Born in the ’80s, but don’t feel like a millennial? You could be a xennial

Millennials are the distinct generation of adults born between 1981 and 1996. We have “illustrious” accomplishments, like high rates of student debt, being financially dependent on our parents for longer than any past generation, and a love of the color pink. But there’s a whole group of millennials who don’t actually feel like they’re part of the gang. If you can relate, you very well might be a “xennial,” aka someone born between 1977 and 1985.

The term was coined by Good Magazine writer Sarah Stankorb to describe the generation of adults who don’t really fit into the standard image of a millennial. Previously, this group had been dubbed the Oregon Trail Generation after the popular computer game.

Xennials were the first generation to grow up with computers in the home, although they grew up without MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and cellphones. The music industry changed completely over this generation’s lifetime, going from cassette tapes, to CDs, to pioneering online music services like Napster. 

This generation also didn’t grow up under the shadow of 9/11 — they were already in their late teens and early twenties at the time. Typically speaking, xennials aren’t known to be quite as cynical as their predecessors in Generation X, but they aren’t quite as optimistic as your typical millennial.

You can take this quiz at The Guardian to see whether you would qualify as a millennial or a xennial. But we can already tell you: Chances are if you’ve ever made a mixtape or owned New Kids on the Block merch, you’re a xennial.

Filed Under