How to Be Awesome at Scaring People, Like New PolicyMic Pundit Hillary Anderson


We're really excited to introduce PolicyMic's newest winner of our April 50 Under 30 challenge, Indiana University student Hillary Anderson.

In case you haven't heard, PolicyMic is hosting a competition to find 50 new pundits during the month of April. In order to apply, we asked you to teach us something, and we've been overwhelmed with the boundless supply of creative, clever, and witty submissions in which millennials teach us how to do something they love. 

Several days ago, Hillary Anderson for April 50 Under 30, with an amazing how-to post entitled "I'm Awesome at Scaring People, and You Can Be Too!"

In light of the tragedy in Boston this week, Hillary's emphatic call to millennials to soldier on despite economic insecurities and domestic instability is particularly touching. Hillary, PolicyMic is delighted to have you, and pleased to share your post with the community.

About Hillary: She is a Junior at Indiana University, currently earning a BA in Economics. She is also the President of the College Democrats of Indiana, and an enthusiastic foodie and traveler.

The ability to scare people is generally frowned upon in society. However, I have learned how to effectively use this "skill" to change this country in ways once thought impossible. You might be wondering, "How is it that I am so utterly terrifying?"

Well, I, like millions of others, am a millennial. I use social media, redefine gender roles, readily accept once-controversial issues and people, work with great speed and flexibility, and according to television pundits, countless newspaper articles, and Internet posts, I strike pure, earth-shattering terror in the hearts and minds of Americans who love the status quo.

Millennials like me are scary to other generations because we’ve proven that we can change the world really, really fast! In addition to using Facebook and Twitter to casually stalk acquaintances, friends, enemies, and every other person we’ve met or hope to meet along the way (which is kind of terrifying in and of itself), we’ve also managed to use it to start revolutions and spark meaningful debates in record time.

The rise of my generation ushered in an era of greater acceptance for pot and people once vilified by our parents and grandparents. We overwhelmingly favor the legalization of marijuana, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and marriage equality for our LGBT friends and family.

The instability of the domestic and global economic system means that millennials like me will not only have multiple jobs, but multiple careers. This new career-hopping reality is a horrific, incomprehensible dystopia to our corporate loyalist parents and grandparents.

Growing up, I was told I could be a mother, a wife, and have a career. However, it frightens my mother and grandmother when I say that maybe I just want to be a wife and not a mother, or that I think it's acceptable to be a mother and not a wife, or that maybe I don’t desire either title and just want to work my way to the top of my chosen career(s). Although they are afraid of this happening, my generation is going to make this the norm.

Even more perturbing than my wildly rebellious views, is that I, and millions my age, actually take the time to vote for candidates who, while not in our age group, share or at least seem open to one day sharing our ideals.

Now, that I’ve embraced my scariness, I want others born with this millennial condition to learn how they can be awesomely effective at scaring people too. My advice: Pour your heart, soul, and all your free time into the Internet. Create memes, GIFs, status updates, tweets, profile picture, or whatever the latest social media trend is to spread your political and social beliefs. March on your college campuses, parks, and even the Supreme Court to fight for what you believe is right. Most importantly, show up to the polls to vote in record numbers and have your voice heard. 

For more news on Hillary, follow her on Twitter: @HillsNoClinton

About the April 50 Under 30 Challenge: If you’re brand-new to PolicyMic, and want to teach us something you love, apply to become a one of April's 50 new writers. Deadline: Monday, April 29. Email Caira Conner ( (Subj: April 50 Under 30 Challenge) with the following:

- Resume + Section you want to write for (Politics, Culture, Feminism)