Monday, November 26, 2018


As we all have heard, the Miss America Pageant is getting a major remodel this year: The swimsuit portion is out and the organization says it's committed to no longer evaluating women on their physical appearances. This is just one of many changes that have taken place since the competition began in 1921. Take a look back at "Miss America" through the years.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Hello October!

It's officially Fall Y'all!  The greatest time of the year!  Except in Texas where it's still 90 degrees and you wouldn't dream of turning off your A/C just yet.  Maybe some time in late December or early January. 

KJ is settling into college life very nicely.  She likes her roommate, she's made friends and she's successfully survived Rush at Ole Miss, one of the most competitive in the country.  And no, she didn't have a consultant.  She did it all on her own.

She had an extremely positive Rush experience and we're very, very proud of her!  Ole Miss has changed things up a bit and did things a little different than when T was there.  After visiting all 11 houses, KJ was invited back to 6 (max of 8).  Out of those 6 she went back to 5 (max 5).  Then on Pref day she was invited back to 2 (max 2).  Although she was an AOPi legacy, she #wentKappa on Bid Day.  She was so, so excited!  I couldn't be there for Bid Day but T, Pony Boy and T's friend Maddie were there to support her as well as her roommate Maddie.  She's had her pinning ceremony, had lunch at the house a couple of times already and has a formal coming up.  Baby girl is branching out on her own and doing great! 

Coach and I went to 3 football games during the month of September.  We went to the Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech game in Houston (which was a lot of fun!).  He had been in Houston all week so I flew down on Friday and we did a bar crawl with Ole Miss and Tech fans.  We followed the cheerleaders from bar to bar and although we had great seats, Coach won two sets of 50 yard-line tickets (total of 4 additional tickets!).  We ended up giving them to some folks we met from Oxford. 

Then we attended the Kent State game with the Martins.  Or, I should say we tailgated in the Grove with the Martins, never even bothered to go into the game.  After the crushing loss to Alabama, we thought we'd have a better time if we didn't actually go into the stadium.  T and Dew came in for the weekend and we all had a great time despite the torrential downpour at the end of the game. 

Last weekend we attended the Arkansas vs. Texas A&M game at AT&T Stadium (aka Jerry World).  One of Coach's vendors had a suite which, in my humble opinion, is the only way to watch a game!  Hahaha!!!  Seriously though, I love not having to wait in line for the ladies room or for concessions.  That stadium is first class all the way.  From the super friendly ticket agents at the gate, to the elevator attendant to the security people telling you to have a safe drive home after the game.  The suite was gorgeous, the food and drink was plentiful.  The A&M fans were awesome to watch.  Very loud (hence the whole 12th man thing) and very entertaining.  And their band was incredible.  Extremely precise. 

So now we're gearing up for our Annual Week of Family Festivities (our niece's birthday and our anniversary on October 11, Coach's birthday on October 12, KJ's birthday on October 13 and my mom's birthday on October 15). 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Get the Popcorn Ready !!!

Here's a link to some of the movies still to be released in 2018 and my excitement level (kinda like rotten tomatoes but with popcorn!): 

"Peppermint" with Jennifer Garner comes out September 7.  The trailer doesn't look great but fans of Alias will be happy to see Jenn out of her "mom" roles and back in the action genre. 
(Anticipation Level:  2 popcorn kernels out of 5)

"A Simple Favor" with Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick comes out September 15.  Coach and I saw the trailer for this when we saw "The Spy Who Dumped Me."  This movie looks like a "Gone Girl" or "Girl on the Train" kind of mystery/thriller.  I'm expecting a plot twist at the end. 
(Anticipation Level:  3 popcorn kernels out of 5)
I think I'm most excited for "A Star is Born" which hits theaters on October 5.  "A Star is Born" stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and looks awesome!  Bradley Cooper does his own singing, no lip synching!!). 
(Anticipation Level:  5 out of 5 popcorn kernels!)

"Halloween" with Jamie Lee Curtis will be released on October 18.  Meh.  Halloween and Jamie Lee Curtis fans will be thrilled.  Me.  Not so much. 
(Anticipation Level:  0 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

The trailer for "First Man" (based on the biography "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James R. Hansen) which releases October 21 didn't look very exciting but how can you go wrong w/ Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy ("The Crown") and Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights)???
(Anticipation Level:  3 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

I think Nicole Kidman may possibly be the hardest working woman in show business.   Her new movie, "Boy Erased" releases November 2 and is the story of the son of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crowe) and their son Jared (Lucas Hedges) who is outed as gay to his parents. They give him the ultimatum of going to a conversion therapy program or being disowned.  The emotional and heart-wrenching story of faith and identity is based on the memoir "Boy Erased" by Garrard Conley. Gay conversion camps treat sexual identity as a mental illness that can be "cured" through cruel methods, including beatings and shame, and this film provides insight into the harrowing experience.
(Anticipation Level:  2 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

On the total flip side, "Bohemian Rhapsody" also releases November 2. "Bohemian Rhapsody" tells the story of the rise and legacy of UK's rock group Queen. The film addresses the personal and professional lives of the band's members (particularly front man Freddie Mercury), culminating at Queen's memorable 1985 performance at a music festival known as Live Aid.
(Anticipation Level:  3 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

I love that many movies this year feature strong women (either acting in, written by, directed or produced by) and "Widows" (November 16) is one of these movies.  After four criminals are killed on a heist, their wives step in for revenge and to finish the job their spouses didn't (of course!).  The screenplay was written by "Gone Girl" author Gillian Flynn and has an interesting cast which includes Liam Neeson playing Viola Davis' husband. It also stars Cynthia Erivo, Michaell Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Jon Bernthal (from "The Accountant" and "Walking Dead"), Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, and more.
(Anticipation Level:  3 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

Looks like November 21 is going to spent all day at the movie theaters:  One of Coach's favorite Disney movies is getting a sequel!  "Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet" will be in the theaters November 21.  "Creed 2" also hits the theaters November 21 and is basically Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) fighting the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed his father, Apollo Creed, more than 30 years ago.
(Anticipation Level:  5 out of 5 popcorn kernels for BOTH movies)

I will probably be the only person in the movie theater watching "Mary Queen of Scots" on December 7 and I'm ok with it.  The history dork in my is looking forward to see Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I. 
(Anticipation Level:  4 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

The only person who could pull off a re-make of Mary Poppins is Emily Blount. Filing Julie Andrew's shoes is no easy task and Emily Blunt steps into the iconic role on December 21 to bring some cheer to the Banks family, who is devastated following the loss of their matriarch.   I also like the fan conspiracy websites that claim Mary Poppins is actually a graduate of Hogwarts.
(Anticipation Level:  5 out of 5 popcorn kernels)

Friday, August 24, 2018

All Moved In !!!

Mark this date in your calendars!  KJ officially and successfully completed her first week of college!  Whoop!  Whoop!  She's had a great week!

We drove to Oxford last Wednesday and had dinner w/ 3 of our favorite Martins.  Thursday morning we were up and at 'em fairly early with a quick bite to eat in the hotel lobby and then on our way to Ox.  We had only been through Ole Miss move-in once despite T having been there for 4 years.  We moved her in freshman year and basically she moved herself after that.  I was a little (ok, a lot) nervous about KJ's move-in because she was in a larger dorm, therefore, more people.  T was able to move-in a day earlier than everyone else as a perk of one of her scholarships so we didn't have to wait in line for the elevator or wait for a cart.  I have to say, Ole Miss did a very good job of keeping everyone organized and fairly sane.  Plus we had Z and T-bone with us so move-in went pretty fast.  Her room is cute but not over-the-top-Ole-Miss-dorm-rooms cute.  She brought the two headboards, the two dustruffles which were originally a creamy white and she dyed them a blue-ish gray to match the curtains and the TV.  The roomie brought the rug and microwave and they each have their own mini-fridges under their beds. 

I don't know if it was stress, the heat or what but KJ developed a very bad migraine late Thursday afternoon.  Like, so bad T texted us that KJ was outside throwing up in the bushes.  We were going to take them all out to dinner, say our good-byes and get on the road early Friday morning.  But Coach and I had an early dinner, went back to our room and let KJ get some rest.  Friday we picked her up for some BBB and took her to Office Depot for some last minute stuff.  We were back in Dallas by 8 pm that night.

She's had a good week and seems to be pretty happy.  One of the nights they had a floor meeting and then went to a picnic in the Grove for all the incoming freshman.  One night they spent in the stairwell of the dorm because they were under a tornado warning, one night she had a sorority meeting, one night was convocation (she said she teared up a bit when they said you'll walk in the same shoes as William Faulkner) and one night a bunch of people were in her room and the CA yelled at them because it was after hours.  Last night they went out on the Square and then to a frat party. 

She's going to be fine. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Summer Catch-up

Season 6 of Orange is the New Black was released at the end of July and last night I watched the last episode.  I have to say, this was not my favorite season.  Kind of dark, a lot of characters were missing and some of the new characters introduced were unlikeable (i.e., Madison/Badison).  But I guess that's why they're in prison.  Mackenzie Phillips is great as Barbara, a lifer who runs things in D block while her sister, Carol, is the boss in C Block. 

