This is not a post about Millennials. Except that it’s about me, and I’m a Millennial, so there’s that I suppose. Rather, it’s about changes in identity.
I grew up with no affiliation to University of Tennessee – my father went to Clemson, and my mother went to ETSU. I went to ETSU for undergrad, and developed an identity deeply connected to the University. This was further enforced when I stayed in the same city upon graduation for my career.
But a month ago I moved to Knoxville for a Grad program at UT, and it’s amazing how quickly I began identifying with the University. On Fridays, many student and faculty wear orange (UT’s primary color) as a show of school pride. I currently don’t own anything orange, because it’s a very unique color that isn’t really found in wardrobes elsewhere. But I found myself this morning realizing, as I walked past a mirror in my house, that I was wearing the color of the team we’re playing in tomorrow’s football game. Aghast at the transgression, I ran back to my room and changed. The whole event was very odd for me, because it was almost on a subconscious level that I was even aware of who we’re playing, and their colors, and tied that to my clothing choices for the day.