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Photo via Ada grad Sally Moore.
Photo via Ada grad Sally Moore.

What defines the millennial generation? Some say technology, as the first wave of digital natives. Others say numbers — babies of the baby boomers comprise the nation’s most populous generation.

But a recent New York Times piece suggests something more universal and visceral unites 18 to 35-year-olds: Anxiety.

The article, titled “Debt. Terror. Politics. To Seattle Millennials, the Future Looks Scary,” explores the doubt and apprehension of students in the Seattle-based tuition-free coding school for women, Ada Developers Academy.

“There are just so many things you can be anxious about — it’s an anxious time,” Ada student Jillian Boshart told Times reporter Kirk Johnson when the subject turned to politics. “My biggest fear is that America hates women more than they hate Donald Trump.”

It’s a powerful piece, given that these future developers are better off than the majority of their peers. They can reasonably expect starting salaries of more than $90,000 a year after graduation and they’re studying in Seattle, one of the most prosperous metros in the country.

It raises the question: if the future looks this bleak to them, how is the rest of the generation feeling?

From Johnson:

The students at Ada — Adies, as they affectionately call one other — are in many ways representative of Seattle’s churning, anxious arc of growth and change…Of the 13 most populous counties in the nation, King County in the Seattle metro area is second only to Brooklyn in the highest percentage of residents age 25 to 34, part of the biggest demographic wave since the baby boom, according to census data.

And Seattle is luring those millennials from all over, with King ranking second among big counties in the percentage of people who moved here within the past year from another state.

But even in a place of alluring opportunity, the Adies, like Ms. Boshart, mirror their generation’s anxieties.

Read Johnson’s article, exploring how the War on Terror, climate change, and the recession forged a generation rife with doubt.

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