The series is set in a fictional prison in Litchfield, New York, which is a real town in upstate New York, but it does not have a federal penitentiary.  The series is filmed in the old Rockland Children's Psychiatric Center in Rockland County, New York (which is the county I grew up in). 

I think the Bachelor (?) or Bachelorette (?) finale was last night, too.  I have no idea.  I don't watch those shows and have no clue who any of those people are.  I heard them talking about it on the radio this morning on my drive in. 

As of today we are 8 days away from move-in.  KJ's been doing a great job of gathering last minute items, going through her closet, organizing what clothes she's taking with her, etc.  Coach, of course, is bitchin' that she's packed too much stuff but that's to be expected.  It's a dad thing.  She could fit everything in a Ziploc sandwich baggie and he'd still complain. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

It's Cool

Possible rain showers today across North Texas and I couldn't be happier!  My poor plants desperately need rain!  Although we water regularly, our plants and flowers are so burnt from the excessive sun and heat.  We had 11 straight days of triple digits, temps dropped for a few days (when I say dropped, I mean they dipped under 100), and then they were back up into triple digits.  This week we should be in the low- to mid-90's and it seems like everyone is over the heat and ready for football season.  I think I read somewhere that as of the other day, we had 5 Saturday's to go for college kick-off. 

We've finished season three of Last Chance U on Netflix.  Loved the first two seasons, season three was just as good despite a different state, different JuCo team, new coach, new players and, as one of the coaches states, "a whole new set of knuckleheads."  BTW, "knuckleheads" has been Coach's go-to phrase for years.  We first noticed him saying it when he coached high school but basically, everyone's a knucklehead -- the guy driving in front of him, someone at work, the person at the grocery store who leaves their shopping cart in the parking lot rather than walking it back to the store, etc. 

We had such a nice relaxed weekend.  Friday we grabbed a bite to seat, I had a hair appointment Saturday and that night we saw the new "Mission Impossible" movie.  Say what you want about Tom Cruise and his Scientology beliefs, the guy just doesn't make a bad movie (with the exception of "Vanilla Sky" and that weird movie he made with then wife Nicole Kidman).  "Mission Impossible" was kind of long (over 2 hours) but it had a great story line and, of course, it was action packed!  Tom Cruise is 56 and does most of his own stunts and if he's had plastic surgery, it's been subtle.  He looks fabulous.  And I was surprised to see Vanessa Kirby (she played Princess Margaret in Netflix's "The Crown") as the White Widow and Rebecca Ferguson as Ethan Hunt's love interest (she's from "The White Queen" on Starz -- she portrayed Elizabeth Woodville who eventually became Queen Elizabeth).  Oh!  And Henry Cavill (aka Super Man).  He's so good looking but had a horribly cheesy mustache in the movie.  I love it when my Hollywood worlds collide! 

I was also very happy to watch the trailers for two new Claire Foy movies:  "The First Man" (Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong, Claire Foy his wife) and "The Girl in the Spider's Web"  A far cry from her role as Queen Elizabeth in "The Crown." 

Sunday afternoon we watched some videos from KJ's childhood as a little walk down memory lane before she heads off to school.  Holy cow.  She was freaking adorable.  She had that accident falling off a friend's swing and lost her front teeth way too early.  So she was even cuter.  We watched some video from Prince of Peace pre-school holiday programs, Halloween at the pumpkin patch, a couple of Christmas's in NY and PA, sledding, shooting guns, bears walking around, visiting Santa, fireworks, getting our puppy Buddy, my beautiful nephew Brandon as a baby (he was a GORGEOUS baby!), t-ball, soccer, cheer and princess camp @ the local My Gym. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

So here we are.  Exactly 30 days until KJ moves into her freshman dorm at Ole Miss.  30 days folks.  This is not a drill.  This is really happening! 

According to, the definition of an empty nester is the following: 
emp·ty nest·er
North Americaninformal
plural noun: empty nesters
  1. a parent whose children have grown up and left home.

However, according to Wikipedia the definition for Empty Nest Syndrome, is this:
Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university. It is not a clinical condition.
And according to Physcology Today, it's this: 
Definition. Empty nest syndrome refers to feelings of depression, sadness, and, or grief experienced by parents and caregivers after children come of age and leave their childhood homes. This may occur when children go to college or get married.
While I'm sure I will experience some sadness at my baby chick having flown the nest, my favorite article on being an empty nester is from WikiHow: 
Take pride in your accomplishment. Raising children is an enormous, life-defining and intense job. Now is the time to revel in the fact that you “made” it and produced an independent child (or children), ready to taken on the challenges of the world. You have now entered a group of human beings who have made an enormous contribution to society by responsibly and consistently raising children to become fine young adults.
  • Think about what your child has accomplished. One of the best ways to celebrate your empty nest status is to celebrate your child’s accomplishments. Remind yourself about how far you’ve come and how far your child will go. Even though your child has left the house, he or she will need your continued support and love for the rest of your life––the journey doesn’t end here. Take out the awards, certificates, report cards and other memorabilia that attests to your child's milestones and accomplishments. You had a big part to play in all of these––be proud.

I do not understand parents who boo-hoo when their kids leave for college.  It's like a contest as to who can cry the most on Facebook.  Who can get the most frowny faces.  And, it's always from the parents whose child is going to college an hour or two away.  Not that locale diminishes these feelings, but it's very different when you can visit your child for a quick weekend or they can come home on a whim.  When we moved to Maryland, T was a flight away.  And that was scary sometimes. 

Recognize that you taught your children life lessons, which will allow them to thrive on their own. Be happy that although your nest may be a little bare now, celebrate that you’ve taught your child well and have produced an individual who will go forward as an independent, well-rounded individual.
  • Remember that the ultimate goal was to raise your children so they could leave without needing you. After years of diapers, homework supervision, dance recitals and football games, parents tend to forget that the ultimate goal was to raise your child in order for them to leave home, holding forth their accomplishments to help them thrive in this world. While this is a bittersweet moment for most parents, instead of thinking of it as sad, take a celebratory attitude and know that you did your job well and that all those endless hours of being mom's taxi or dad's listening post have now paid dividends.

I was so incredibly excited for T-bone when she went off to college and definitely took pride in the fact that Coach and I had done everything in our power to give her the tools to survive on her own.  While I was sad over the "lasts" of high school, I was so excited for all the "firsts" she was about to experience.  And the same is true for KJ.  She's super duper excited and I'm super duper excited for her.  We've had fun planning her dorm room, making checklists and all that good stuff. 

One of my favorite sessions at Ole Miss Orientation was Mr. Whitman Smith.  I had the pleasure of hearing him speak in 2012 and again in 2018 and he is an absolute treasure.  He starts off with "Raise your hand if your child can wake up with out your assistance."  Many parents in the room raised their hand, many more did not.  He goes on to ask, "Raise your hand if you child knows how to do laundry."  Again, many hands went up.  Many parents looked around the room sheepishly.  "Please raise your hand if your child has been to a doctor's appointment without you."  Don't laugh.  You'd be surprised. 
Acknowledge your feelings. Celebrating your empty nester status doesn't mean putting on a brave front and denying how you're feeling inside. Indeed, it's important that you acknowledge the feelings and deal with them gently, as well as finding the upbeat path to your new future. It's possible that you're experiencing a whole gamut of feelings, including sadness, guilt at the relief you're suddenly feeling, a sense of loss, feeling lost about your next steps, exhilaration, worry, and so forth. All such feelings are normal and unless they cause you to withdraw or sit on the sofa endlessly wondering what to do next, working through them at your own pace will set them to rest. Above all, let go of guilt, especially if it's caused by thinking you should be feeling sad but you're not; you have done your best and you now deserve this time back to yourself.
  • Many empty nesters find that the time after children is a renewal period in which their marriages or relationships with others improve dramatically, mainly due to the fact that not having children around allows for relaxed responsibility and increased freedom.
  • If you feel yourself dipping into despair, anxiety or deep sadness, talk to your doctor immediately. It is not uncommon to experience depression or a sense of helplessness after children leave home, especially if you chose to stay home or work part-time to be with them. Suddenly the world can seem like a very large, bewildering place after child-raising and its associated activities, so getting help to make this transition makes good sense.
I remember my mom struggling with being an empty nester.  My brother left for Penn State in mid-August, a few weeks later I got married in October.  My mom said she went from having a full house to nothing.  And she didn't really have anyone to talk to.  Of course, I was planning my wedding, being a newlywed and basking in marital bliss so I had no idea she was going through any of this. 

