I always noticed older generations making comments on how millennials "lack motivation" and have "become lazy". They cry out saying how our country is doomed and that we need to "learn to work harder" and stop acting "entitled" to everything. These comments always bothered me. I always saw great potential within our generation. "Social media is ruining us", they say, "you can't spend your life on a computer screen." Luckily, I grew up with understanding family members of older generations who share faith in Millennials, but unfortunately a lot don't have the mutual feeling.
I am a proud millennial, as we all should be, because it's up to us to make a difference in this world.
According to TIME, we are currently the largest generation on the planet. Approximately 10,000 millennials will turn 21 everyday in the United States. The larger the generation, the more impact and influence we have on making a difference.
We are also the most educated generation in America, with a high school graduation rate of 72 percent, 68 percent are enrolled in college and 58 percent will receive a Bachelor's Degree. Let's compare that with Gen X, which has a 31 percent rate of getting their Bachelor's Degrees. With the education also comes debt. We are now in more student loan debt than we are in credit card debt as a country, with the average student in over $28,000.
According to Business News Daily, 87 percent of millennials took on management roles, while only 38 percent of GenX and 19 percent of Boomers did the exact same thing. Already almost half of our generation is planning on starting their own business after school or already started one. It's also estimated that over 60 percent of U.S. executives will retire within the next five years. Which generation would be up to the task of filling the leadership roles? That's for you to decide.
A lot of arguments start when talking about the economy. Older generations argue that we sound "entitled" when talking about how hard it is to achieve our goals. Since they worked for it themselves, we should be willing to do the same. We are more than willing, but that's not the point. Our economy is not in the best state, and who is to blame? Some may say the Baby Boomers themselves.
According the the Washington Post, "Boomers soaked up a lot of economic opportunity without bothering to preserve much for the generations to come. They burned a lot of cheap fossil fuels, filled the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases, and will probably never pay the costs of averting catastrophic climate change or helping their grandchildren adapt to a warmer world. They took control of Washington at the turn of the millennium, and they used it to rack up a lot of federal debt, even before the Great Recession hit."
As for the social media insult we all love to hear, let's all think about it. Yes, social media can have drama and expose things we don't want to see, but doesn't real life work that way too? Social media is a useful tool handled by not only Millennials, but GenX and Boomers as well. Seeing how far our communication has come over the decades is fascinating, and instead of bashing it, maybe we should praise it. We are able to share and receive news faster than ever, get in touch with friends and family no matter where they are, and put our voices out there for everyone to hear. That in itself is astounding. Let's appreciate how far technology and communication has come.
The potential and leadership qualities that I've seen in this generation give me hope for our future. Older generations may have overlooked it, but I know we have what it takes. Most of our generation learned how to love and respect a person better than any generation before us. We are making serious changes to our country everyday, and it's only going to make a bigger impact as we grow stronger.
I know constantly hearing that we are "lazy", "naive" and "entitled" really hits us hard and makes us lose our motivation, but don't let it. Turn that into your motivation for success and prove them all wrong. As cheesy as it sounds, the time is now to take risks and chase after your dreams. Work harder than you ever thought you could and show them pride in your work. I know we all have it in us.
Together, we can fix America.