Yes grandpa, you're right. Considering my age group is handling all-time highs in student loan debt, haunting predictions toward climate change, and no promise of social security, we DO have no reason to be so stressed out all time. Yes, random 70-year-old man that I'm engaging in small talk with because I am considered a millennial that automatically means I am entitled and lazy—despite you knowing nothing about me.
Although we are extremely grateful for what we are given, the infinite amount of opportunity we have can be extremely daunting and overwhelming. According to Psychology Today, millennials change their college major on average 3 times before graduating (so many good options!), chose not to invest in a 401k because of the many overbearing options they have to choose from, and invest less in the stock market due to all the options. This, alongside advancements in technology allowing us to communicate with virtually anyone we want or buy whatever we want in just a few seconds, causes a mind-boggling plethora of options and choices to make.
Because of this, it may seem that young adults appear ungrateful or inconsiderate for all of the amazing luxuries we are allotted, but the truth is... it's a lot to handle! Many of our parents raised on the "You can do anything you set your mind to!" attitude, so we grow up believing that we can be an artist if we choose to, we can live in Manhattan if that's a dream of ours, we can do anything we please! It's not that we expect these things to be handed to us, it is just that we truly believe we can work hard and these things will naturally come to us.
Then, we grow up only to find out this is not the case. Love helping people and making a difference in your community? That's great, you should major in social work! Just understand that if you decide to have children, your salary will put you close to the poverty line. Dream of living in a city? Check out the rent prices in San Francisco or New York City at the moment. Want to pursue a college degree? Be prepared for thousands of dollars in debt and mental breakdowns every other week for four years. If you have not already discovered the disheartening reality that is our future, fellow millennials, this is it--and your elder peers do not always believe this to be a justifiable reason to stress or face anxiety.
We ask of you, Baby Boomers, please understand why it is we all seem stressed out and even depressed. The harsh reality we call our future can be really scary. We admire the hard work your generation did to pave the way for our future success, but be patient with us as we try to navigate it all.