Recall the days “before kids” and what you enjoyed doing so that you can revive these experiences again now. In the early days of parenthood, parents may long for the days of extended romantic dinners and being intimate without worrying about having the kids in the house. After years of getting used to being parents first and lovers last, it's not surprising to have forgotten about the days of being an intimate couple or even single, and all the wonderful things associated with this such as lack of responsibility and freedom to come and go as you please.
  • Tap into passions or hobbies you put on hold when the babies arrived. What were your interests before becoming parents? Perhaps you were an avid painter or a vintage car restoration expert; maybe you simply liked hanging out at pubs or cafes and watching life go by. In some cases, the demands of parenthood, coupled with a career and community roles, consumes every waking hour, leaving no additional room for passions or hobbies. With the kids on their own, now is the time to re-embrace your original loves.
  • Revel in the fact that you can finally have some “you” time. Ever feel as if your needs were last on the list when the kids were in the house? Remember that an empty nest means that you have more time to focus on what you want and need. 
Oh, we've got plans!  Trust me!  We've got some long weekends planned, a little travel involved, some projects around the house, etc.  And I plan to blow up KJ's room and her closet. 

Focus more on your career. In a two-parent household, often one parent will scale back in his or her career in order to be home or to work part-time so as to be more available for the kids. Now that the kids have fled the household, you might be keen to turn your focus back to furthering your career or developing your talents in a different area by returning to studies or a bridging course. A lot of nonsense has been touted over the years about the aging brain; nowadays, science has shown that our brain is wired for continual learning no matter what our age and that it really is true that with age comes wisdom, as older people draw on the wealth of their life's experience and what they lack in speed, they make up for in sound judgment. Don't let your age hold you back; we live in an era where changing ourselves every decade is now normal.

Since we moved to Texas three years ago, I have definitely concentrated more on my career than I ever have.  I was very fortunate that my paycheck never went toward bills but towards the fun things -- dance team stuff, Spring Break vacations, volleyball (out of state travel to tournaments, meals, hotel), lacrosse (same as volleyball), homecoming and prom dresses, sorority bill, etc.  So I never really stressed about my job.  Once KJ started driving and had her own car, I went back to work on a much more serious note than all my previous years as a mother.  I didn't go back to work just for something to do, but as something for me.  I actually changed properties to be ensure I was doing something I enjoyed and wanted to do 5-days a week. 

Do something fun and maybe even a little crazy. Celebration includes having fun and living it up, so mark this life change with an event that will go down in history. Action beats moping, and there are plenty of exciting opportunities open to you now, such as:
  • Travel. Since you're no longer a slave to your child’s school and after-school activity schedule, book a European cruise in the fall or check out a remote island in the Caribbean in January. In fact, traveling during off times can not only be more enjoyable due to less crowds, it can also be financially less painful. If you're retired, consider road tripping in an RV––the sky (or at least, the very long road) is the limit. If you are retired, be sure to get proof of your age and any welfare status, as many countries will now accept this evidence for giving you reduced entry fees and other specials; make the most of these savings!
  • Try a new adventure. For example, if you’ve wanted to skydive, ride in a balloon or try zip lining, go for it. Perhaps in the past you held back, worried that if something happened to you, your children would be orphaned. While there are risks associated with everything, you're entitled to “you” time to go for the out-of-the-ordinary adventure.
  • Throw a party. Most likely many of your friends are experiencing the same phenomenon and some may be taking their empty nest particularly hard. Instead of wallowing, have a party, invite your friends and dedicate the party to your new-found freedom. For an added bonus, invite all the kids too––they may be just as thrilled to have their freedom as you having yours.
I don't know about having a party or going on a hot air balloon ride (I wanted to do that one year for Coach's birthday and he absolutely refused), but we will continue to embrace adventure.  We'll still do all the fun stuff we're doing now -- finding new restaurants, exploring downtown Dallas and beyond, concerts, movies, sporting events. 

Make lifestyle changes. Now that your life doesn’t demand that you own a four-bedroom home and drive a minivan, make some changes that will save you money and time. After a few months or even a year, pursue your dreams of independence by making distinct changes that reflect your situation now. Maybe these changes include a hot red sports car, a jacuzzi, a small apartment in a swank part of downtown near the cafes, a trek across the Himalayas or a new business to indulge something you've always wanted to do. Whatever it is, plan well and get going with it. At the very least, stop cruising around in an empty minivan! Here are some common empty nester to-dos:
  • Downsize. Has living in the "burbs near the good school districts" lost its charm? If that quaint beach house or condo-in-the-city has been calling your name for the past decade, go for it; if you purchased your home because the local school facilities were so great, there will be another family crashing down your door to get into the neighborhood. And when buying your new home, don’t forget to choose a place with a guestroom, so that your adult child can visit (if not, sofa beds work a treat).
  • Move interstate or even overseas. Perhaps you've always dreamed of living somewhere much, much warmer than your current location. With the children gone, this possibility opens up. Depending on your financial resources, you might consider a vacation home in the warmer place, or perhaps a permanent home. Whatever you decide, even reticent children will grow to accept the change, especially when they realize they can have sunny vacation visits.
  • Trade your vehicle for a very “un-family friendly” ride. Unless your family “truckster” is new, you may want to consider dumping it for a vehicle that’s made for someone single or a couple. Not only will a zippy new car help you assert your independence, it may save you a few bucks on gas versus the van or SUV you’ve been hauling kids around in for years. Another bonus is that you'll no longer be called on to ferry around everyone else's kids who haven't yet left their nests!
  • Embark upon a new career. Have you been working at the same safe-but-unfulfilling-job for years simply because you needed the cash to support your children? Or have you been home the entire time to raise children and finally want to go to work? Now that the kids have found their independence, consider “going for” your dream job. However, do your research and have a concrete plan before switching careers––especially one you’d been in for several years. You might find that things have changed dramatically and you'll need upgrading too; don't feel threatened. See this as a fantastic opportunity to improve your knowledge and skills and to be at the front of the queue again.
Yes!  We've never done the mini-van thing but we have talked about down-sizing and our "forever" home.  I don't need to worry about school districts anymore and would love to get rid of one of our vehicles.  But that's not really possible in suburbia.  Someone recently asked Coach where he thought we'd retire and he said, "Well, Valerie would love to be right in the middle of the action in a downtown loft and walk everywhere."  But then I started to grow lavender this summer.  I love the subtle scent and I started thinking about living the dolce vita overseas.  I can picture myself in Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille, Aix-En-Provence.  I'd love to grow my own vegetables, shop the local markets, have a late breakfast at a sidewalk café, head to the beach, take a little siesta and dine al fresco in my beautifully decorated courtyard.  Now I just need to convince Coach. 

Celebrate your empty nest... while you can. Economic conditions and the demands of life have made young adult independence a murky area. During a tough job market, some young adults end up moving back in with mom and dad due to economic downsizing or the scarcity of jobs.
  • Understand that they could move back in. Especially during the early years, young adults may find it economically advantageous to live at home for a few years. If your child is graduating from college, working in a low paying job or simply trying to save money, he or she may ask if his/her childhood room is still available. It's up to you as to whether or not this situation can be accommodated but know ahead of time what your answer is likely to be, so that you can plan accordingly. After all, if you've since downsized, having your adult child live on the sofa for a year might just end up driving you all crazy!
  • Your child and his or her family may need to move back in with you. No matter what age, from job loss to divorce or home repossession, your child may find him/herself in dire straits and need a safe haven. After a divorce, job loss or if your child has experienced a catastrophic situation, he or she may seek solace at your home. Of course, this may never happen, so it's not a reason to hold up your life's plans but do be conscious that if something does happen, you may be called on to lend a helping hand.
I'm just going to ignore this section and act like the author never event wrote it. 

Prepare to be grandparents. Not all children will go on to be parents but most do, so it's probably on the cards for your life eventually. Being grandparents can mean the restoration of the busy, noisy household but this time, on terms that you define well in advance. While grandparents are considered to be ideal caregivers, this doesn't mean that you have to assume this role, especially not daily or long-term. Weigh up what sort of a life you want to be leading now and how much of this includes your grandchildren; don't over-extend yourself or you may resent having to do a second parenthood role.
  • With the two household income being more of the norm just to make ends meet for many people, some young parents will ask grandma and grandpa if they could provide childcare duties while they are at work. In fact, some young parents simply assume that the grandparents will be fine with this. For some grandparents, the opportunity provides another chance to help raise a child and is taken up with glee. For others, they’d prefer to just be grandma or grandpa in the background, sharing sporadic play dates (and keeping their nest completely empty). Do not feel you have to oblige if it doesn't work for you; your children will work out other arrangements.
I can not wait to be a grandparent but will never pressure either of my children to get married or have kids.  They will do what is best for them when they are ready. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Aging Gracefully

I always swore I would try my hardest to age gracefully.  I've always thought that with proper maintenance and preventative measures I would hold off the aging process as long as I could.  I swore I would never do anything to my face -- no fillers, no botox, nothing that would give me weird duck lips or squinty eyes.  Nothing that would make me look like I pulled my pony tail holder too tight. 
Remember when everyone made fun of Brooke Shields' bushy eyebrows?  I think Brooke got the last laugh.  She's probably sitting back, relaxing, saying "Who's laughing now bitches??"

Having said that, I now regret it.  I have, and have always had, extremely thin eyebrows.  I've looked at photos of myself from as far back as high school and I've always had thin brows.  I pluck strays every morning as I'm putting on my make-up but I've never been much of an over-plucker.  And, to make matters worse, my individual eyebrows are long.  Like, really long.  So if you pluck one, it messes up the entire shape of the brow.  Someone suggested I cut my brows (use a brow brush to keep the brows in their natural position but sweep them up to cut off any excess length).  Cutting does help with the length, but they are still thin in shape.  I desperately want to have my brows professionally done. 

