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The Millennial Message

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millennialSometimes my grandmother tells me stories of when she was younger.  She lived in Northern Ontario and there was a lot of snow where she lived.  So it isn’t a joke when she said she walked long distances in the snow.  But the barefoot and uphill both ways part, not so much.

A couple of weeks back Des from Half-Banked shared an article from Vice on Twitter. The article was about people from the millennial generation who were still living at home.  There were various reasons why they were living at home but mainly it was due to culture and/or lack of jobs.  What sent me into a rage however was some of the comments that painted all of the millennials with the same brush as spoiled and entitled brats.  The thing is that I have heard comments like this before either online or in person.  For some reason this post set me off.

Living at home until 27:

I lived at home until I got married.  In fact it was culturally accepted; no it was expected for me to be at home until that point.  Outside of it being a huge advantage for me financially I felt that it would have been disrespectful to my family move in with Scott before we got married.  I can’t and I wouldn’t take that decision back.

If you are a Millennial, you have one or more of the following:

  • Spoiled
  • Entitled
  • Lazy
  • Obsessed with ourselves
  • Impatient/No Attention Span
  • Immature

I’ve had enough of all of this garbage about my generation.  Can we just stop with all of this?  I literally can’t even anymore and I will tell you why.

First, I’m tired of being painted the same way as a whole section of people.

Second, there are reasons that people outside of our generation believe we are like that.  And as we say in my house I’m going to “show my work” and give some perspective why I believe we are a certain way.

Failure to Launch:

Yes more of us live at home than generations before.  I can root cause that for everyone. The reason is plain and simple.  We went into post-secondary school and took on record level of student debt thinking we would have a job at the end of it. When we walked out of school we walked into the 2nd largest financial crisis in the last 100 years, second to the great depression.

Record unemployment levels and no real job prospects.

I got a job when I left school but I missed the crisis by 6 months – that was simply luck and nothing else.  I’m fortunate that I got a job at the time because people who came out of school basically 6-12 months after me were or still on contract work with no benefits or job security.

Side note on the Canadian housing market:

Adding to lack of stable jobs is the INSANITY of the housing market in Canada.  Places like Toronto and Vancouver are the exception but those markets are pushing people to move out to the burbs or to take on massive amounts of debt.  Generations before us had to deal with higher interest rates than we do currently but the housing prices were not half a million dollars for a fixer-upper townhouse.  Not a chance. So having an unstable job situation combined with a crappy housing situation means that more people will stay home.

You think you deserve EVERYTHING:

If another person says that when they were growing up they didn’t have internet and they turned out fine I’m going to scream.  10 years ago I did not have the computer and internet access I have now.  I did not own a laptop, tablet or smartphone.  My family had access to one computer in the house that everyone had to share.  I can only imagine the computer/internet access available 20 years back.  So therefore some people of previous generations view the internet as a luxury instead of a necessity.  Let’s clear something up – at this point the internet is more of a need than a luxury.  Let’s go back to the sucky job market – most of the time you have to apply to jobs online.  Connection to the internet is something most people would prioritize over cable (we did).

Spoiled:

Social media is something that previous generations did not grow up with.  And let’s all be honest here – social media is hard to consume at all hours of a day.  Social media is showing your best side all of the time.  So when people look at my generation through this lens yes, we can seem that we want it all.  Social media is the biggest way that we are judged as a generation.  And it’s the place we show our wins and only our fails if we can get a laugh. It isn’t real life.  This is equivalent to people being judged for what they wore as their “Sunday best”for people to assume all their clothes looked like this.  We don’t have everything and our lives are not “Insta” good.

The ongoing cycle of generational battles:

There will always be conflicts between the generations.  I don’t think my generation is the best.  There is no such thing; we are so young and have so much to learn.  What I will ask for is empathy for the millennial generation. We need it because right now things are a mess for so many of us.  While there are entitled, lazy and spoiled millennials there are also people of other generations with the same traits.  Broadly speaking we don’t want to spend years in school, walk out with student debt, struggle to find a job and not be able to establish the life that we want. We need advice, support and guidance to help get us through this difficult time in our young adult lives.

We are also amazing with technology, balancing our priorities and making this “work”.  Maybe you could learn something from us?

How do you cope with comments from other generations about your “lazy” generation?

Sarah

“Be kind, don’t judge, and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place. The point is to teach this to the next generation.” –  Jasmine Guinness

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