Why are Millennials so odd?
Because they can’t even.
At this point, we have heard every joke on the sun about millennials. Honestly, though, aside from inheriting all of the baggage from their parents, what did this generation, sandwiched between Baby Boomers, Gen-X, and Gen-Z, ever do to deserve the abuse it receives? From the moment Lena Dunham lamented about coming of age on HBO, the world has loved to pick on millennials. With millennial culture also comes the general social consciousness that they would be entering a world that greeted them with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, a housing market stacked against them, and the lifelong burden of crippling student debt. So before one more boomer blames a millennial complaining about struggling with adulting on spending too much Starbucks and avo-toast, let us take a look at some facts. Millennials Struggle with Adulting
Over the last few years, the term “adulting” has popped into the social vernacular. Although the word is used to define activities or behaviors expected of adults, ‘adulting’ seems to be a comment on the emotional state of the pressures and expectations accompanying professional or developmental activities. Millennials’ usage of the term suggests a level of psychic discomfort, so let’s examine that a little.
Recalling that millennials entered the workforce around 2008-2010, during a financial crisis and total economic downturn. As a result, millennials struggle with the capitalist structure, and for many valid reasons. It is too easy to forget that millennials have also essentially spearheaded many social revolutions in the last ten years, specifically body positivity, inclusivity, LGBTQIA+ rights, representation, class equity, voting rights, and so much more. All while living through much social unrest and a pandemic. Millennials are freaking tired.
Furthermore, millennials are the most directly affected generational population regarding class disparity and generational wealth. It’s no shock that millennials have a huge debt load as a population. Of all surveyed, only 19% are debt-free. As expected, millennials who rent or own their homes are more likely to be living with debt. And 85% of millennials who live independently report having debt compared to 63% of those who live with their parents. Millennials are also currently of the age where they are likely to support another person, be it a parent, sibling, or child. On the flip side, millennials also take longer to get married as they stay home longer, driving down divorce rates.
All in all, the message here is perhaps it’s important not to judge a book by its cover. As a generation, millennials have gone to bat for society countless times and are shouldered with a fair bit of pressure to transform the world for the better in turn. Maybe that energy spent teasing Millenials for their 5$ coffee might be better spent on more significant picture ideas…. just maybe 😉
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