My brows aren't as bad as Gwen, Jessica or Drew's but pretty damn close.
So I've been researching microblading and think that's the way I need to go.  I like my natural shape, they frame my face.  My brows just need to be a little fuller.  T suggested I just fill them in each morning with pencil.  Ugh.  Who wants to do that every morning?  And it's so damn hot in Texas, what if I sweat it off??  And there are a lot of days I don't wear make-up.  So I'd like to have nice brows when I'm in the pool.  The thing that worries me though (and this is why I swear I'll never let a needle near my face) is what if I end of looking like this:

Or, God forbid, I end up looking like this:  


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Happy Anniversary!

Today in History . . .

On this day, 2007, "Make Mine A Cosmo" was originally introduced as

The blog was similar to the Seinfeld show.  It was basically a blog about nothing.  With a little focus and the addition of a professional blog design, the little blog about nothing eventually evolved to the blog it is today:

Make Mine a Cosmo is still basically a blog about nothing.  Nothing specific, sometimes the blog is about travel, about make-up and skin care, new products, the weather.  Sometimes the blog is about sports.  Sometimes the blog is political, sometimes it's raw emotion.  Very rarely is the blog about food or recipes, however the posts are often about family.  Make Mine a Cosmo also reviews books and movies. 

Blog Statistics . . .
Since starting Make Mine a Cosmo, the author has:
  • lived in three different states (Alabama, Maryland and Texas)
  • has traveled to the following countries:  Italy (Rome twice, Florence twice, Pisa, Assisi, Pompei), Spain (Barcelona and Mallorca), England (London), France (Paris and Marseille), Mexico (Cabo and Playa del Carmen), Caymans, Jamaica
  • viewed the Sistine Chapel twice
  • climbed a Mayan ruin
  • swam in a crystal clear cenote
  • learned how to paddle board
  • climbed Dunn's River Falls
  • sipped champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • gazed upon the Mona Lisa
  • climbed all 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe
  • has had both daughters graduate high school
  • has had one daughter graduate college
  • has lost a gall bladder
  • successfully recouperated from a hysterectomy
  • celebrated her parent's 50th wedding anniversary
  • celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary to her high school sweetheart
  • celebrated her (and her husband's!) 50th birthday
  • uncovered some interesting facts about her ancestry
If you've been reading Make Mine a Cosmo regularly, thank you!  Looking forward to another 11 years of blogging!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Some of my Favorite Things

I'm not terribly tech savy -- I have a phone, it works, I'm happy.  I have a tablet, it works, I'm happy.  Same thing with my car -- as long as it has 4-wheels, brakes, a radio and A/C, I'm good.  But today I thought I'd share some of my favorite apps / websites / social media accounts. 

First up is the Best of Nextdoor account on Twitter (@bestofnextdoor).  If you are not already on Twitter, get an account NOW.  Then, immediately start following this account.  And get ready to pee your pants from laughing so hard.  This Twitter parody account highlights some of the stupidest, moronic, idiotic stuff posted on the Nextdoor app (which is supposed to be a helpful on-line neighborhood community).  The Nextdoor app is often described often as "Twitter for old people."  My personal favorite is when an innocent post goes horribly wrong and people clap back with:  THIS.  IS.  NOT.  A.  DATING. SITE.

Texas heat is no joke.  I've always drank (drunk??) lots of water throughout the day but thanks to the Drink Water Reminder app I realized I wasn't drinking as much as I should be.  This is a very easy app to use.  Decide what measurements you'll be using (lbs./fluid oz. or kgs), enter your weight, sign up for reminders and you're pretty much good to go!  Keep track of your intake and hydrate away! 
My new favorite Pinterest account was actually brought to my attention by Coach.  Not surprisingly, it's also a parody account called "My Imaginary Well Dressed Toddler."  This account is the brainchild of Tiffany Beveridge, an Australian writer and blogger.  Her imaginary well dressed daughter, "Quinoa," is the coolest kid on the internet.  Why Quinoa?  Beveridge has said "it struck her funny that a grain had become trendy.  Like, so trendy somebody was probably going to name their kid Quinoa."  Quinoa also has very hip friends:  Ridley (he only eats free range chick nuggets), Twerk (the kid's philosophy?  "No shirt, no shoes, no drama, no high fructose corn syrup.").  She's in a coffeehouse band called "Smashed Cucumber" with her friends Rhapsody and Periwinkle.  Her friends Chevron, Eleven, Adderall, Pantone, Atlas, Pabst, Garamond, Hollandaise, and Vinaigrette make occasional appearances, too. 

Coach can fall asleep any where, any time.  I, on the other hand, have difficulty.  If a hot bath with plenty of lavender Epsom salt doesn't work, I use the Relax Melodies app for meditation, white noise, sounds of nature, Gregorian chants and yoga music. 

One of KJ's favorite Instagram accounts is @thebucketlistfamily.  If you haven't met the genetically blessed, absolutely adorable, incredibly photogenic, Gee Family yet, you can check them out at:

I'm inspired and awed by @humansofny Instagram account.  The account highlights people interviewed on the streets of New York. You never know what kind of battle people are fighting. 

Do you like wine?  Do you sometimes get intimidated or confused at the liquor store?  Red?  White?  Rose?  Are screw tops tacky?  Never know which wine to bring to the dinner party?  Delectable is the app for you!  This app has label recognition which allows you to easily pull up ratings, reviews and tasting notes.  You can also keep a wine journal and follow top sommeliers, vinters and those in the know.  I also use this app if Relax Melodies doesn't get the job done.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It's Hot Y'all

Yesterday was 99 degrees here in Dallas, today and tomorrow are supposed to be 102 and 103 respectively.  It's hot y'all!  I mean, like, Africa hot. 

When we told friends and family that we were moving the Texas the first thing everyone said was, "um, Valerie does know it gets hot in Texas, doesn't she???"  Apparently my disdain for hot weather is well documented.  I have to say though, as hot as it gets here, it's really not too terrible.  There's hardly any humidity and there always seems to be a nice breeze. 

I'm fairly easy going when we are house-hunting but the one stipulation I had when we were relocating to Texas was that we had to have a pool.  There was no way I was moving to Texas without a pool in the backyard.  And it had to be in the backyard.  Not a neighborhood pool that I had to walk to or get in the car and drive to. 
I think Coach and I use the pool more than KJ.  Last weekend we had such a nice, relaxing couple of days just lounging in the pool, tunes cranking, enjoying the breeze, floating in and out of the shade under our amazing tree.  Coach puts on my favorite 80's station (not sure if he uses Spotify or Amazon or what) and we just chill.  Sometimes the dog jumps in and relaxes on her special floatie. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Generational Differences

As a kid we always laughed when our elders said things like, "you kids today don't know what it's like!  Back in my day we had to walk to school!  Ten miles!  Each way!  Uphill!  In the Snow!"  I always deeply respected my grandparents and was in awe of them for having lived through the Depression and World War II.  We had the privilege of listening to Tom Brokaw not once but twice at T's Ole Miss Graduation and I love hearing him talk about "The Greatest Generation."  I remember thinking, "that's my grandparents!"

This is an interesting article about millenials in the NFL and how coaches and the league respond.  After reading this article, I decided to do a little research and learn more about the generations before and after me and why we are the way we are!  What I discovered is that I possess multi-generational thoughts and ideals.  I'm a Gen X'er, was a latch-key kid at times but I've never been a "slacker" in my life (I'm cynical by nature but never disaffected).  And, like my millennial children, I am more open than the previous generation on controversial subjects (i.e., same sex marriage, marijuana legalization, etc). 

The Silent Generation is the demographic cohort following the cohort known in the USA as the G.I. Generation. There are no precise dates for when The Silent Generation starts or ends. Demographers and researchers typically use mid-to-late 1920s as starting birth years and early-to-mid 1940s as ending birth years for this cohort.

While there were many civil rights leaders, the "Silents" are called that because many focused on their careers rather than on activism, and people in it were largely encouraged to conform with social norms. As young adults during the McCarthy Era, many members of the Silent Generation felt it was dangerous to speak out.  Time magazine coined the term "Silent Generation" in a November 5, 1951 article titled "The Younger Generation", and the term has remained ever since. The Time article said that the ambitions of this generation had shrunk, but that it had learned to make the best of bad situations. It includes most of those who fought during the Korean War. In the United States, the generation was comparatively small because the financial insecurity of the 1930s and the war in the early 1940s caused people to have fewer children. They are noted as forming the leadership of the civil rights movement as well as comprising the “silent majority”. describes the cohort as "pre-boomers" furthering "some call them the silent generation because, unlike the noisy boomers, X'rs and Y's, they don't like to make a fuss."

