Let’s face it.
Millennials lost the financial era lottery. We graduated high school and stepped out into the harsh reality of the ‘real world.’ My generation walked into a recession and piles of student loan debt.
We may never have the financial cushion of previous generations. Some of us may never know the luxury of graduating college and landing an ‘entry level’ position at a corporation of our choice.
We are the most educated and tech savvy generation yet, but our job prospects are abysmal.
However, there is a silver lining.
Many are prone to call my generation lazy, entitled, and unable to function in a 9-5 corporate environment. I beg to differ (except maybe on that last point.)
We Aren’t Buying This ‘American Dream’ Bullshit
The old rhetoric of graduating high school, going to college, finding a suitable career, and then having a house and 1.5 kids doesn’t sound as appealing as it used to. Millennials don’t want to be enslaved by debt. We’ve faced enough of that in student loans, thank you very much.
We Are Less Concerned With Material Wealth
Millennials have gained the courage to follow their dreams. Slaving away at a corporation for the next 50 years of our lives in order to be able to acquire more material wealth is becoming less and less enthralling.
My generation realizes that we have two choices.
We can line the pockets of someone else, or we can work to pursue our own dreams.
One reason for this is that many of us simply don’t have the money to buy the material possessions that entrapped previous generations. Millennials are more interested in seeing the world. We couch surf, we backpack, and we make an effort to have adventures that will change our perspectives. We aren’t interested in packaged, Americanized resorts and holidays without substance. Mine is the generation that searches the globe in search of new experiences.
Young people are very aware of their connectivity with the global community.
We Realize That Not Everyone Can Just ‘Pull Themselves Up By Their Bootstraps’
Even the privileged can fall from grace. Formerly middle class families in America now struggle to send their children to college. In my opinion, this makes us more empathetic to those of us who have historically had fewer opportunities. Former generations may have passed off these people off as ‘just not working hard enough.‘ Millennials are becoming aware of our privilege, or lack-there-of.
We Aren’t The Only Special Snowflakes in the Room
You want to know who the real ‘special snowflakes’ are? They are the old, white men of the world who wish things were the way they were 50 years ago. Yeah, millennials aren’t interested in going back to the past. We’re headed into the future. Millennials are actually quite tolerant of other races, religions, and ideologies. We aren’t the ones stripping back social rights and taking sledgehammers to the national parks systems and the environment. My generation has many flaws, but the future is progressive.
Fox News and other right-wing media outlets love to pander to their older audience. Anchors frequently go on air and criticize young people for their entitlement and laziness.
Frank Luntz a GOP pollster, states that Americans 18 to 26 are very liberal — “so liberal that “the hostility of young Americans to the underpinnings of the American economy and the American government” should “frighten every business and political leader.”
Simon Sedik’s Ted Talk on Millenials has been widely circulated on social media. Although he makes some valid points, I think that his speech is a tad vapid and full of cliché generalizations. Sinek states that all millennials were made to feel special growing up, and therefore have entitlement complexes.
Millennials Are Waking Up
Many millennials I know are aware of the world as it is, and how it could be. We aren’t entitled, we’re pissed.
We’re not special snowflakes, we’re fucking furious.
Most millennials I know are deeply passionate about social change.
Countries everywhere are fighting against zealous nationalism and a move away from progressive rights. However, that is not the ideology of most millennials. We want clean energy, healthcare and education for everyone. Corporations are scared that young people are inclined towards socialism, and they may be right.
There’s a reason why Kendall Jenner’s horrific Pepsi ad was such an epic fail. It’s failure wasn’t just because of how insulting it was to the Black Lives Matter Movement and other real social justice movements. Corporations can’t seem to understand that millennials have grown up being sold shit.
We can sense authenticity when we see it.
We Choose Experiences Over Material Possessions
Rather than saving up for retirements we probably won’t get to use, millenials are spending their money on travel and experiences.
However, this isn’t because of some entitlement complex. Our change in perception is because we have woken up. As a result, we realize that the only pursuits in life worth fighting for are happiness and making the world a better place.
Life quite literally could end for most of us tomorrow, but we are trained to waste our days slaving away in an office. We continue this cycle of working and paying for shit we don’t need until the day we die. Young people realize this, and it scares the shit out of the elite.
Obviously, people are good and bad from all walks of life. In the end, age is really just a number. I can’t stand when I hear unfounded generalizations about a group. The people who criticize my generation so harshly forget who raised us. Every generation seems to think theirs is better than the ones who come after it.
I still have hope that we will change the world for the better. I happen to believe that humanity is pretty good, for the most part. As a result, I truly believe that kindness and love will overcome the hate.
I think that millenials are up for the challenge.