In the six months since I graduated college, I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee. I got a bag of Stumptown beans as a graduation present, and I’ve been grinding away every other day. My favorite part about drinking coffee though is when I’m doing it with other people.
I’ve had many coffee dates with fellow grads and creative collaborators in the past six months, and with each conversation I’m only more excited for the next. I consider myself what is now called a “Creative”, working as a freelancer and blogger, amongst other things. Basically, I don’t lead a regular scheduled life and these coffee dates are my attempt to seek out new ideas and collaborations, and create some sort of a network. Making new friends doesn’t hurt either.
But why do I thrive off these coffee dates? Because I’m seeing a pattern in the way they and I are leading our lives. We’re either paying rent through some day-job or simply living back home with our parents, putting all our energy, time and mental capacities towards our arts, passions and projects. We’re all pursuing somewhat different endeavors, but they’re all somehow living under the same umbrella, running on the same adrenaline living on the same wavelength. What is this connecting thing?
Then I figured it out: DIY.
We’re not ready to hand over our lives and our art for someone else to manufacture and control. So, we’ll record our own music, we’ll dye our own hair, we’ll book our own shows, we’ll start our own non-profits, we’ll make our own websites, and eventually we’ll create our own communities of DIYers.
We’re Generation Y and we’ll do it ourselves, thank you very much.
I’ve read countless articles upon blog posts about the current state of GenY. According to some, we’re lazy, according to others we’re passionately motivated. We’re stubborn and we don’t want to conform to our parent’s lives, but we’re also moving back to their nests to avoid paying rent.
Regardless of what people are saying though, I’m simply writing about my own first-hand experiences with my network of friends and collaborators. I’ve realized what’s been fueling this adrenaline rush, what makes the next day so exciting and what makes my coffee date conversations so inspiring.
I’ve found other people who are doing it themselves, and now, we can do it together.