For a group of young adults, they have not known where they belong in terms of the latest fad of generational labeling. The newly defined “micro-generation” falling between the years of 1977-1983 has been dubbed “Xennails”, a mash-up of Generation X and Millennials. At first thought, this group can be assumed as the flannel shirt-wearing, Grunge-listening, depressive teenagers that mumbled their way through High School. But the reality is that they are a group of children that grew up without cell phones, used dial-up modems, listened to a Walkman with a cassette inside it, and played outside until the streetlights came on and their parents didn’t worry. However, these same children were maturing through the age of technology and while they didn’t grow up with things like Facebook and GrubHub, they were able to learn and adapt at a fast pace to adopt and embrace the growing realm of technology and social media. This has allowed this generation two viewpoints- the pessimism and disaffection of Generation X and the optimism and consciousness of Millennials.
Xennials entered adulthood in the 2000’s but were young enough to not be affected by the market crash in 2008. Some even used it to their advantage to invest cheaply or buy a home. They are also young enough to have been able to make these decisions and adjustments before many of them started their families making them a more knowledgeable and worldly group. Unlike Millennials, Xennials attended their last years of school in a time where there weren’t any mass school shootings and their childhoods were not scarred by major tragedy or war. Things were still simple for them but they were young enough to be affected by the devastating events like 9-11, the Virginia Tech Massacre, and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. They did not grow up in a world of fear but learned to be fearful.
As young adults, they are able to set themselves apart from the negativity of the word “Millennial” and have been able to gain a certain amount of respect in the workplace. They are liberal parents but also have great situational awareness and have been instilled with some traditional values that seem to be disappearing. They are diverse, progressive, and practical. They are confident but not entitled because they grew up without many of the luxuries that their younger counterparts did, making them more appreciative. They don’t expect things to be given to them and they do not live under the false pretenses that “everyone wins”.
They are fighters. Transformers. Learners. And now, they have their own name.