advice, Bachelor of Arts degree, career, diet, education, family, generation, Generation Y, health, Home, Kait Moffatt, love, Millennial generation, Millennials, new graduates, Peter Pan Generation, pop culture, relationships, sexuality
Woe is us – the Millennial generation that deserves the world and more, but we don’t actually want to work for it. Generation Y is this happening to me? I deserve better.
We are the generation who pursued a $30,000 Bachelor of Arts degree in Medieval History, and now our parents call us lazy for working at a thrift retail store and still need help paying our rent. Why? Because we were told we could do anything we ever wanted – no longer were we confined to the rules and regulations that would guide us to a white picket fence, married at 18 and attending mass every Sunday with the neighbors we’ve known our whole lives. No longer are women confined to the kitchen, and men to manual labor. You, young man, can be a fisherman, a ballet dancer or a veterinarian – just whatever you do, do it because you want to. And you, little miss, can love whomever you want, travel the world instead of imprisoning yourself in post-secondary education, or even be an engineer.
Our parents were right when they told us that we could be whatever we wanted to be, and now… we are deemed the Peter Pan Generation because we don’t ever want to grow up. But maybe that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up – young forever. No responsibility, always having fun, never amounting to anything but youthful. Or, maybe older generations just don’t realize that ample amounts of options means ample amounts of mistakes, debts, confusions and competition.
We are deemed lazy, unreliable, entitled, and unwilling to take the steps to achieve the exponential greatness that we feel we deserve. Some of these are definitely true, and some not applicable to all GenY’s, but here are a few truths that should probably be considered before being stereotyped as anything but a generation just trying to be simultaneously happy and great:
1. School was deemed our first priority before we were born, regardless if we thought maybe we might want to consider different options after high school. This has resulted in a lot of drop outs, people with degrees and no love for their field, or misery. If we pursued what we love and we are not making a ton of money, we need to reconsider what we love. Or, if we make our family proud, “because money is pride”, it is seldom that we are 100% satisfied with our lives because our creative itch is not being scratched. There are always exceptions to the rules, and I know you exist.
2. We feel entitled to greatness because we were told growing up that nothing can stop us from achieving our dreams. Go for the gold, but first make sure you get a good education, meet the person you will marry by 25, stay close to home and get a decent 9-5 job with benefits. Alas, “greatness”.
3. Technology has ruined our lives – now we are anti-social, we have no business ethic, and we are lazy. At some point in history the car was invented, and people relied on this new invention to get them from A to B, it also isolated them from the outside world, and allowed them to run late with the idea that they could speed up. With time comes invention, reinvention, innovation and yes, more technology. Sue us for wanting to stay modern – I know this must be the first time in history it has ever happened.
4. I will use myself as an example for this next point so I don’t offend anyone.
I have some pretty severe student debt because I had to GTFO of my hometown right after high school and my mother had not set up an education fund for me, to no fault of hers, and she helped me financially as much as she could. Who knew my tomboy athleticism would ever wear off and I wouldn’t be a professional basketball player. People change, I guess.
I could have stayed home, but I wanted to spread my wings. I paid my own rent, bought my own food, and with the help of student loans and family, I was learning “real life” as much as I was gaining an education. I went to college for nursing and soon realized that it was not who I wanted to be. I then pursued a Communications degree and graduated with honors. A university degree in Communications with honors – my family was so proud. What can I do with this degree? Well… excellent question. I have absolutely no idea. I’m sure I could be a journalist but… I don’t really feel qualified. I learned about vampires once, maybe I could apply that to a career? I guess I can say I’m an excellent communicator – hire me?
I have 6 years of post-secondary education, mountains of student debt that helped me pay for it, and everything that I am doing professionally… I have learned (for free) online. My education did not teach me how to budget, how to cook Christmas dinner, how to fix a leaking faucet, or how to network with like-minded people for business prospects. I went to school because I thought “that’s just what you do”, and had to figure out how “real life” works on my own.
Thus, new grads with no work… they are not lazy or unreliable, but they are entitled and for damn good reason. We bust our asses off to get a good education that doesn’t teach us how to get out of bed every morning, how to build a fence, or how to have meaningful social interactions. We are a slave to the educational institution for roughly 20 years of our lives and are never taught how to live real life. So, who’s to blame for that? I deserve a good job because damnit I owe the government $60,000 for a piece of paper that took me 6 years to get and I was told that this piece of paper would get me that good job. I legitimately can’t start from the bottom and work my way up because my monthly debt payments collectively are over $1000 per month and unpaid internships don’t put food on the table.
Someone had to say it.
5. There are so many more fields of work now than there were even 10 years ago, and now we have so many more interests than simply our family, home and Church. We can pursue acupuncture, hydro-therapy, web development, bike couriers and Food Trucks. There is no step-by-step guide to living our lives like there was with our grandparents generation. Finish high school, get married, have children, provide for them, the end. Our parents were the rebels who set our spirits free and now we have so many options that we can’t decide what we like and what we hate – so we live a little before deciding. Some of us might wait until we’re 40 to have kids, we might go back to school 3 times, change our careers 4 times, or maybe live off of the land we build on. Our options are limitless and the world is literally our oyster and YOU, parents and grandparents, are to blame. You liberated us and told us to dream big and go after what we love – so that’s what we’re trying to do.