The term Millennials has been popping up in the news and in social media for a long while now.
A millennial is anyone born between 1981 and 1999 (according to a Google search).
We are to blame for many sensational claims.
We’ve been blamed for the deaths of many things such as: department stores, mayonnaise, marriage, hotels, oil, banks, and literally a million other things.
Why are we killing these things? Are we malicious? Not usually, in fact we’re thrifty and don’t like to waste. Why spend $200 on a nice hotel when a beautiful AirBnB just popped up for $70 in the same area?
Well, let’s break a few things down. Which won’t apply to EVERY person but definitely have more than a few outliers
Our generation has far more suicide and clinical depression than ever diagnosed before. Is it because we understand mental health better or because our world is getting worse than it ever has?
We’re having less children than previous generations because we don’t want to raise kids in this terrible environment.
Education is more expensive than ever and a degree is no longer a guarantee for a career. In fact the work market is flooded with so many degrees that America is short on people who know trades.
So you’re in the hole financially with a degree that doesn’t guarantee you a career. Check ✔
The family dynamic has changed to the point where most everybody needs to work to keep the house a float. Often meaning less time together. Some people need multiple jobs so no social life either. So you’re often feeling alone and disconnected with no sense of family. Check ✔
Our government. Let’s just say at the moment it’s reason enough to cause a hopeless depression. No support, no clue, and lots of fear. Check ✔
Nature itself is utterly in turmoil too. We are watching the world as we know it flood and burn. We’re doing irreversible damage that isn’t being changed because there’s no money to be made in nature. Check ✔
We lost the art of communication. Between texts and social media we’re spending more time in silence while we communicate. I’ve sat in a room full of people while they all texted other people and sat together silently. The idea of “togetherness” has completely changed. The ability to read and understand other people is also diminished. We resort to shopping, making appointments, ordering food and many other things silently and without human interaction. Science has proven lack of social interaction is unhealthy for the human brain. Pack animals with no pack. Check ✔
Medical science has increased the life span of the average human. Which you’d think would be great but we’re seeing diseases more now then we did before. If the average life span is 50 dementia is not of concern. If the average is 80, you’ve got a lot more years of health issues available. Not to mention all the work and technology prevents us from going outside or having “time” to eat right. Diseases and poor health. Check ✔
I could go on with a million different aspects that have dynamically changed in the past 40 years that genuinely effect the average person.
We’re stuck. We feel stuck. Social media has us comparing ourselves to everyone we know. Which, that alone, is unhealthy.
Plus a lot of our elders are coming down on us rather than being helpful.
My generation needs to understand that most of our parents had no help and did everything with hard work and smarts. The same generation also doesn’t understand how much has changed since then. We’re forever trying to live up to a lifestyle that no longer exists in many places.
Wages, health, technology, social situations, living situations, family definitions… all these things and many many more have changed, significantly so.
So what do we do? We don’t really have a plan of action, at least I don’t.
I’m an intelligent 30 year old man without a degree. I work as a cook in a nursing home which means my job is more than just cooking. I work seriously hard doing an average of 8 miles a day just walking back and forth in my facility. I work at least 40 hours a week. My only expenses are groceries, rent, and my phone bill. Magically, my debt keeps growing though, because I can’t seem to catch up.
Wages are not what they used to be. I’ve worked almost 3 years in the same facility. I’ve never called-in sick or been late. That’s a pretty good employee. In those 3 years I’ve been given a total of $0.16 an hour as a raise.
“Don’t you want a better job?” People ask me frequently. Like i’m choosing this struggle. I don’t have a degree, most of the jobs that will even entertain me with an interview are minimum wage entry-level positions in retail or the food industry. Which would be a financial step-back.
We’re the generation of the side-hustle. A mother of two who works full time and does Uber in her free time. A married couple working 5 jobs between the 2 of them just tti barely make ends meet because they have 3 kids.
So what do we do?
Keep it up.
Let me rephrase that.
KEEP IT UP!
Don’t give up. Never tell yourself it’s too late or not enough. We’re a generation that is used to drastic changes. Don’t be afraid to start over. Don’t be afraid to dream. Sometimes the optimism is enough to get you started.
Keep in mind one thing, whether you agree or disagree with the older generations there is still so much life experience that they carry. Don’t brush off their logic or suggestions…
We are the generation that will inherit the earth, good bad or ugly.
You’re homework today. Talk to someone at least 10 years older than you. Ask them if they have one piece of life advice they wish they could give their younger self.
Good luck and stay strong.