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Are You From Generation Y?

Generation Y is defined as...

...the “Millennials” or “Echo Boomers” (1980-1991)

Gen Y’ers are socially liberal. This means that Millennials support politically and culturally liberal points of view, including (but not necessarily limited to) gay rights, feminist principles, and volunteerism. On the other hand, conservative Gen Y’ers have influenced the growth of “liberal” religious institutions (like non-denominational churches), free market principles, and socially conservative behavior (no drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex). Gen Y’ers respect all heritages, cultures, and beliefs—every person is important and unique.

According to Wikipedia, "In spite of the new dominant liberal growth, a growing number of new youth clubs and groups have been created in developed countries (such as the US, UK, Japan, Australia and Italy) to take the task of promoting and preserving conservative views and religious beliefs."

*The below research outlines the cultural influences that were released during the birth time of Generation Y.  Generation Y members are also influenced by other generations.  For more on other generations, go to our generations menu.


A Note From Our Resident Gen Yer

Generation yMeet Katie, Our Gen Yer

What was being a “Gen Y” like?

I look at this question and think, is my generation all that different from others?  As I think back to my childhood I’m sitting in the York College library listening to Bowling for Soup’s Almost… talk about a Gen Y band.  I was born in 1991 and thank God I have changed since then; what a trip I’m taking back 20 years…

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to elementary school with kids that I later took college prep chemistry with in high school. We played four-square on the playground at recess and literally ran from our classrooms when the bell ran because we wanted to be first on the swing set.   I remember sitting in class in 6th grade and passing notes with my best friend during math.  We thought it was fun to staple the sides of the note just to give us something to do. We had sleepovers and watched Boy Meets World as we drooled over Shawn because he was the “bad” boy, and jammed out to The Spice Girls dancing in our pj’s.

A year later we went to 7th grade and our friends drastically changed.  We changed our clothes, hair, and probably many more.  We were 13 and thought we were cooler than anyone, and no one could tell us no.  I was one of the first kids in school who wore converse, pink no less, and thought I was awesome because I saw Bowling for Soup in concert.  I jammed out to them on my CD player; wow, we’ve come so far since then.  I had my first serious boyfriend in junior high, going along with my first kiss, and thought it was so cool to go to the movies on a Saturday afternoon on a “date.”  But my mom drove, so in the large scheme, not so cool.

I got to high school and molded into the group of friends that I would stick with for the next four years.  I remember being beyond stressed about who I would sit with at lunch, because no one wanted to be that awkward person sitting by themselves in the back corner for 46 minutes.  I watched Pretty in Pink and wanted to find someone like Andrew McCarthy.  Now, instead of passing paper notes in class, we secretly texted on our flip phones during movies and whenever our teacher had their back to us.  We roamed the halls during study hall with friends and told the freshman to go to the 4th floor, knowing that they would get stuck on the 3rd floor science wing.  What jerks we were back then.

I’m now in college and looking back to my childhood I’m amused just thinking about it.  I’ve come a long way since the 90’s, but some days I wish I could detour back to simpler days.  I have two email accounts on my BlackBerry and check it about a thousand times a day, am on Facebook and Twitter, and living on coffee because eating simply takes too long to do.  It’s been fun roaming back memory lane, but now I’m jolted back to 2012 sitting in the library listening to Bowling for Soup and doing more homework… there’s still not enough time in the day.

Submit your Gen Y essay


Generation y televisionDo you remember watching 7th Heaven in the evenings, anticipating the new episodes on the WB, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Boy Meets World growing up.  Now, years later, do you watch them in the mornings as AbcFamily shows the reruns.  Now-a-days we crowd around our TV watching Kourtney and Kim Take New York on Sunday nights and Teen Mom on Tuesday’s.  It’s crazy to see how our tastes have changed over the years, wholesome family shows when we were kids to reality TV shows and tabloids now. 

Oh, have the times changed...

  • Family Matters
  • Full House
  • Step by Step
  • Boy Meets World
  • Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
  • Saved by the Bell
  • Power Rangers
  • Roseanne
  • 7th Heaven
  • That 70's Show
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
  • Dharma & Greg
  • Everybody Loves Raymond
  • Hanging With Mr. Cooper
  • Home Improvement
  • The Nanny
  • Walker Texas Ranger
  • Party Of Five
  • Providence
  • Ren and Stimpy
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
  • Secret World Of Alex Mack
  • Seinfeld
  • Spongebob Squarepants
  • Frasier
  • Freaks And Geeks
  • Friends
  • Law & Order, SVU
  • Parks and Recreation
  • The Office
  • Tosh.0
  • 30 Rock
  • The Sopranos
  • Lost
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire
  • Teen Mom
  • Jersey Shore
  • Survivor
  • Real World


