Millennials have a bad rep. According to our predecessors, we are lazy and entitled, willing to step over anything and anyone to get where we want to be.
And that’s partly true… We’re an outspoken and competitive bunch who have been dealt a bad hand from the generations before us.
I grew up making mud pies, rolling down hills and wearing corduroy dungarees. I remember when the Millennium Dome opened and watching Antz at Christmas on a home recorded VCR. I got my first phone when when I was 11 (the Nokia 3310 of course) and used to have a plug and play console for the TV. In my mind – I had the best of both Generation X and Generation Z.
And herein lies the issue. Millennials are the “Middle Child” of the generations, constantly being picked on by our siblings. To our elders we’re spoilt and lazy and to our younger siblings, we’re old and boring. We’re a generation that has been shaped by old-fashion values in a rapidly advancing world. No wonder we’re anxious, burnt out and have identity crises on the daily. Our generation’s crisis lies in navigating our careers, money and relationships.
Thanks to global recessions and unrealistic expectations of experience level, making a career for yourself as a millennial is a challenge. Hurdle number 1? Most jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. Our generation missed the boat on apprenticeships and “training on the job” type work.
The next barrier – experience. It’s laughable how many lower/entry level jobs require years of experience in the role or industry beforehand. Yet there are very few companies willing to give us the experience we need in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle of ‘chicken and egg’.
Then when we DO finally get a job, we face criticism for being too ambitious or wanting to aspire to greater things. We’re restricted by the age old values that loyalty and years of service are what constitutes success rather than talent.
People also forget that technology has opened more career paths than ever before. Hands up if you want to be an insta influencer or YouTube famous?
As a 20-something I’m always torn between saving money for a house or living my best life while I’m still young. Sadly living one’s best life is a tad tricky when it takes about 5+ years (without inheritance/or help from parents) to save enough money for a house deposit in this era. Let’s not mention saving alongside paying rent and bills on entry level salaries…
Yet, we’ll still get told stories of how our parents/grandparents bought their houses with peanuts or the family cow when they were 21.
And of course, the real reason we cannot afford housing is because we eat boujie brunches: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/15/australian-millionaire-millennials-avocado-toast-house
Tinder. Bumble. Hinge. Grindr. When it comes to relationships, we have everyone in the world (or at least a 10 mile radius) at our fingertips. “Sliding into the DMs” on instagram is now the way people show interest. Whilst this may seem like a perk, it only really leads to rejection and unhealthy superficial tendencies.
At least our parents got to meet people in real life. But let’s be honest, we’d all rather be rejected virtually than in person!
All jokes and ranting aside, the millennial generation is that lives in the shadow of our unfairly allocated stereotypes. And we aren’t the only ones. Every generation is subjected to some sort of ridicule, be it Boomers and their archaic ways or Generation Z who have been doing Tik Tok dances since they left the womb. Undoubtedly there will be people who represent the best (and worst) sides of every generation. Maybe it’s time we all put aside the childish rivalry and appreciate that we all grow up and form habits in different ways…
But that wouldn’t be any fun would it?