddening-ness of it all.

I love people-watching in public places. I get away with this for the most part without looking creepy because I am a young woman. You see me waving at a cute two-year-old, you go, “Aww… that’s sweet.” You see my male equivalent waving at the cute two-year-old and you pull the kid closer to you.

Nowhere else do I feel more myself than in a coffee shop. I am surrounded by people there; yet alone.

I had a fantastic five-day fling with someone I met on Tinder. He was the same age as my brother and happened to have the same name too; however, there is no causal link.

Most of the time I date older men (theoretically less immature than the nerds and frat boys on campus) whose texting skills are as clunky as my dad’s.

I want to write a BuzzFeed article called, “10 Ways Your Journal is Like Your Boyfriend.”

I have a gay best friend. We hold hands, cuddle, talk about boys, and giggle like 13-year-old girls. He’s 27 and I’m 21. This disturbs my straight male friends.

Major Confession #1: I believe a large portion of my socialization occurred while watching movies and TV shows.

Major Confession #2: I grew up highly religious and conservative. Now a lot of my answers are, “I don’t know.”

Major confession #3: My dad talks too slowly most of the time for me to comfortably converse with him.

Major Confession #4: I have a hard time following any rules, supporting any bureaucracy, and feeling comfortable under any label.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Boise State University or the School of Public Service.

  • IdahoSage0119

    Kelsey,
    I am currently 69 years old and just applied for graduate school at BSU. At least half of the social media sites you referred to are totally foreign and unknown to me.
    I like to consider myself as educated, in the classical sense of the word. Do I think I’m missing something by not using Facebook or Instagram? Do I think I can put something important into 140 characters? Probably not, although for the millennial generation, it’s probably possible. However, it takes me about 50 pages to discuss what “me” means.
    Are we on the same page?