Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, were seasoned in a period of massive technology revolution, and an age group all of its own. They are not just a generation, they are a state of mind. Millennials like authenticity, culture, identity, and enjoying where they live.
With FaceTime, Skype, and tons of social media making communication easier than ever, Millennials are not afraid to leave the nest either and relocate to an awesome city like Memphis. But Memphis isn’t just an awesome city for Millennials, its THE CITY. Here’s why:
1. You can live grand in Memphis, while spending small.
Ranked No. 2 by Forbe’s “America’s Most Affordable Cities”; the average cost of living in Memphis is 24.8% lower than the National Average. You don’t have to be Bill Gates to live, work, and play in Memphis while saving some cash. Heck you might even pay off your student loans. A dream come true right? With a diverse pallet of great neighborhoods federating an even greater city, Memphis offers Downtown lofty living, alongside Midtown shotgun living, and warehouse turned apartment living.
2. Living ain’t the only thing cheap either, playing is too.
The Memphis Zoo, The Pink Palace, and several other museums offer free days to Memphis residents. Pick Iconic Beale Street, Eclectic Cooper Young, Vibrant Overton Square, or Lively Broad Avenue, and you’ll find good food and good fun on the low. A combination you don’t see often. The Memphis Grizzlies offer tickets to the Grindhouse starting at $5.00! Venues like The Levitt Shell, Thursdays Squared, and Broad Avenue all offer outdoor concerts throughout the week for you and all your pals to hang outside, listen to some free music, mingle, and of course save more money to pay off that student debt. Which reminds me, several employers in Memphis are offering loan repayment incentives.
3. A waste not Memphis.
Millennials love upcycle, efficiency, and sustainability. They are a very practical sort, getting the most out of cell phones, computers, and the digital world while also wanting most out of the physical world. Millennials want to use their creativity to produce something better than whats already there. The Tennessee Brewery Untapped and Crosstown are both beautiful example of Memphis’ urban recycle, both of which were started by normal people living normal lives collaborating with one another (teachers, artists, & etc.). In Memphis you can’t just appreciate the waste not- want not efforts, you can lead the forefront of that effort.
4. Memphis is the smallest BIG town.
Immersed in social media all day, millennials recognize the importance of community and friendships now more than ever. They want to live in a close knit community, but have easy access to amenities, activities, and resources. They want the diverse options of a city, but the small town comfort. Memphis invented hospitality, and we still believe in knowing your neighbors and socializing with strangers. Undercurrent, New Memphis Institute, City Leadership, and several other organizations devote their work to connecting millennials to one another, fostering friendships and communities. Grizzlies TeamUp, Youth Villages, MAM, and others offer exhilarating, fulfilling, and perks given chances to collaborate with fellow Gen-Yers. Between work, life, and serving opportunities, circles start to overlap and thus a domino effect: you get plugged in and connected more than ever. Before you know it, you won’t be able to go anywhere without seeing somebody you know.
5. In Memphis YOU MATTER.
Team work and working towards a greater good have been embedded into Millennials since birth. On “teams”, they want to be MVPs and have individual significance, and in Memphis you are. It doesn’t get more transparent than Memphis. I’m sure you’ve heard about our crime rate, poverty, or education gaps, but thats the thing, hundreds of Millennials are tired of people bashing Memphis and sitting on their butts letting the problem grow.
Millennials are rushing to the frontline to be the game changers. Our parents divorced more than any other generation, gay marriage became legal, and so did weed; we’re used to change and we actually kind of like it. In Memphis, your work matters because its changing Memphis. YOU matter. With a Grit Grind mentality, everyone’s uniting to put Memphis on the map. Just moving here puts you in the game. Hundreds of schools are seeking teachers, Start Co. helps your entrepreneurial interest become reality, and several other companies want you to come join our fight. Even the Mayor takes time out of his day to listen and talk with Millennials.
6. Authenticity is Memphis.
Writing their own bibliographies through posts, pictures, and social media, Millennials want to live in a place just as unique as the life they create physically and digitally. Cities with a deep, rich culture excite them, and authentic ones capture them. Nowhere in the world will you ever find a city comparable to Memphis. It’s not a concrete runway New York City, it’s not a touristy Las Vegas, it’s not a sky scraper infested Chicago, and its not sand ridden Miami. It’s a Bluff City sprawled before the Mississippi River. From food, music, art, and lifestyle; Memphis is written all over it.
Creative classes rule Cooper Young, South Main, Broad Avenue, and various other art districts. Heck, there’s a mural on every block depicting the beauty of Memphis. Sun Studios and Stax Records laid the foundation for rock ‘n’ roll and blues; and today Indie music is hotter in Memphis than ever before and hosts one of the nations largest music festivals. However, the most appetizing art form in Memphis is quite possibly the food. With Millennial chef artists flocking to the city, Memphis has the best diverse and scrumptious food than ever before. Period. Voted The South’s Tastiest Town, chefs are mixing local produce using Southern flare with culinary traditions from all over. Iris, Felicia Suzanne’s, and Andrew Michaels Italian Kitchen all combine cultural recipes with Southern heritage. Then you’ve got a slough of Mobile Food Trucks, bringing the delicious to you. You’ve also got Memphis originals like Central Barbecue, Alcenia’s, Gus’s, and the list goes on. Memphis is in the food we consume, the art surrounding the city, and the music we create. It’s not a city, it’s who we are.
7. Outdoors in Memphis are green and full of life.
Mild winters, warm springs and falls, and sunny summers, climate doesn’t get more perfect than Memphis. Go outside any time from March – November and your surrounded by green. Anything will grow in and around Memphis, hence its strong agricultural foundation. After the industrial and technology revolutions caused a shift away from outdoor leisure activities, Millennials enjoy connecting with nature and their environment. In Memphis, there’s more than 60 miles of bike lanes with more being built every day, hundreds of parks to choose from, 5ks almost every weekend, and the greatest river ever to kayak. Check out the Greenline, Shelby Farms Park, or Mud Island any day of the week and you’ll see millennials loving life.
8. The water in Memphis is the best, but the beer’s even better.
Pulling straight from an underground aquifer, clear, crisp, odorless, and fresh; there’s no denying Memphis has water to die for. That water is then used, to make the best beer. Ghost River, Wiseacre, High Cotton, Memphis Made, and others all brew beer in Memphis; putting us on the map for beer enthusiasts. This title was once known to Memphis before the prohibition era, but when prohibition hit, brewing shut down. Commercially over 60 million beers are produced in Memphis factories. Memphis is kicking ass and taking names in the beer brewing community, and millennials are joining in.
Amazing food. Economic opportunity. Authentic culture. A huge arts community. Good beer. Paying back your student debt. Changing the world. Making not just a paycheck, but a difference. What more could a Millennial want? Nothing, and Memphis wants you. The invitation has been sent. Will you accept?