You hear it all the time. Probably from your parents, your grandparents, your professors, and whichever news sources you pay attention to. This generation is a mess. They won’t contribute anything positive to society. They have no work ethic. They are the downfall of humanity. Etc.
And if I’m being brutally honest about it, I’m tired of hearing it. Because in the opinion of a millennial, who spends all her time coexisting with other millennials, I don’t see what the other generations see. What I do see is a lot of hope, and a lot of positivity, and a future that refuses to compromise itself to fit into the mold of the past. I see it in my classmates, my teammates, my friends, and on my very best days, I see it in myself.
Sure, we have our problems, and we have our differences. But what generation before us can say that they didn’t? And more importantly, we boast advantages that the generations who came before us never dreamed of. And every time I hear someone say any of these things about my generation, I can’t help but cringe. Because in true millennial fashion, I see the good. I can see what talents and capabilities and strengths we harbor. Now my only task is to show you.
1. Millennials Are Lazy
Actually, millennials are just hyper-aware of the basic human need to rest and relax. We know the value of taking power naps, and we know that it’s okay to spend an occasional Sunday in bed to recharge and be ready for the stress of the coming week.
I feel like this stems from the fact that we as a generation are really heavy into the idea of rewarding ourselves and giving ourselves the occasional break. Where previous generations are unhappy, burned out, and just push through it, we prefer to take really good care of ourselves, and to value our own happiness. We don’t care as much about pushing through just to be able to say we survived it. We want to live, not survive.
2. Millennials Are Always On Their Phones
Okay, I’m not going to say that our generation isn’t hooked to our phones more than previous generations, but it should be considered that previous generations didn’t have all the technology we have. It wasn’t fun to play on a phone back then. You couldn’t connect with people across the globe in a matter of seconds back then.
And beyond that, we have a comprehension of technology and how to use it to our advantage that no other generation has. Oh, the boss wants information on a certain country’s economical status? Done, footnoted, and highlighted in the important places. Ten minutes tops.
3. Millennials Don't Know How To Handle Money
Older generations detest the whole idea of a lifestyle where you live from paycheck to paycheck, spending all your money on things instead of saving for something important.
First of all, I think older generations would be surprised to know that Millennials, although they shouldn’t and can’t be generalized this way or any way, think a lot about their money and what they’ll need and what they can spend.
We have lived our entire lives in a society that changes daily. Terrible and wonderful things happen in the blink of an eye, and we’ve been conditioned not to take anything or any day for granted. And for that reason, we see it as far more logical to spend some money on things that we want and will make us happy, than to save every penny for some horrifying unknown. We’re incredibly adaptable, and we are confident in our ability to deal with any situation thrown at us the best we can.
4. Millennials Lack Real Goals - They Just Want To Travel And Do Whatever Is Fun
In reality, Millennials are just way less focused on money and this homogeneous idea of happiness and success. We see that there are so many ways to be happy, and that not everybody is destined for parenthood, classrooms, or a cubicle in a giant corporate office.
We want to travel and see the world from other points of view, and we see that as more important than the traditional idea of success and “correct trajectory.” We won’t be molded or assimilated, and we won’t settle for pushing papers all day just to make money. We value experiences more than material things, and that includes money.
5. Millennials Have No Concrete Political Or Socioeconomic Beliefs
On the contrary, Millennials are the most likely generation to have strong feelings and to share them with everyone.
In reality, we are just incredibly open-minded and accepting. We see that others have different opinions than we do, and we’re okay with that. We don’t feel the need to crush other people’s beliefs because we are in touch with the fact that everyone comes from a different place, and brings a different set of experiences to the table. We don’t have to be “right” all the time. We’re open to new and different ideas, and this empowers us to be collaborative and team-oriented, something that the previous generations could not and cannot seem to be.
6. Millennials Are Destroying Dating And Relationships
Apparently, our hookup culture is ruining everything.
This is another situation of “you can’t categorize an entire generation of individuals” because there are plenty of Millennials in committed, long-term relationships.
But as it pertains to the hookup culture, it’s just another example of Millennials refusing to be confined to the restrictions of society as older generations have decided it should be. Who says that we should be settled down and married and on baby number two or three by age 30? Some of us will. But others want something else. Why is that such a problem?
7. Millennials Are Self-Centered
We aren’t self-centered, we just know what we want, and we won’t settle for anything less than the best.
We are incredibly driven to get the best of what we want for ourselves, and we respect ourselves and others so much that we refuse to be okay with anything but the very best.
8. Millennials Lack Basic Skills
I’m not sure what skills they’re talking about, but I disagree regardless.
In fact, I have a very recent memory of a professor struggling for ten minutes to turn on the projector in the classroom, insisting that the computer was on, until I took a three second look at the system before pushing the power button on the computer’s base. We have more skills than any generation before us, and we have new and innovated skills that older generations didn’t even think existed.
In short, every generation has its strengths, and every generation has its weaknesses. But no generation has ever been under fire the way Millennials are now. It is clearly and unfounded resentment, but it's a widespread and common one in any case, and it needs to be addressed in order for older generations to make more well-informed judgments.