They have also been named the "Lucky Few" in the 2008 book The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom, by Elwood D. Carlson PhD, the Charles B. Nam Professor in Sociology of Population at Florida State University. Carlson notes that this was the first generation in American history to be smaller than the generation that preceded them. He calls the people of this generation "The Lucky Few", because even though they were born during the Great Depression and World War II, they moved into adulthood during the relatively prosperous 1950s and early 1960s. For men who served in the Korean War, their military service was not marked by high casualties as much as the previous generation. The Lucky Few also had higher employment rates than the generations before and after them, as well as better health and earlier retirement. African Americans in this generation also did better than earlier generations in education and employment.Neil Howe, writing for Forbes, describes the Silent Generation as those born from 1925 to 1941. Pew Research Center defines the generation as being born from 1928 to 1945.

The generation includes many political and civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, The 14th Dalai Lama, Malcolm X, Michael Dukakis, John McCain, Walter Mondale, Dick Cheney, Bernie Sanders, Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Mikhail Gorbachev, B.J. Habibie, Bob Hawke, John Howard, Saddam Hussein, Ion Iliescu, Helmut Kohl, John Major, Slobodan Milošević, Madeleine Albright, John Lewis, Hosea Williams and Warren Christopher.

It includes such writers and artists as George Carlin, Ursula Andress, Julie Andrews, Anne Bancroft, Brigitte Bardot, John Cleese, Judi Dench, Audrey Hepburn, Janet Leigh, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Joan Baez, Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Mary Tyler Moore, Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple, Gene Wilder, Natalie Wood, Alan Arkin, Warren Beatty, Richard Burton, James Caan, James Coburn, James Dean, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, James Garner, Gene Hackman, Richard Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Dennis Hopper, Rock Hudson, James Earl Jones, Frank Langella, Jack Lemmon, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Peter O'Toole, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford, Oliver Reed, Burt Reynolds, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, George Takei, Adam West, Johnny Cash, Stephen Sondheim, James Brown, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Glenn Gould, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, the Beat Generation, Noam Chomsky and Richard Rorty.

Great athletes include Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Yogi Berra, Jim BrownWilt Chamberlain, Bobby CharltonAlthea Gibson, Gordie HoweSonny Liston, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Bob Mathias, Willie MaysBobby Moore, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Floyd Patterson, Pelé, Pete Rose, and Jackie Stewart.

Depending on the dates used, the generation produced no US presidents. The US essentially "jumped from George Bush Sr., the World War II veteran, to Baby Boomer Bill Clinton." However, it did produce Vice Presidents Joe Biden (born 1942), Dick Cheney (born 1941) and Walter Mondale (born 1928) and First Ladies Barbara Bush (born 1925), Rosalynn Carter (born 1927), and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (born 1929). Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were born in what is sometimes considered to be the last year of the G.I. Generation (1924).

Baby Boomers (also known as Boomers) are the demographic cohort following the Silent Generation and preceding Generation X. There are varying timelines defining the start and the end of this cohort; demographers and researchers typically use birth years starting from the early- to mid-1940s and ending anywhere from 1960 to 1964.
The term "baby boomer" is also used in a cultural context, so it is difficult to achieve broad consensus of a precise date definition. Different people, organizations, and scholars have varying opinions on who is a baby boomer, both chronologically and culturally. Some define "baby boomers" as those born between 1946 and 1964. Ascribing universal attributes to any generation is tricky, and some believe it is invalid to make generalizations about individuals who happen to be born in the same timeframe. Still, many have attempted to discern in this group cultural similarities and historical impact, helping to popularize the designation "baby boomer."

Baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values. Many commentators, however, have disputed the extent of that rejection, noting the widespread continuity of values with older and younger generations. In Europe and North America, boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of widespread government subsidies in post-war housing and education, and increasing affluence.
As a group, baby boomers were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; they could therefore reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even "midlife crisis" products. The increased consumerism for this generation has been regularly criticized as excessive.
One feature of the boomers was that they have tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before or that has come afterward. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the changes they were bringing about. This rhetoric had an important impact in the self perceptions of the boomers, as well as their tendency to define the world in terms of generations, which was a relatively new phenomenon.
An indication of the importance put on the impact of the boomer was the selection by TIME magazine of the Baby Boom Generation as its 1966 "Man of the Year." As Claire Raines points out in Beyond Generation X, "never before in history had youth been so idealized as they were at this moment." When Generation X came along it had much to live up to in according to Raines.
Boomers are often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, and the "second-wave" feminist cause of the 1970s. Conversely, many trended in moderate to conservative directions opposite to the counterculture, especially those making professional careers in the military (officer and enlisted), law enforcement, business, blue collar trades, and Republican Party politics. They are also associated with the spending trends and narcissism of the "Me" generation.
People often take it for granted that each succeeding generation will be "better off" than the one before it. When Generation X came along just after the boomers, they would be the first generation to enjoy a lesser quality of life than the generation preceding it.
Baby boomers continue to have a big effect on politics, as the United States presidential election, 2016 came down to two controversial candidates in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both boomers, with a majority of Trump's support coming from the Baby Boomer generation. Three American presidents were born in 1946: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
Generation X, or Gen X, is the demographic cohort following the baby boomers and preceding the Millennials. There are no precise dates for when Generation X starts or ends. Demographers and researchers typically use birth years ranging from the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s.

