The Millennial Mindset Of Self-Teaching

Today’s post comes from Ypulse team member Mel Tchalim. He and several other Ypulse staffers recently took part in a four-week online workshop that teaches people how to teach themselves anything. Sounds handy, right? The course, titled “Learn Anything On Your Own,” was taught by a teen entrepreneur and Thiel Fellow who embodies the idea that people have the power to teach themselves anything with the right tools, resources, discipline, and organization. Mel shares his experience in this course below and discusses how this attitude — to teach yourself anything — is a very Millennial concept. His generation has grown up with the mindset that they can teach themselves whatever they want with a few clicks, the support of their network, and of course, resourcefulness.

The Millennial Mindset Of Self-Teaching

Male at a computerEarlier this month, I decided to take part in an online class for fun. Interestingly enough, the premise of the class was not to teach us anything per se, but rather to show us how we could teach ourselves anything of our choosing.

The methodology was simple, and in my opinion, fairly effective:

Step 1 was to decide what we wanted to learn, start to set goals for ourselves, and collect learning resources. I chose to learn how to start a business. I wasn’t building a particular business in the class, but rather looking to gain an understanding of how one would do this. One of my colleagues at Ypulse on the other hand chose to teach herself how to learn a language. We were advised to keep a learning journal and detail our time commitments. Step 2 was to set up a peer accountability group, which meant teaming up with other students to share goals and keep each other on track. Step 3 was to look for mentors – people who knew what we wanted to learn and could point us in the right…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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