Millennial Spotlight with Patrick

Exploring the Vatican Museums (Vatican City, Italy)

Patrick Gurges (@patrickgurges)
Age: 23 | Profession: Graduate Researcher

Patrick is a neuroscience researcher who is exploring a treatment for sleep apnea. He will soon be using cannabinoids (the same compound found in marijuana) to see how it affects certain areas in the brain. If using 420 in the lab doesn’t showcase him as the ideal millennial, I don’t know what else will! You can either find him at the lab, leading the University College dragonboat team, at a board game cafe, or at a local cafe.

Read more about Patrick’s thoughts on our generation below in today‚Äôs Millennial Spotlight.

1. What are some characteristics that you share with other millennials?
I like social media. I don’t see alot of problems with it, there are more pros than cons. I think I am like most millennials because I try to keep myself away from social media and from being addicted to it, but in reality I am pretty hooked. It’s awesome to stay connected. This may be cliche, but I also think millennials love cats and I. love. cats. There is some obsession with cats and I am all about that.

2. What negative perceptions can you think of, and do you agree/disagree with them?
Other people think we spend money that we don’t have, and I think that’s true. For example, how are you traveling to so many places and eating out at fancy restaurants when you don’t even have a job yet? Maybe it’s true that we don’t know how to save well, and I agree that we spend alot of money but I don’t think we are wasting it. There is more of a focus on enjoying your life as you are living it and living your best life versus saving it for an unknown moment. We spend alot of money, but we may not be wasting it.

3. What makes this generation different from the last?
Our generation is concerned about having friends and staying connected at different stages of their lives. People are more aware that they need support throughout their life, so they are working harder to maintain their network of friends. This may not be different from other generations, but it is what I am seeing.

4. As a Graduate Researcher, can you speak about millennials in regard to research?
I am finding that more and more researchers don’t just listen to what their professor tells them to do, but they are being innovative and doing more of what they want to do. I think it’s a good thing, because if they have an idea they want to explore that is different from their supervisor then it fosters innovation.

5. What are some of the main thoughts on your mind right now?
I am excited to explore cannabinoids and be a part of this research for sleep apnea! A few years ago, exploring cannabinoids for sleep apnea would be seen as absurd because there was a negative perception about marijuana – it’s the equivalent of proposing to use cocaine to solve a research problem. Also, I am spending a long time in school, so the thought of having a stable job and making money is increasingly on my mind.

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