Members of Generation X were children during a time of shifting societal values and as children were sometimes called the "latchkey generation", due to reduced adult supervision as children compared to previous generations, a result of increasing divorce rates and increased maternal participation in the workforce, prior to widespread availability of childcare options outside the home. As adolescents and young adults, they were dubbed the "MTV Generation" (a reference to the music video channel of the same name). In the 1990s they were sometimes characterized as slackers, cynical and disaffected. Some of the cultural influences on Gen X youth were the musical genres of grunge and hip hop music, and indie films. In midlife, research describes them as active, happy, and achieving a work–life balance. The cohort has been credited with entrepreneurial tendencies.
Demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe, who authored several books on generations, including the 1993 book, 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?, specifically on Generation X reported that Gen Xers were children at a time when society was less focused on children and more focused on adults. Gen Xers were children during a time of increasing divorce rates, with divorce rates doubling in the mid-1960s, before peaking in 1980.  Strauss and Howe described a cultural shift where the long held societal value of staying together for the sake of the children was replaced with a societal value of parental and individual self-actualization. Strauss wrote that society "moved from what Leslie Fiedler called a 1950s-era 'cult of the child' to what Landon Jones called a 1970s-era 'cult of the adult'."
The Gen X childhood coincided with the sexual revolution, which Susan Gregory Thomas described in her book In Spite of Everything as confusing and frightening for children in cases where a parent would bring new sexual partners into their home. Thomas also discussed how divorce was different during the Gen X childhood, with the child having a limited or severed relationship with one parent following divorce, often the father, due to differing societal and legal expectations. In the 1970s, only 9 U.S states allowed for joint custody of children, which has since been adopted by all 50 states following a push for joint custody during the mid-1980s.
The time period of the Gen X childhood saw an increase in latchkey children, leading to the terminology of the "latchkey generation" for Generation X. These latchkey children lacked adult supervision in the hours between the end of the school day and when a parent returned home from work in the evening, and for longer periods of time during the summer. Latchkey children became common among all socioeconomic demographics, but were particularly common among middle and upper class children. The higher the educational attainment of the parents, the higher the odds the children of this time would be latchkey children, due to increased maternal participation in the workforce at a time before childcare options outside the home were widely available. McCrindle Research Center described the cohort as "the first to grow up without a large adult presence, with both parents working", stating this led to Gen Xers being more peer-oriented than previous generations.
In the US, Generation X was the first cohort to grow up post-integration. They were described in a marketing report by Specialty Retail as the kids who "lived the civil rights movement." They were among the first children to be bused to attain integration in the public school system. In the 1990s, demographer William Strauss reported Gen Xers were "by any measure the least racist of today's generations". In the US, Title IX, which passed in 1972, provided increased athletic opportunities to Gen X girls in the public school setting.  In Russia, Generation Xers are referred to as "the last Soviet children", as the last children to come of age prior to the downfall of communism in their nation and prior to the fall of the Soviet Union.
Politically, in the United States, the Gen X childhood coincided with a time when government funding tended to be diverted away from programs for children and often instead directed toward the elderly population, with cuts to Medicaid and programs for children and young families, and protection and expansion of Medicare and Social Security for the elderly population. One in five American children grew up in poverty during this time. These programs for the elderly were not tied to economic need. Congressman David Durenberger criticized this political situation, stating that while programs for poor children and for young families were cut, the government provided "free health care to elderly millionaires".
Gen Xers came of age or were children during the crack epidemic, which disproportionately impacted urban areas and also the African American community in the US. Drug turf battles increased violent crime, and crack addiction impacted communities and families. Between 1984 and 1989, the homicide rate for black males aged 14 to 17 doubled in the US, and the homicide rate for black males aged 18 to 24 increased almost as much. The crack epidemic had a destabilizing impact on families with an increase in the number of children in foster care. Generation X was the first cohort to come of age with MTV and are sometimes called the MTV Generation.  They experienced the emergence of music videos, grunge, alternative rock and hip hop.
The emergence of AIDS coincided with Gen X's adolescence, with the disease first clinically observed in the United States in 1981. By 1985, an estimated one to two million Americans were HIV positive. As the virus spread, at a time before effective treatments were available, a public panic ensued. Sex education programs in schools were adapted to address the AIDS epidemic which taught Gen X students that sex could kill you. Gen Xers were the first children to have access to computers in their homes and schools. Generally, Gen Xers are the children of the Silent Generation and older Baby Boomers.
In the 1990s, media pundits and advertisers struggled to define the cohort, typically portraying them as "unfocused twentysomethings". A MetLife report noted: "media would portray them as the Friends generation: rather self-involved and perhaps aimless...but fun." In France, Gen Xers were sometimes referred to as 'Génération Bof' because of their tendency to use the word 'bof', which translated into English means 'whatever". Gen Xers were often portrayed as apathetic or as "slackers", a stereotype which was initially tied to Richard Linklater's comedic and essentially plotless 1991 film Slacker. After the film was released, "journalists and critics thought they put a finger on what was different about these young adults in that 'they were reluctant to grow up' and 'disdainful of earnest action'."
Stereotypes of Gen X young adults also included that they were "bleak, cynical, and disaffected". Such stereotypes prompted sociological research at Stanford University to study the accuracy of the characterization of Gen X young adults as cynical and disaffected.
In 1990, Time magazine published an article titled Living:Proceeding With Caution, which described those in their 20s as aimless and unfocused; however, in 1997, they published an article titled "Generation X Reconsidered", which retracted the previously reported negative stereotypes and reported positive accomplishments, citing Gen Xers' tendency to found technology start ups and small businesses as well as Gen Xers' ambition, which research showed was higher among Gen X young adults than older generations. As the 1990s and 2000s progressed, Gen X gained a reputation for entrepreneurship. In 1999, The New York Times dubbed them "Generation 1099", describing them as the "once pitied but now envied group of self-employed workers whose income is reported to the Internal Revenue Service not on a W-2 form, but on Form 1099". In 2002, Time magazine published an article titled Gen Xers Aren't Slackers After All, reporting four out of five new businesses were the work of Gen Xers.
In 2001, sociologist Mike Males reported confidence and optimism common among the cohort saying "surveys consistently find 80% to 90% of Gen Xers self-confident and optimistic." In August 2001, Males wrote "these young Americans should finally get the recognition they deserve", praising the cohort and stating that "the permissively raised, universally deplored Generation X is the true 'great generation,' for it has braved a hostile social climate to reverse abysmal trends", describing them as the hardest-working group since the World War II generation, which was dubbed by Tom Brokaw as "The Greatest Generation". He reported Gen Xers' entrepreneurial tendencies helped create the high-tech industry that fueled the 1990s economic recovery.
In the US, Gen Xers were described as the major heroes of the September 11 terrorist attacks by demographer William Strauss. The firefighters and police responding to the attacks were predominantly Generation Xers. Additionally, the leaders of the passenger revolt on United Airlines Flight 93 were predominantly Gen Xers. Demographer Neil Howe reported survey data showed Gen Xers were cohabitating and getting married in increasing numbers following the terrorists attacks, with Gen X survey respondents reporting they no longer wanted to live alone. In October 2001, Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote of Generation Xers: "now they could be facing the most formative events of their lives and their generation". The Greensboro News & Record reported Gen Xers "felt a surge of patriotism since terrorists struck" reporting many were responding to the crisis of the terrorist attacks by giving blood, working for charities, donating to charities, and by joining the military to fight The War on Terror. The Jury Expert, a publication of The American Society of Trial Consultants, reported: "Gen X members responded to the terrorist attacks with bursts of patriotism and national fervor that surprised even themselves".
Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the generational demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years. Millennials are sometimes referred to as "echo boomers" due to a major surge in birth rates in the 1980s and 1990s, and because millennials are often the children of the baby boomers. The 20th-century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued, however, so the relative impact of the "baby boom echo" was generally less pronounced than the post–World War II baby boom.
Although Millennial characteristics vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions, the generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world, their upbringing was marked by an increase in a liberal approach to politics and economics; the effects of this environment are disputed. The Great Recession has had a major impact on this generation because it has caused historically high levels of unemployment among young people, and has led to speculation about possible long-term economic and social damage to this generation.
In August 1993, an Advertising Age editorial coined the phrase Generation Y to describe those who were aged 11 or younger as well as the teenagers of the upcoming ten years who were defined as different from Generation X. According to journalist Bruce Horovitz, in 2012, Ad Age "threw in the towel by conceding that millennials is a better name than Gen Y", and by 2014, a past director of data strategy at Ad Age said to NPR "the Generation Y label was a placeholder until we found out more about them". Millennials are sometimes called Echo Boomers, due to their being the offspring of the baby boomers and due to the significant increase in birth rates from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, mirroring that of their parents. In the United States, birth rates peaked in August 1990 and a 20th-century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued. 
Psychologist Jean Twenge described millennials as "Generation Me" in her 2006 book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before, which was updated in 2014. In 2013, Time magazine ran a cover story titled Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation. Newsweek used the term Generation 9/11 to refer to young people who were between the ages of 10 and 20 years during the terrorist acts of 11 September 2001. The first reference to "Generation 9/11" was made in the cover story of the 12 November 2001 issue of Newsweek. Alternative names for this group proposed include Generation We,Global Generation, Generation Next and the Net Generation.
A 2018 report from Pew Research Center defines Millennials as born from 1981-1996, choosing these dates for "key political, economic and social factors", including September 11th terrorist attacks. This range makes Millennials 5-20 years old at the time of the attacks so "old enough to comprehend the historical significance". Pew indicated they'd use 1981-1996 for future publications but would remain open to date recalibration. 
In his 2008 book The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom, author Elwood Carlson defined this cohort as born between 1983–2001 based on the upswing in births after 1983 and finishing with the "political and social challenges" that occurred after the September 11 terrorist acts. In 2016, U.S Pirg described millennials as those born between 1983 and 2000. On the American television program Survivor, for their 33rd season, subtitled Millennials vs. Gen X, the "Millennial tribe" consisted of individuals born between 1984 and 1997.
 Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe believe that each generation has common characteristics that give it a specific character with four basic generational archetypes, repeating in a cycle. According to their hypothesis, they predicted millennials will become more like the "civic-minded" G.I. Generation with a strong sense of community both local and global. Strauss and Howe ascribe seven basic traits to the Millennial cohort: special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving. Arthur E. Levine, author of When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today's College Student describes these generational images as "stereotypes".
