As I helped my grandma bake a “Kosher for Passover” cake during the second spring break, we started talking about graduation weekend.
“On Saturday night we’re having a family pregame at my apartment, grandma,” I told her. “You have to be on my beer pong team.”
The only time I’ve seen my grandma drink was when she “downed” half of a glass of Manischewitz wine at the annual Passover seder, but after finding a bottle of Grey Goose in her wine rack, I was curious to hear her reaction.
“What’s beer pong?” she asked, barely showing true interest.
I explained the game to her, going over the process of sinking the ball into your opponent’s cup, causing them to drink the beer. At that point, my grandma looked up.
“That is why everyone says your generation is useless.”
This wasn’t the reaction I was expecting, but I couldn’t help but burst out in laughter. Then I started to think … is she right?
The class of 2011 is in the middle of a generation with a reputation for being violent, lazy and drunk.
We entered college just four months after a 23-year-old gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The media started playing the blame game, and the target became the very video games we grew up with.
In December 2009, a campus tragedy hit closer to home when a Binghamton University graduate student was charged with stabbing professor Richard Antoun to death with a kitchen blade in Science I.
Three years into our college careers, MTV produced “Jersey Shore,” which was humorous, yet controversial, and proved week after week that alcohol, drama, peeing behind bars and “smushing” define us.
Our generation has taken many hard hits through media portrayal, but as the class of 2011 enters the world on May 22, it is up to us to remind the generations before us of all the great things that we have and will accomplish.
We were the generation that “Rocked the Vote” and elected the first African-American president into the White House. According to a report from MSNBC, the 2008 election had the greatest turnout of young voters since 1976 — the year exit polls started classifying voters by age.
We are also the generation who came of age during the September 11 era; we had our peers volunteer to fight on the frontline in the War on Terror — and finally defeated Osama bin Laden.
This year’s college graduates, for the first time in a long time, will enter a sustainable economy.
Within my apartment alone, six girls are attending top graduate programs in New York City and four have great post-grad jobs already lined up. That is not the definition of lazy.
Sure we spend our nights on State Street, and we will continue the tradition with a NYC happy hour or two — a week — but every girl I live with, and every BU graduate who walks across the stage next week, should make it their job to prove that the class of 2011, and our generation, is not useless.
It is now our job to show the world that we should not be judged by our stereotypes.