As a generation, we are lucky. Yes, we are faced with straddling student loan debt and rent. But, you know what we are not faced with? Being drafted for a war.
Of course, there are millennials who did participate in wars. But, they actually choose to participate in the wars. The generations before us did not have a choice. The Greatest Generation is the most notable example.
Four months ago, I watched Dunkirk. Dunkirk is a movie about the British evacuation in Dunkirk, France in 1941. It's a stylistically pleasing movie, but that's not important. What I want to focus on is how young the characters are. Even without knowing their ages, it strikes me that all of them are quite baby-faced. They act like what young people would do like engaging in rash decisions. Instead of rushing to the bus while you're stone-faced drunk, it's rushing to the boat while you're physically weak.
Just a month ago, I finished reading A Separate Peace which is a book about two boys in a boarding school during WWII. What's different with Dunkirk is that those boys have the privilege of being able to act like young people. They act rashly but, it's before they have to be in a war. The characters in Dunkirk look like they won't ever get the chance to grow up.
So, what does this have to do with us millennials?
I think we are the characters in A Separate Peace. Now, A Separate Peace has gotten flack for being a book about privileged white boys and millennials aren't anything but (well, some are, but I'm talking about generally since millennials are the most diverse generation). But, what we have in common with the boys of the Common Prep is privilege. Yes, even if you're the marginalized of the marginalized, as long as you're in the United States, you won't undergo a draft. We even have the time to protest. People in other countries have the time to protest, but not always. Sometimes, they have to be forced to pick up a gun and shoot. If we want to do that, we just have to choose.
Millennials have experienced so many things like poverty and unemployment, but there is one thing that we won't ever experience again: a draft.