Strauss and Howe's research has been influential, but it also has critics. Psychologist Jean Twenge says Strauss and Howe's assertions are overly-deterministic, non-falsifiable, and unsupported by rigorous evidence. Twenge, the author of the 2006 book Generation Me, considers millennials, along with younger members of Generation X, to be part of what she calls "Generation Me".Twenge attributes millennials with the traits of confidence and tolerance, but also describes a sense of entitlement and narcissism, based on personality surveys showing increased narcissism among millennials compared to preceding generations when they were teens and in their twenties. She questions the predictions of Strauss and Howe that this generation will turn out civic-minded. A 2016 study by SYZYGY a digital service agency, found millennials in the U.S. continue to exhibit elevated scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory as they age, finding millennials exhibited 16% more narcissism than older adults, with males scoring higher on average than females. The study examined two types of narcissism: grandiose narcissism, described as "the narcissism of extraverts, characterized by attention-seeking behavior, power and dominance", and vulnerable narcissism, described as "the narcissism of introverts, characterized by an acute sense of self-entitlement and defensiveness."
The University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" study of high school seniors (conducted continually since 1975) and the American Freshman survey, conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute of new college students since 1966, showed an increase in the proportion of students who consider wealth a very important attribute, from 45% for Baby Boomers (surveyed between 1967 and 1985) to 70% for Gen Xers, and 75% for millennials. The percentage who said it was important to keep abreast of political affairs fell, from 50% for Baby Boomers to 39% for Gen Xers, and 35% for millennials. The notion of "developing a meaningful philosophy of life" decreased the most across generations, from 73% for Boomers to 45% for millennials. The willingness to be involved in an environmental cleanup program dropped from 33% for Baby Boomers to 21% for millennials. Millennials show a willingness to vote more than previous generations. With voter rates being just below 50% for the last four presidential cycles, they have already surpassed Gen Xers of the same age who were at just 36%.
A 2013 Pew Research Poll found that 84% of millennials, born since 1980, who were at that time between the ages of 18 and 32, favored legalizing the use of marijuana. In 2015, the Pew Research Center also conducted research regarding generational identity that said a majority did not like the "Millennial" label.
In March 2014, the Pew Research Center issued a report about how "millennials in adulthood" are "detached from institutions and networked with friends."The report said millennials are somewhat more upbeat than older adults about America's future, with 49% of millennials saying the country’s best years are ahead though they're the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt and unemployment.
Fred Bonner, a Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education at Rutgers University and author of Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs, believes that much of the commentary on the Millennial Generation may be partially accurate, but overly general and that many of the traits they describe apply primarily to "white, affluent teenagers who accomplish great things as they grow up in the suburbs, who confront anxiety when applying to super-selective colleges, and who multitask with ease as their helicopter parents hover reassuringly above them." During class discussions, Bonner listened to black and Hispanic students describe how some or all of the so-called core traits did not apply to them. They often said that the "special" trait, in particular, is unrecognizable. Other socio-economic groups often do not display the same attributes commonly attributed to millennials. "It's not that many diverse parents don't want to treat their kids as special," he says, "but they often don't have the social and cultural capital, the time and resources, to do that."
In his book Fast Future, author David Burstein describes millennials' approach to social change as "pragmatic idealism" with a deep desire to make the world a better place, combined with an understanding that doing so requires building new institutions while working inside and outside existing institutions.
Elza Venter, an educational psychologist and lecturer at Unisa, South Africa, in the Department of Psychology of Education, believes members of Generation Y are digital natives because they have grown up experiencing digital technology and have known it all their lives. Prensky coined the concept ‘digital natives’ because this generation are ‘native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the internet’. This generation spans 20 years and its older members use a combination of face-to-face communication and computer mediated communication, while its younger members use mainly electronic and digital technologies for interpersonal communication.
There are vast, and conflicting, amounts of literature and empirical studies discussing the existence of generational differences as it pertains to the workplace. The majority of research concludes millennials differ from both their generational cohort predecessors, and can be characterized by a preference for a flat corporate culture, an emphasis on work-life balance and social consciousness.
According to authors from Florida International University, original research performed by Howe and Strauss as well as Yu & Miller suggest Baby Boomers resonate primarily with loyalty, work ethic, steady career path, and compensation when it comes to their professional lives. Generation X on the other hand, started shifting preferences towards an improved work-life balance with a heightened focus on individual advancement, stability, and job satisfaction. Meanwhile, millennials place an emphasis on producing meaningful work, finding a creative outlet, and have a preference for immediate feedback. In the article "Challenges of the Work of the Future," it is also stressed that millennials working at the knowledge-based jobs very often assume personal responsibility in order to make the most of what they do. As they are not satisfied with remaining for a long period of time at the same job, their career paths become more dynamic and less predictable. Findings also suggest the introduction of social media has augmented collaborative skills and created a preference for a team-oriented environment.
In the 2010 the Journal of Business and Psychology, contributors Myers and Sadaghiani find millennials "expect close relationships and frequent feedback from supervisors" to be a main point of differentiation.Multiple studies observe millennials’ associating job satisfaction with free flow of information, strong connectivity to supervisors, and more immediate feedback. Hershatter and Epstein, researchers from Emory University, argue a lot of these traits can be linked to millennials entering the educational system on the cusp of academic reform, which created a much more structured educational system. Some argue in the wake of these reforms, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, millennials have increasingly sought the aid of mentors and advisers, leading to 66% of millennials seeking a flat work environment.
Hershatter and Epstein also stress a growing importance on work-life balance. Studies show nearly one-third of students' top priority is to "balance personal and professional life".The Brain Drain Study shows nearly 9 out of 10 millennials place an importance on work-life balance, with additional surveys demonstrating the generation to favor familial over corporate values.Studies also show a preference for work-life balance, which contrasts to the Baby Boomers' work-centric attitude.
Data also suggests millennials are driving a shift towards the public service sector. In 2010, Myers and Sadaghiani published research in the Journal of Business and Psychology stating heightened participation in the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps as a result of millennials, with volunteering being at all-time highs.Volunteer activity between 2007 and 2008 show the Millennial age group experienced almost three-times the increase of the overall population, which is consistent with a survey of 130 college upperclassmen depicting an emphasis on altruism in their upbringing.This has led, according to a Harvard University Institute of Politics, six out of ten millennials to consider a career in public service.
The 2014 Brookings publication shows a generational adherence to corporate social responsibility, with the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) 2013 survey and Universum’s 2011 survey, depicting a preference to work for companies engaged in the betterment of society.Millennials' shift in attitudes has led to data depicting 64% of millennials would take a 60% pay cut to pursue a career path aligned with their passions, and financial institutions have fallen out of favor with banks comprising 40% of the generation's least liked brands.
In 2008, author Ron Alsop called the millennials "Trophy Kids," a term that reflects a trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where mere participation is frequently enough for a reward. It has been reported that this is an issue in corporate environments. Some employers are concerned that millennials have too great expectations from the workplace. Some studies predict they will switch jobs frequently, holding many more jobs than Gen Xers due to their great expectations. Psychologist Jean Twenge reports data suggests there are differences between older and younger millennials regarding workplace expectations, with younger millennials being "more practical" and "more attracted to industries with steady work and are more likely to say they are willing to work overtime" which Twenge attributes to younger millennials coming of age following the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Newer research shows that millennials change jobs for the same reasons as other generations—namely, more money and a more innovative work environment. They look for versatility and flexibility in the workplace, and strive for a strong work–life balance in their jobs and have similar career aspirations to other generations, valuing financial security and a diverse workplace just as much as their older colleagues.
Surveys of political attitudes among millennials in the United Kingdom have suggested increasingly social liberal views, as well as higher overall support for classical liberal economic policies than preceding generations. They are more likely to support same-sex marriage and the legalization of drugs. The Economist parallels this with millennials in the United States, whose attitudes are more supportive of social liberal policies and same-sex marriage relative to other demographics.They are also more likely to oppose animal testing for medical purposes than older generations. Pew Research described Millennials as "the force of the youth vote" and as part of the political conversation which helped elect the first U.S. black president, describing Millennials as between 12 and 27 during the 2008 U.S Presidential election.
Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist and democratic candidate in the 2016 United States presidential election, was the most popular candidate among Millennial voters in the primary phase, having garnered more votes from people under 30 in 21 states than the major parties' candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, did combined. In April 2016, The Washington Post viewed him as changing the way millennials viewed politics, saying, "He's not moving a party to the left. He's moving a generation to the left."[Bernie Sanders referred to millennials as "the least prejudiced generation in the history of the United States". A 2014 poll for the libertarian Reason magazine suggested that American millennials were social liberals and fiscal centrists, more often than their global peers. The magazine predicted that millennials would become more conservative on fiscal issues once they started paying taxes.
In some countries, including the U.S. and the UK, millennials are more likely to support political correctness than members of older generations. In 2015, a Pew Research study found 40% of millennials in the United States supported government restriction of public speech offensive to minority groups. Support for restricting offensive speech was lower among older generations, with 27% of Gen Xers, 24% of Baby Boomers, and only 12% of the Silent Generation supporting such restrictions. Pew Research noted similar age related trends in the United Kingdom, but not in Germany and Spain, where millennials were less supportive of restricting offensive speech than older generations. In France, Italy and Poland no significant age differences were observed. In the U.S. and UK, millennials have brought changes to higher education via drawing attention to microaggressions and advocating for implementation of safe spaces and trigger warnings in the university setting. Critics of such changes have raised concerns regarding their impact on free speech, asserting these changes can promote censorship, while proponents have described these changes as promoting
Economic prospects for some millennials have declined largely due to the Great Recession in the late 2000s.Several governments have instituted major youth employment schemes out of fear of social unrest due to the dramatically increased rates of youth unemployment. Underemployment is also a major factor. In the U.S. the economic difficulties have led to dramatic increases in youth poverty, unemployment, and the numbers of young people living with their parents. In April 2012, it was reported that half of all new college graduates in the US were still either unemployed or underemployed. It has been argued that this unemployment rate and poor economic situation has given millennials a rallying call with the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement. However, according to Christine Kelly, Occupy is not a youth movement and has participants that vary from the very young to very old.
