Is all I seem to hear nowadays. ‘You bloody millennials are so sensitive! When I was your age we used to use racial slurs to humiliate people in the street and gays were beaten up with poles stop being so whiny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’
Now I’m not trying to piss off my mum and my nanna by slagging off their generations, I’m just trying to bring to light why us millennials have it harder than every single generation. (boohoo) But really. Technically, we’re the most educated generation and yet it is going to be a million times harder for us to forge a life for ourselves. Lower employment levels and smaller income mean that when we finally do get onto our feet, we have less money to spend than any of the other generations who came before us. It’s scary to think that only 1 in 5 post-graduate students will go on to find an entry-level job in their field of skill, when the fees of education are a minimum of £9,000 set to rise to up to £10,000 in the next few years. The amount of times iv’e heard someone older say that our generation needs ‘more work ethic’ or ‘to stop being lazy’ when no, in fact there are young people going from school into full time work because there is ‘no proof’ that university correlates with success. If anything, that means that we have drive and work ethic, and that we want to do well for ourselves. Nevertheless, it still doesn’t subtract from that fact that ‘back In the day’ you could go to university for a laugh and you wouldn’t have to pay any of the fees back. Now there are students who actually consider ‘well if I drop out before Christmas then I’ll only be £3,000 in debt!’. To say that 30% of young people are enrolled in university now, compared to 5% 50 years ago, says a lot about our determination to be successful.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to call out the people in my generation who live off mum and dad. Iv’e been raised in a way that means even if your mum and dad do have money; you should still get yourself a job. And when you live at home working full-time, you should contribute to the household by paying rent/buying the shopping/helping with bills. I feel as though in our generation this is hard to come by nowadays, with so many people my age still getting pocket money or living rent-free, not like that any of that is my business, nor am I to judge. What angers me though is that the young ones are the ones that get the flack for it because we’re ‘responsible.’ I recently watched a TV programme where a post-graduate student couldn’t afford to live on her own, so she lived rent-free with her mum and dad, working part time at the family business. The family told the interviewer that her living at home rent-free was a burden as, because they were supporting her, they were unable to go on holidays or take trips or buy nice things. So even though they raised her to know that it was okay for her to come and live at home rent-free, it was her fault for doing so. My point being, millennials are often blamed for undertaking ideals that were instilled in us by the very people who are scorning us!
Moving onto my initial point about sensitivity. It really makes me laugh when millennials are called ‘weak’ and ‘sensitive’ despite having to put up with all of this CRAP. Millennials aren’t ‘weak’ or any less strong than the people that came before, we are simply more honest. We talk more about mental health and we are more accommodating to things that aren’t considered ‘the norm’. I can’t help but think that because today’s society doesn’t necessarily paint the picture of a privileged, white, cis-gender male (not cliché at all) people see something horrifically wrong with that. Non-binary is a thing now, which is something that people can’t seem to get over. Admittedly, I don’t understand the issue of being non-binary, but I am trying to educate myself so that I know more. Moreover, it’s not something that I have to deal with day in and day out so I don’t see how I am fit to comment on it. Just as I don’t understand what it means to be a POC, nor do I understand how it feels to be gay, I don’t understand what non-binary truly is. However I will continue to be an advocate for LGBTQ rights whether I understand their struggle or not. Even a more simple point will be, why is it anyone else’s business? It’s like someone saying to me, ‘Hey! You wear fake tan! I don’t understand why and I think it’s stupid so therefore you are a ridiculous person and you are weak and spineless and stupid!!!!’… see how stupid that sounds?
I just don’t seem to understand the blatant refusal to advocate for these positive changes. We make excuses for people who have disgusting habits such as racism and sexism so that there can continue to be this wave of people who call us pathetic and weak, just because the first time they saw a black man was when they were 18 instead of 5. They say ‘well we grew up in a different time. When I was a kid, there were no gay people’. Which is fair enough. (there were gay people though;-)) To me though, that’s not an excuse. There also weren’t iPhones around when the older generations were younger either, but the enthusiasm and eagerness to adapt to these technological changes? Astounding. My mum’s on her phone more than me.
When it all comes down to it, generation Y will save the world in every aspect from the economy to social issues. Unfortunately, in this country 70% of our MP’s are baby boomers, looking forward to a comfortable retirement, while the rest of us scurry around to pick up the pieces. Im not saying that boomers set out for the other generations to foot the bill, but we don’t really see a willingness from them to do anything about it either- oh apart from calling us ‘self-entitled wingers’. However since 1980 when the generation began, equal rights have soared and social issues have become the forefront of mainstream politics. Now every young person left, right and centre thinks they’re a politician (myself included) which, although annoying and quite pretentious, is what’s needed. Younger people are now more interested in politics than ever before, sparking international protest and debate. We may be ‘annoying’ and ‘entitled’ but we are also strong and we are passionate about what needs to be done. This seems like a load of corny end-of-blog-post stuff, but I am honestly so proud to be part of the generation that I am a part of. Yes I spend a HARROWING amount of time on my phone looking at social media, I like to take selfies and I like to get myself into trouble online with my politically incorrect theories about American foreign policy. BUT I also think that the millennial generation are bringing about historic change for those who weren’t considered worthy of their rights, all while fighting adversity. That’s pretty strong if you ask me.