A recent trending hashtag on twitter ignited a generational war between millennials and the rest of the internet. The hashtag, #HowToConfuseAMillenial, started out as an attempt to poke fun at millennials, but quickly backfired. Young people all over twitter decided to fight back and stand up for their generation, and used the hashtag to highlight some things they felt the older generation got wrong. This really got me thinking about how the world sees millennials. People think we are entitled, incompetent, and lazy, among other deplorable things. And this makes me angry. Very angry, because this is a very ignorant way to see my generation. I find it very interesting when older generations say believe these things, but they forget about who raised us, THEM. I'm not saying that my generation is the best, it isn't, but neither is any other generation. We all have our shortcomings, and we should all be united and stand together, rather than tear each other down. As a proud, hardworking, and determined millennial, I am here to dispel some myths about the generation no one can shut up about.
"Millennials Depend On Their Parents Too Much."
Go on Facebook, and you will see at least a dozen different posts about how millennials are too quick to ask their parents for money and many are quick to point out that a huge percentage of millennials still live and depend on their parents financially, but why? Because we can't afford to live on our own. According to Zillow, 21 percent of people between the ages of 24 and 34 still live with their parents. Rising rent, student loan debt, and the lack of steady income before and after graduation are some of the many reasons millennials cannot afford their own homes. Living with parents takes away a financial burden, and it will allow them to continue their education and save up money to invest in a home. For example, I still live with my parents, go to school full time and work almost 30 hours a week, and I barely make enough money to pay for my textbooks, among other things. If I was to move out, I would be scraping by every single week, and that is not the kind of stress I want to have to worry about right now. So, yeah, the majority of the time it is not laziness, its survival.
"Millennials Lack Work Ethic."
How can we possibly compare generational work ethics when the job market has changed drastically in the last 60 years? Millennials are expected to make up half of the workforce in the next four years. Technology is rapidly growing every day, and young people are taking advantage of it in the workplace. We are considered the most educated generation, according to CNN we are more likely to have a college degree than any of the previous generations. And against what all would believe, Millennials do in fact have a strong work ethic, just not in the way you expect. Baby Boomers were conditioned to work hard, and then work even harder, which is not a bad thing. Boomers have the most tireless and undeterred work ethics, but just because Millennials don't have that same work ethic, it doesn't mean we are not working at all. We work smarter and not harder. We work to understand things, and constantly think of ways to get our work done faster and more efficiently. We are excellent multitaskers, thanks in part to technology and busy schedules. We want to be a part of everything, and demand that our voices be heard. We are always eager for feedback and are quick to ask for help when we need it, which unfortunately comes across as a need for instant gratification. We seek not only money, but a meaningful career we are passionate and happy about. Basically, we have come to the realization that working harder is not always working better.
"Millennials Are Disrespectful."
I'm just going to say it, you can't respect people who don't respect you. I cannot tell you how many times my thoughts and ideas on a subject have been pushed aside based purely on the fact that I am young, or what they call "lacking in life experiences". I have a unique voice, just like anyone else, and it deserves to be heard. And when people patronize me, you bet I will call them out on it. So yeah, you could think of it as disrespect, I like to think of it as standing up for myself. Now, that being said, it does not mean I am not capable of accepting when I am wrong or respecting authority. I just think there is a fine line between respecting authority and sticking to my ideas and beliefs. We as millennials are living in a growing and ever changing environment, and we are quick to oppose traditional norms. So many people assume that we don't have manners or lack respect, but what is ironic is that is exactly what each generation does to the previous one, they rebel and form their own opinions. It was what our parents did to our grandparents, and what our grandparents did their parents too, and so on.
I sincerely hope no one took this article as a typical millennial making excuses, but rather as a way to show older generations that the things they don't like about us are not as bad as they make them out to be. Also, I am not bashing Baby Boomers or Generation X, I have immense gratitude and respect for them. I am simply stating that instead of focusing so much on what my generation is doing wrong, maybe instead start working together alongside us to create change and posterity. Abraham Lincoln once famously stated that a "house divided against itself cannot stand," which is more true than ever. We cannot fix the problems of the world without helping each other.