“When I was your age, I had a stable job, my first car, a house and I was already married.”
Do the words above ring a bell? If you’re somewhere in your 20’s I’m pretty sure you’ve heard something along those lines from your parents or relatives. When you search “Millennial” on Google, you’ll see a sudden outpour of articles telling you why our generation is by the far the worst. Ask any member of the Generation X or the Baby Boomers about the “kids today” and they’ll go on a myriad about our failures: from our poor choices, to our laziness, our distracting gadgets and our twerking pop-stars are all a cause of moral panic for them.
Not only have we been termed as the worst generation, but also the entitled generation. The entitled generation born in the age of the Internet, because “when I was your age, we had to spend hours in the library for research.” The entitled generation because “when I was your age, we didn’t get private tutors if we did poorly in school, we got an ass-whopping.” Apparently we are entitled because we’re born in a time where schools tell us that every one of us is special, and everybody gets a prize. We’re entitled because our parents showed up for every single soccer game and talent show of ours.
A little ironic isn’t it, that the generation that thinks we are doomed is the same one that raised us? The reality is that a large proportion of todays youngsters are unemployed because the economic situation is by far at it’s worst from the impact of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Not only has getting a job never been more difficult, but todays kids require 3 different degrees to bag a decent paying one, leaving them buried in student loans. The amount it costs today to get a degree and buy a house or car makes the prospect of it look like a distant one.
Do you know who the entitled generation really is? It’s you, our parents, A.K.A. Baby Boomers, who are touching retirement now. Gas prices were low, medical aid was easy to get, the economy was good, and the arts were flourishing. The generation was as selfish as it gets, they had it all, but they wanted more. This was a generation driven by success and power, and mind-you they churned out the most powerful of us: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Steven Spielberg, Meg Ryan, Tom Cruise, Madonna, George Bush, and so many more. They were the generation that created market glut, pollution, and an excess waste of natural resources. Little did they think of the future and now their retirement funds won’t match the cost of their expenses.
Today unemployment rates may have increased but statistics show that violent arrests, teen pregnancies, alcohol & drug use, abortions and dropouts from college have reduced significantly since the 1993. That doesn’t sound so bad eh? In fact, I’d say we are the screwed generation. Yes, we are the generation riddled with fear of being failures since a school age thanks to the achievements of those that came before us. We’re the ones whose only aim since the age of 15 is to study religiously to ensure we’re able to get a decent job in the cutthroat world out there. We are the generation that is actually aware of how hard life is going to be, and how totally screwed our world is thanks to the so-called-prestige that is the Internet, yet we dare to dream. In fact, todays generation uses the social media, which most parents see only as a distraction, to spread awareness about important issues, take a stance and voice their opinion. We are not only focused on job security but are also socially and politically active in some way or another. So we’re not as bad as you think we are, no?