  • Duran Duran- Hungry Like the Wolf, 1982generation y music
  • Michael Jackson- Billie Jean, 1982
  • Prince- When Doves Cry, 1984
  • Madonna- Like a Virgin, 1984
  • Run-D.M.C.-Walk This Way, 1986
  • Bon Jovi- Livin' on a Prayer, 1986
  • Def Leppard- Pour Some Sugar On Me, 1987
  • Guns N' Roses- Sweet Child O' Mine, 1987
  • Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares to You, 1990
  • Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit, 1991
  • U2 - One, 1991
  • R.E.M. - Losing My Religion, 1991
  • Metallica - Enter Sandman, 1991
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge, 1991
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot - Baby Got Back, 1992
  • TLC - Waterfalls, 1994
  • Beastie Boys - Sabotage, 1994
  • Beck - Loser, 1994
  • Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know, 1995
  • Oasis - Wonderwall, 1995
  • Hanson - MMMBop, 1997
  • Spice Girls - Wannabe, 1997
  • Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy, 1998
  • Eminem - My Name Is, 1999
  • Destiny's Child - Say My Name, 1999
  • Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time, 1999
  • Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way, 1999
  • Christina Aguilera - Genie In A Bottle, 1999


  • The Color Purple by Alice WalkerGeneration Y Books

  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • Matilda by Roald Dahl

  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

  • Beloved by Tony Morrison

  • Watchmen by Alan Moore

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  • The Mist of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley


  • Sixteen Candles, 1984Generation y movies
  • The Neverending Story, 1984
  • Back to the Future, 1984
  • The Goonies, 1985
  • The Breakfast Club, 1985
  • St. Elmo's Fire, 1985
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986
  • The Great Mouse Detective, 1986
  • Lethal Weapon, 1987
  • The Brave Little Toaster, 1987
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988
  • Rain Man, 1988
  • Oliver & Company, 1988
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, 1989
  • The Little Mermaid, 1989
  • Batman, 1989
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989
  • Look Who's Talking, 1989
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, 1989
  • Dances With Wolves, 1990
  • Beauty and the Beast, 1991
  • The Mighty Ducks, 1992
  • Aladdin, 1992
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, 1993
  • Jurassic Park, 1993
  • Lion King, 1994
  • Clerks, 1994
  • Forrest Gump, 1994
  • Apollo 13, 1995
  • Toy Story, 1995
  • Pocahontas, 1995
  • Goofy Movie, 1995
  • Jerry Maguire, 1996
  • Mulan, 1998
  • A Bugs Life, 1998
  • The Big Lebowski, 1998
  • American History X, 1998

Cultural & Political Milestones

Looking back at what happened culturally, I am embarrassed to say that I really had to think.  Titanic came out and millions cried at the timeless romance of two young individuals and how their happiness was tragically taken away from them.  So few find love like Rose and Jack, one of the reasons we watch this heartfelt movie.  We are also the culture that encountered the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1998.  I spent a summer there when I was ten and saw the memorial.  I remember seeing the site and thinking how someone could purposely hurt hundreds of innocent people.  Look back over the years, our generation has seen tragedy and heartfelt emotions and wouldn’t have wanted anything different.


  • Mount Saint Helens Erupts, 1980
  • Pac man comes out, 1980
  • CNN Established, 1980
  • Rubiks Cube Becomes popular, 1980
  • Cabbage Patch Kids become popular, 1983
  • Titanic Found, 1985
  • New Coke Introduced, 1986
  • DNA used to convict criminals, 1987
  • Berlin Wall Comes Down, 1989
  • Pg-13 movie rating comes out, 1984
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1991
  • Operation Desert Storm, 1991
  • Official End of the Cold War, 1992
  • Cult Compound in Waco, Texas Raided, 1993
  • Nelson Mandela Elected President of South Africa, 1994
  • O.J. Simpson Arrested for Double Murder, 1994
  • Rwandan Genocide, 1994
  • Oklahoma City Bombing, 1995
  • Mad Cow Disease Hits Britain, 1996
  • Princess Diana Dies in Car Crash, 1997
  • Titanic Most Successful Movie Ever, 1998
  • U.S. President Clinton Impeached, 1998
  • JFK Jr. Dies in Plane Accident, 1999
  • Killing Spree at Columbine High School, 1999
  • NATO Attacks Serbia, 1999
  • 9/11- World Trade Center Attack, 2001

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