Many people seem to think that Generation Y, or Millennials, are the worst generation America has ever seen.
We supposedly whine and cry about all the alleged injustices against us and expect people to hand everything to us on a silver platter. We are viewed as self-centered, self-obsessed children who know nothing of the world and its ways.
They are wrong.
Millennials are some of the most accepting people. No matter what color someone”s skin is, how they dress, what religion they follow, or who they choose to marry, Millennials are there to support them.
We are hyper aware and exposed to the pain and suffering in the world thanks to the internet, and we try to do things about it. We join the Peace Corps, or take Alternative Service Breaks or serve with Teach for America. Millennials want to do some good in the world. We want to help heal the hurt that affects everyone.
Older generations say Millennials don”t know what it means to work hard, like they had to or their parents had to. But this generation has to work harder than most other generations have ever had to.
We don”t think success comes easily. In fact, we know it doesn”t. Millennials can see the economical firestorm that we are forced into straight out of college, which makes the post-collegiate job hunt all the more difficult. This doesn”t even account for finding a job where we can actually use the degrees we spent a small fortune on just so we could compete in the job market of today.
That”s another thing. Tuition and fees 30 years ago was a third of what tuition and fees are now for one semester, not accounting for inflation.
In order to pay for school, students today would have to work just under 13,000 hours over four years at $7.25 an hour, and that doesn”t include the cost of rent, food, bills, books or school supplies. That”s 3,450 hours a year, and 66 hours a week plus the time students spend as a student, which is at least 12 credit hours per semester.
Most people simply can”t do that, and now national student loan debt is up to about $1 trillion.
To say Millennials don”t know how to work hard is a ridiculous stereotype. We have no choice but to work hard, not only to support ourselves but to support the generations older than us who are now on Social Security and retiring to Florida.
Not only do Millennials work hard, but most of this generation doesn”t accept the status quo. We challenge the system if there is something that needs improvement, like dating and gender roles. In generations prior to us, people got married and started a career almost immediately. We saw that approach led to high rates of divorce and unhappy people in their career field. While most Millennials probably want to get married, they want to do it right the first time, and they want to do the same with their careers.
We may not be the perfect generation, but which generation was when they were our age?
To those who criticize Millennials, I challenge you to do a little self-reflection. Maybe internet and Google didn”t exist while older generations were in their 20s and 30s, but I would bet that there were still older generations before now who thought the newest generation had it way easier than they did. Here”s the trick – it isn”t easier, it isn”t harder, it is different and we have to learn and adapt to the world in front of us.