There is often a lot of negative press surrounding Millennials. Are Millennials really the snowflake generation? Are they entitled or misunderstood? Who exactly are Millennials? Find out everything you need to know and have some of your perceptions quashed in this article.
Summary: 5 Minutes read, Level: Entertainment
Millennials and Generation Y are effectively the same thing – two terms which have been coined for the same generation. There is no exact timescale on when you must have been born to qualify as a member of this group, but it is generally considered to be between the early 1980s and the late 1990s or 2000s. If you were born during these years you are a Millennial by default.
Older generations think that Millennials are spoiled and entitled and that they expect everything to be done for them, but why is this? If it’s true, then Generation X-ers and older must shoulder some of the responsibility for it. After all, it was them who caused the housing market to explode, meaning that Millennials find the idea of being able to by their own home or even move out of their parents’ homes before the age of 30 almost impossible. Education costs more than it ever did, and inflation has seen everything cost more while in many cases wages have stagnated.
So no, it’s not a case of Millennials wanting to stay at home and everything done for them. It’s a case of having no real choice. As a result, the weight of expectation has proven too much for many Millennials who are suffering financial stress and other problems previous generations didn’t have to encounter at all. Many Millennials are suffering with mental health issues and it is wrong for anyone to claim they are simply snowflakes who need to toughen up and get on with it. There is a real issue of many burning out before they have reached their 40s.
In order to be able to ever afford to either rent or buy their own home, Millennials are required to work harder than their parents ever did. And with the added burden of college debt hanging over them, there is the need to earn more than often is possible.
The days of walking out of college or university and straight into a well-paid job are long gone and now there is a very real possibility of having to work in fast food or retail whole the ideal job is waited upon. Gone also is the ability to leave a job you don’t like and find a new one the following day. This means that many people are stuck in jobs they don’t like and can’t see a way out of.
Jobs in most sectors are fewer then they once were, meaning employers hold all the cards. Wages are at their lowest in years and the minimum wage isn’t rising fast enough.
Many Millennials are forced into working long hours or two jobs in order to make ends meet. Is it any wonder so many are stressed out in that case?
When they’re not working, Millennials need to do the same things as other people, namely chores. There’s no fun in having to clean your apartment, do laundry or go grocery shopping. But it all needs to be done. Even though this is for their own benefit, many Millennials don’t enjoy it and see it as an imposition. Perhaps things have changed since our parents’ day?
Millennials would rather pay someone else to do these tasks or have groceries delivered, but it all costs. Is it worth leaving yourself short of money in order to have it done for you? Many think so. But then there is little left for entertainment. This is now much more costly than it once was. Nobody would dream of getting by without unlimited internet access and at least one streaming service such as Spotify or Netflix. And when it comes to going out, artisan, vegan dining costs more than a burger from the Golden Arches. And going for a drink is more expensive than it used to be, because Millennials typically prefer craft ale houses or micropubs to traditional drinking establishments. All of this costs more for a night out. It’s a constant balancing act with money and time and it takes its toll.
This is the tricky part. Everybody needs to earn money, it’s just how much you need that is the issue. One thing Millennials don’t seem to have grasped is budgeting and saving. This isn’t necessarily their own fault. Was it taught in school? Was it instilled into them by their parents? Probably not. Many parents shielded their children from financial problems and never discussed money management and now we have a problem. There is a generation of people who don’t have enough money and don’t know how to stretch what little they have to cover everything. There’s no point in apportioning blame, though. There needs to be a solution. Write down your incomings and outgoings and see what can be cut out in order to balance the books.
And when it comes to burning out, Millennials need to be more aware of their health, particularly mental health. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling mentally and there are people who can help you. Friends, family, online counselling are just a few of the ways which you can talk it though for free. You might even be able to find a free or relatively cheap professional who is willing to give you sessions in the real world too.
Millennials need to take ownership and no matter what mistakes the previous generations have made, it’s in your hands now. You can do it, just as everyone else has managed. It might be a bit harder, but you’ll get there and one day you’ll pass the torch on to Generation Z.