Cathy Lee looks at the unnecessary hate toward millennials, and why we deserve more praise.
Why am I defending millennials? Well, there isn’t really a long list of columnists or opinion editors out there jumping at the chance to do so. If I don’t do it, who will? We are the future and we deserve our place in the history books to come. Sure, we get a bad rap – but for what? What have we done to the world that has been so epically bad in the short space of time that is our young lives?
Now, before I start I’ll just clear the air. I’m in no way ageist. Some of my best mates from college are approaching 30, 40 and even 50. These friends have respect for me and I for them but largely, it’s in the mainstream media where we’re getting the bad name as a generation. I think the voicers of these opinions are nit-picking. They’re trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s with us. If you don’t fit into a set box, you can’t sit at the table and cross your legs politely like a good boy or girl – sorry, no time for non-binary here. (Bit extreme maybe but that’s the impression I’m getting from these millennial haters).
As a generation, the youthful ones for the most part are very liberal and accepting of minorities (from what I’ve encountered). Maybe I live in a bubble of like-minded people I meet and my social media network. Oh no, that’s actually just a constructed view I have because of the opinions of the millennial haters. Personally, I luckily have a lot of people to admire around me. One of my closest friends is a 29 year old medicine student from Dubai. If I hadn’t have gone to college and “wasted my days”, I would never have been opened to this cultural background totally different to my own. I even brought him to visit my hometown and friends there and they all appreciated everything he had to offer us, opening our eyes to new things.
While the eyes of the non-millennial believers remain shut.
I think we’re a generation who aren’t as afraid as our predecessors. A good proportion of us are confident to voice views that we have, having built on and developed them through our own efforts. Even if we don’t voice them, they’re there and can be backed up. We aren’t as accepting of the “do and say what you’re told” attitude engrained in some adults. Hate to alarm anyone here, but we aren’t kids anymore and that doesn’t fly.
According to a recent US statistic, millennials (18-30 year olds) hold a net worth of - $17,612. Yes, minus, you read that correctly. Economically speaking, that’s atrocious. At first I was a little offended. But when you look into it, all comes down to student loan fees and the attempt to “make it” in an ever changing adult world. Now, I think we can learn something valuable from this.
We learned more from the horrible affects of the economic crash than we ever learned about greed and wealth during the Celtic Tiger. We know what it’s like to have the good life, and of course (and more importantly) to lose it. That sense of valuing what you have, it became something engrained in our minds then. I know we’re creatures of habit, of course we make mistakes and repeat them and sure enough there’ll be another recession but memory is a wonderful thing.
In today’s world, millennials have everything at their fingertips with little to no responsibility – right? Is this the case? Maybe. But I think we don’t get everything handed to us. Most millennials I know have part-time jobs that dig into study time and various relationships etc. and it isn’t easy. But more than anything, it has to be done. That attitude of things having to be done, I think, is what those against us conceive we are unable to understand. Let me confirm that is not the case.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 21 years, it’s that when it comes to money, there really are no hand outs, particularly when it comes to wanting things. That drive and want, although sometimes selfish rather than necessary, is a powerful thing.
There are people in my generation out there making money off the likes of Snapchat and Instagram accounts. This may seem a far-fetched concept to the onlooker but honestly, isn’t it innovative? In World War II people took advantage of the situation and made money. Are bloggers and vloggers not doing the same thing? So don’t blame us. Or else I’m going to have to write you a strongly worded blog post that you’ll probably never see.