Can we just set the record straight, please?
Since I’m in my mid-30s, I don’t think I qualify as a millennial, but I have to admit that I feel closer to the mindset of this age range than I do to my own or the one before me. So many people my age and older constantly hark on about how spoilt millennials are and how easy millennials have it, and every time I just think to myself that they must be living under some pretty big rock to think so.
Why? Glad you asked.
Recessions – Most millennials graduated university at a time of great economic turmoil in the west. We were lucky here in Malta that it wasn’t felt as much but, internationally, it was a catastrophe for many, as they left school in debt and unable to find a job. In the US, for example, the rate of unemployment among millennials is 14% when compared to that of 8% for people over the age of 34. So next time you think they all have it easy, consider that.
Property – The price of property has never been this high, so while our parents could purchase houses for €10,000 or less, now we’re lucky if we can purchase a tiny flat for €100,000. Space comes at a super-premium for millennials, and most of them aren’t going round living the MTV Super Sweet 16 lifestyle.
Age of Retirement – My parents retired when they turned 65. If millennials live up to 80, they’ll be lucky to retire by the age of 70 or 75.
Social Media – There’s a meme doing the rounds that goes something along the lines of, ‘I’m glad I got to do all the stupid things I did before the age of social media’. No truer words have been spoken. Everything now is online; life is lived on the internet whether you’re at a computer or phone or in Paceville. Millennials have no privacy, and that is a world we created for them.
Inheriting a screwed-up world – Every generation leaves its mark on the world, but our legacy isn’t going to be judged kindly by history. While most millennials voted in favour of Britain staying the EU and for Hillary Clinton, the older generations went out of their way to ruin decades of progress and bring back racism, xenophobia, sexism and, in the long run, maybe even widespread unemployment, homelessness and war. Millennials are the generation that supported Bernie Sanders, a man who so clearly has social policy and equal footing at heart. How is that entitled and spoilt?
So, please, stop calling millennials spoilt just because they have Google Maps and more opportunities than we did. Saying that doesn’t just make you a petty person. It also makes you sound jealous.
What do you think of James’ argument?
Let us know in the comments section below.