Y vs. X, Two Different Generations?

By Chad Gates-

If your in high school today, it’s most likely you’re part of generation Y, the offspring of your parents who are part of the previous generation X. You may share some characteristics of your parents, but chances are you’re much more different from them than you think.

Generation Y, (or commonly referred to as millennials) is the generation of kids that were born between the years 1980-1999. This date range is highly debated, but so are the other ranges of previous generations. Studies say that Millennials are often closer there parents, may rely more on them, and many will still live at home for a few years after they become an adult at the age of 18. It has also been stated that Millennials often share the same interests and generally like the same things as their parents, but have much different views as compared to generation X.

For example, the people of generation X (or gen Xers, usually to be considered born around the mid sixties to the end of the seventies) were usually never close to their parents and did not share the same likes and interests, unlike the Millennials. Most Gen Xers did not rely on their parents and were much more independent. Many of them were moving out to live on their own by the time they had reached 18, this is why Gen Xers are also called latch-key kids.

Nike Inc. researched and made a list comparing differences between both generations seen after interviewing people from both generations. The list is shown here:

Generation X Generation Y (Millennials)
Accept diversity
Self reliant/Individualistic
Reject rules
Killer life
Mistrust institutions
Use technology
Latch-key kids
Friends — not family
Celebrate Diversity
Rewrite the rules
Killer Lifestyle
Irrelevance of institutions
Assume technology
Multitask fast
Friends = family


As seen in this list, both generations have clear differences. Millennials are like tech natives, growing up in a time where technology is rapidly advancing and the internet has made a huge impact on society. However, gen Xers had experienced the beginning of modern technology, before it became a part of an everyday lifestyle like it is with most people today.

Friends are another example of the differences, Gen Xers often looked as their friends as friends, not as part of their family. Millennials usually consider friends to be like family.

However, these characteristics are just theories, one cannot say that every Millennial today multitasks quickly and that their parents accept diversity.

Whatever generation you may be from, whether it’s X or Y, don’t hesitate to ask your parents, (or your children for all you gen Xers reading this) about their views and lifestyle. They could be similar to yours, or, very different.