Offended: The Millennial Story

This is the post excerpt.


As a millennial, I find it extremely depressing to say that I actually dislike my generation. Or, most of it anyway. Why? I dislike the tech-driven, entitled, and sensitive stereotypes (which are largely true and justifiable). I dislike the offended and hyper-sensitive mentalities that define my generation. These stereotypes surface due to those who grew up being told that they deserve a trophy for everything, the ones who were coddled when their feelings were hurt, and the ones whose parents were afraid to utter the words “tough” or “deal with it.” Millennials seem to get some excitement or joy out of getting offended. They seem so awfully eager to get offended, anyway.

I continually hear stories in the media that exemplify and showcase millennial entitlement, which can be attributed to one word: offended. Before any readers get offended, I acknowledge that not all millennials are like this. Just the people who created the stereotype. The most recent and prevalent case of millennials taking offense is the one that dealt with Professor Allen Weinstein at Evergreen State College.

Weinstein simply spoke out against an event that was based upon kicking white people off of campus. And somehow the students protested, bullied, and screamed at him to resign. They blocked the police from getting to him, while all the officers wanted to do was check if he was O.K. They blame him as racist. Him? But doesn’t this sound familiar? Don’t these students understand the irony of the situation? It seems so obvious: kicking white students off of campus is virtually the exact same thing that was happening before the 1960s for all black people.

Everything seems to be racist now. Even speaking out against ISIS seems racist. The other week, I was featured on my sister’s Snapchat story holding a bottle of José Cuervo (as a joke) while wearing a piñata for Cinco de Mayo. An acquaintance of hers immediately screenshotted the story. He then posted a status on Facebook saying something to the effect of, “Tonight I will screenshot all of the Snapchats that culturally appropriate Cinco de Mayo and post them in a FB album tomorrow. This should be funny.”

To get offended by a piñata is ridiculous. And then to claim that it is cultural appropriation? Can someone please explain to me what is offensive about this? No one was making fun of the Mexican culture. In fact, we were celebrating it. This is beside the fact, but the fact that he humiliates and shames those who ‘culturally appropriate’ is bullying. Just like forcing a teacher into resignation for defending the basic rights of students.

It just seems to me that Americans have to walk on eggshells in order to speak without getting reprimanded for doing so. We are so afraid and so eager to meet the politically correct standard that we are putting lives at risk i.e. the Manchester incident at the Ariana Grande concert.

I hope, and actually do think, that it will bounce back. People have gotten so ‘soft’ that there will be those who define the next generation, those who will be more tough and less easily offended in response to the radical sensitivity of millennials.  That’s what Americans can hope for anyway, otherwise we will destruct our country and its values (and maybe even lives) for the sake of being politically correct. We cannot act because we are afraid to offend.

An Aspiring Journalist

Right now, there is one thing I want in life, and that one thing is to become a journalist.

Journalism goes back to my roots, as my father has been a sports journalist his entire life. I grew up asking, “Where’s dad?” The response was predictable: he was covering a sporting event. My dad, Gary Baines, got an internship in college at the Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado’s local newspaper, and worked there for the next 25 years. He was the sports editor for several of those years, and I will never forget how proud I was — and still am — to tell my peers my dad’s job title. My older sister, Kelly, went to college and got her Bachelor of Science for editorial journalism.

As for myself, my quest in the field of journalism started accidentally. Kelly, being my greatest inspiration and someone I have modeled myself after for my entire life, took yearbook as a class in high school. She advised me to enroll as a sophomore since she enjoyed it so much — that is how she discovered her passion for journalism. She found her best friends in yearbook, and as a social butterfly always looking for more friends, this was reason enough for me to join. I joined yearbook and wasn’t that passionate regarding subject matter. Instead, I was passionate about the people. If I had to pinpoint my lack of passion now, I would say that it’s attributed to a combination of things. I didn’t immerse myself. I never went to cover sporting events simply because I wanted to attend them. I never took pictures because I didn’t take the initiative to learn how. And the last thing I would ever be caught doing was interviewing. Nothing was scarier to me than the thought of making a stranger uncomfortable and approaching them awkwardly. I was nervous out of my mind.

Things changed when I was on the yearbook staff my senior year. We went to an event called ‘Journalism Day’ at a nearby university. The day was sectioned into four periods, and in each period were multiple seminars we could attend. I attended several which dealt with broadcast, the principals of journalism, and the media in general, and I had my epiphany somewhere in between. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I suddenly felt so passionate about journalism and what it represented. I suddenly found my hand raised as the professors asked “Who is planning on majoring in journalism?”

So, no, I don’t attribute my picking of journalism to my dad and sister, but I can contribute some of my love for journalism to them. And, as my career advisor said to me, “…well, it seems to me like journalism is in the blood.”

As soon as I took the so-called boring and dry required course that the journalism major requires at the university, I was hooked. I realized that I have an undying love for journalism that I will never be able to describe. I love the history of it. I love photojournalism and the impact the images have. I love the versatility of journalism. I love how traditional journalism is. I love that it is a part of my family. I love that it is a cornerstone of our society. I love that I can use my curiosity to better society. But I can’t put a finger on what exactly makes me so passionate about it. All I know is, I found what I want to do for the rest of my life. How lucky am I to be an 18-year-old who can confidently say that?

I was born and raised in Boulder, an excruciatingly liberal town. As a conservative, this proves difficult for obvious reasons. But at the same time, it has been one of the most invaluable experiences I could’ve asked for. Living in a town where my ideas are constantly challenged is irreplaceable and has taught me many things. It has tested me on why I believe in the ideology that I believe in.

Fox News is playing in my household 24/7 (thanks mom), which has partially fueled my love for political media and politics in general. I aspire to be a political journalist like Dana Perino, Eric Bolling, Greg Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle, or someone to that effect. A girl can dream.

Now, I am studying broadcast journalism and minoring in political science. I want to live in Washington D.C., at least for a while, and I want to get an internship there for a summer during college.

But for now, I have to do everything it takes to make me qualified and skillful. This field is increasingly competitive and declining, but I am willing to do anything it takes to get my dream job. Here is to a future of writing, reporting, interviewing, anchoring, and storytelling. Here is to journalism.