A variety of names have emerged in various European countries hard hit following the financial crisis of 2007–2008 to designate young people with limited employment and career prospects.These groups can be considered to be more or less synonymous with millennials, or at least major sub-groups in those countries. The Generation of €700 is a term popularized by the Greek mass media and refers to educated Greek twixters of urban centers who generally fail to establish a career. In Greece, young adults are being "excluded from the labor market" and some "leave their country of origin to look for better options". They're being "marginalized and face uncertain working conditions" in jobs that are unrelated to their educational background, and receive the minimum allowable base salary of €700 per month. This generation evolved in circumstances leading to the Greek debt crisis and some participated in the 2010–2011 Greek protests. In Spain, they're referred to as the mileurista (for €1,000 per month), in France "The Precarious Generation," and as in Spain, Italy also has the "milleurista"; generation of 1,000 euros (per month).
In 2015, millennials in New York City were reported as earning 20% less than the generation before them, as a result of entering the workforce during the great recession. Despite higher college attendance rates than Generation X, many were stuck in low-paid jobs, with the percentage of degree-educated young adults working in low-wage industries rising from 23% to 33% between 2000 and 2014. In 2016, research from the Resolution Foundation found millennials in the UK earned £8,000 less in their 20s than Generation X, describing millennials as "on course to become the first generation to earn less than the one before".
Generation Flux is a neologism and psychographic (not demographic) designation coined by Fast Company for American employees who need to make several changes in career throughout their working lives due to the chaotic nature of the job market following the Great Recession. Societal change has been accelerated by the use of social media, smartphones, mobile computing, and other new technologies. Those in "Generation Flux" have birth-years in the ranges of both Generation X and millennials. "Generation Sell" was used by author William Deresiewicz to describe millennials' interest in small businesses.
Millennials are expected to make up approximately half of the U.S. workforce by 2020. Millennials are the most highly educated and culturally diverse group of all generations, and have been regarded as hard to please when it comes to employers. To address these new challenges, many large firms are currently studying the social and behavioral patterns of millennials and are trying to devise programs that decrease intergenerational estrangement, and increase relationships of reciprocal understanding between older employees and millennials. The UK's Institute of Leadership and Management researched the gap in understanding between Millennial recruits and their managers in collaboration with Ashridge Business School. The findings included high expectations for advancement, salary and for a coaching relationship with their manager, and suggested that organizations will need to adapt to accommodate and make the best use of millennials. In an example of a company trying to do just this, Goldman Sachs conducted training programs that used actors to portray millennials who assertively sought more feedback, responsibility, and involvement in decision making. After the performance, employees discussed and debated the generational differences they saw played out.
Millennials have benefited the least from the economic recovery following the Great Recession, as average incomes for this generation have fallen at twice the general adult population's total drop and are likely to be on a path toward lower incomes for at least another decade. A Bloomberg L.P. article wrote that "Three and a half years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, the earnings and employment gap between those in the under-35 population and their parents and grandparents threatens to unravel the American dream of each generation doing better than the last. The nation's younger workers have benefited least from an economic recovery that has been the most uneven in recent history."
In 2014, millennials were entering an increasingly multi-generational workplace. Even though research has shown that millennials are joining the workforce during a tough economic time they still have remained optimistic, as shown when about nine out of ten millennials surveyed by the Pew Research Center said that they currently have enough money or that they will eventually reach their long-term financial goals.
American sociologist Kathleen Shaputis labeled millennials as the Boomerang Generation or Peter Pan generation, because of the members' perceived tendency for delaying some rites of passage into adulthood for longer periods than most generations before them. These labels were also a reference to a trend toward members living with their parents for longer periods than previous generations.  Kimberly Palmer regards the high cost of housing and higher education, and the relative affluence of older generations, as among the factors driving the trend. Questions regarding a clear definition of what it means to be an adult also impacts a debate about delayed transitions into adulthood and the emergence of a new life stage, Emerging Adulthood. A 2012 study by professors at Brigham Young University found that college students were more likely to define "adult" based on certain personal abilities and characteristics rather than more traditional "rite of passage" events. Larry Nelson noted that "In prior generations, you get married and you start a career and you do that immediately. What young people today are seeing is that approach has led to divorces, to people unhappy with their careers … The majority want to get married […] they just want to do it right the first time, the same thing with their careers." Their expectations have had a dampening effect on millennials' rate of marriage.
A 2013 joint study by sociologists at the University of Virginia and Harvard University found that the decline and disappearance of stable full-time jobs with health insurance and pensions for people who lack a college degree has had profound effects on working-class Americans, who now are less likely to marry and have children within marriage than those with college degrees. Data from a 2014 study of U.S. millennials revealed over 56% of this cohort considers themselves as part of the working class, with only approximately 35% considering themselves as part of the middle class; this class identity is the lowest polling of any generation.
Research by the Urban Institute conducted in 2014, projected that if current trends continue, millennials will have a lower marriage rate compared to previous generations, predicting that by age 40, 30.7% of millennial women will remain single, approximately twice the share of their single Gen X counterparts. The data showed similar trends for males. A 2016 study from Pew Research showed millennials delay some activities considered rites of passage of adulthood with data showing young adults aged 18–34 were more likely to live with parents than with a relationship partner, an unprecedented occurrence since data collection began in 1880. Data also showed a significant increase in the percentage of young adults living with parents compared to the previous demographic cohort, Generation X, with 23% of young adults aged 18–34 living with parents in 2000, rising to 32% in 2014. Additionally, in 2000, 43% of those aged 18–34 were married or living with a partner, with this figure dropping to 31.6% in 2014. High student debt is described as one reason for continuing to live with parents, but may not be the dominant factor for this shift as the data shows the trend is stronger for those without a college education. Richard Fry, a senior economist for Pew Research said of millennials, "they're the group much more likely to live with their parents." furthering "they're concentrating more on school, careers and work and less focused on forming new families, spouses or partners and children." 
According to a cross-generational study comparing millennials to Generation X conducted at Wharton School of Business, more than half of Millennial undergraduates surveyed do not plan to have children. The researchers compared surveys of the Wharton graduating class of 1992 and 2012. In 1992, 78% of women planned to eventually have children dropping to 42% in 2012. The results were similar for male students. The research revealed among both genders the proportion of undergraduates who reported they eventually planned to have children had dropped in half over the course of a generation.
In their 2007 book, authors Junco and Mastrodicasa expanded on the work of William Strauss and Neil Howe to include research-based information about the personality profiles of millennials, especially as it relates to higher education. They conducted a large-sample (7,705) research study of college students. They found that Next Generation college students, born between 1983–1992, were frequently in touch with their parents and they used technology at higher rates than people from other generations. In their survey, they found that 97% of these students owned a computer, 94% owned a mobile phone, and 56% owned an MP3 player. They also found that students spoke with their parents an average of 1.5 times a day about a wide range of topics. Other findings in the Junco and Mastrodicasa survey revealed 76% of students used instant messaging, 92% of those reported multitasking while instant messaging, 40% of them used television to get most of their news, and 34% of students surveyed used the Internet as their primary news source. Older millennials came of age prior to widespread usage and availability of smartphones, defined as those born 1988 and earlier, in contrast to younger millennials, those born in 1989 and later, who were exposed to this technology in their teen years.
Gen Xers and millennials were the first to grow up with computers in their homes. In a 1999 speech at the New York Institute of Technology, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates encouraged America's teachers to use technology to serve the needs of the first generation of kids to grow up with the Internet. Some millennials enjoy having hundreds of channels from cable TV. However, some other millennials do not even have a TV, so they watch media over the Internet using smartphones and tablets. One of the most popular forms of media use by millennials is social networking. In 2010, research was published in the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research which claimed that students who used social media and decided to quit showed the same withdrawal symptoms of a drug addict who quit their stimulant. Marc Prensky coined the term "digital native" to describe "K through college" students in 2001, explaining they "represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology." Millennials are identified as "digital natives" by the Pew Research Center which conducted a survey titled Millennials in Adulthood.
Millennials use social networking sites, such as Facebook, to create a different sense of belonging, make acquaintances, and to remain connected with friends. In the Frontline episode "Generation Like" there is discussion about millennials, their dependence on technology, and the ways the social media sphere is commoditized.
Strauss and Howe's book titled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation describes the Millennial generation as "civic-minded", rejecting the attitudes of the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Since the 2000 U.S. Census, which allowed people to select more than one racial group, millennials in abundance have asserted the ideal that all their heritages should be respected, counted, and acknowledged. Millennials are the children of Baby Boomers or Generation X, while some older members may have parents from the Silent Generation. A 2013 poll in the United Kingdom found that Generation Y was more "open-minded than their parents on controversial topics". Of those surveyed, nearly 75% supported same-sex marriage.
A 2013 Pew Research Poll found that 84% of millennials, born since 1980, who were at that time between the ages of 18 and 32, favored legalizing the use of marijuana. In 2015, the Pew Research Center also conducted research regarding generational identity. It was discovered that millennials are less likely to strongly identify with the generational term when compared to Generation X or to the Baby Boomers, with only 40% of those born between 1981 and 1997 identifying as part of the Millennial Generation. Among older millennials, those born 1981–1988, Pew Research found 43% personally identified as members of the older demographic cohort, Generation X, while only 35% identified as millennials. Among younger millennials (born 1989–1997), generational identity was not much stronger, with only 45% personally identifying as millennials. It was also found that millennials chose most often to define itself with more negative terms such as self-absorbed, wasteful or greedy. In this 2015 report, Pew defined millennials with birth years ranging from 1981 onwards.
Millennials came of age in a time where the entertainment industry began to be affected by the Internet. In addition to millennials being the most ethnically and racially diverse compared to the generations older than they are, they are also on pace to be the most formally educated. As of 2008, 39.6% of millennials between the ages of 18 and 24 were enrolled in college, which was an American record. Along with being educated, millennials also tend to upbeat. As stated above in the economic prospects section, about 9 out of 10 millennials feel as though they have enough money or that they will reach their long-term financial goals, even during the tough economic times, and they are more optimistic about the future of the U.S. Additionally, millennials are also more open to change than older generations. According to the Pew Research Center that did a survey in 2008, millennials are the most likely of any generation to self-identify as liberals and are also more supportive of progressive domestic social agenda than older generations. Finally, millennials are less overtly religious than the older generations. About one in four millennials are unaffiliated with any religion, a considerably higher ratio than that of older generations when they were the ages of millennials.

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