I usually try to avoid engaging in whatever happens to be The Conversation on the internet (unless it’s Kanye-related, duh) because if I start taking myself too seriously I’ll turn into a douche faster than the baby gremlin turned into all the scary gremlins.
BUT this time I have to chime in – peeps be hatin’ on my generation. TIME MAGAZINE BE HATIN’, GUYS. Actually, I haven’t read the full article (I know, bad blogger!) because I have to be a subscriber or actually buy a magazine so this isn’t really a commentary on what they wrote. I could be saying the same things, I have no idea. This is a collection of thoughts I realized I have about Millennials that was spawned by all the awesome photoshopped versions of the magazine cover. Also, if for some reason I offend people or seem preachy I’m pre-apologizing with this picture of my spirit animal, the bear –
Ok, here we go. I have to be honest, at first I was like “WTF is Time Magazine? I’m too busy looking at myself in a mirror and writing about my feelings on the internets to know about these things.” But then I had a flashback from a repressed childhood memory – my house used to have these booklets of paper that were somehow interesting to my parents. I get it, they didn’t have Angry Birds back then.
Doesn’t it seem like every two months there’s some new article about Millennials?
Did people write this much about Gen X? No seriously, as a Millennial I don’t read anything I didn’t write myself, so it’s difficult to figure these things out.
As a generation, we’re pegged as lazy, entitled and narcissistic. My opinion is: Yes. I know people my age like that. I have at times been all of those things. I’m probably being at least one of those things right now, but there are a lot of other ways to describe Millennials and I’m not talking about the fact that we ALL hate the new Facebook.
Here are the things that I think are the best and worst part of our generation.
BEST: We know how to use a computer
Seriously, older people, if I hear one more of you say “I’m just not a tech person” I’m going to go ballistic. The Internet is easy. You guys understood how to use card catalogs and kept rolodexes, you can certainly figure out how to update your browser to the newest version. My 80-something year old grandmother has a Facebook account.
Translation for older people – a selfie is a photo someone takes of him/herself, usually making a “duck face” so their cheek bones will look more defined. Example –
BEST: We’re figuring it out
Graduating college in 2009 felt rough. Graduating with a Music Business degree felt ABSURD. The moment I realized that was when I was sitting in a college classroom and my professor, who was one a music industry hot shot, said “I dunno you guys. It’s different now… you’re just going to have to figure it out.” I’m pretty sure the entire class shared one thought at that moment – WHY THE F ARE WE PAYING $30K A YEAR?
I totally bailed on the music industry because that seemed hard, but I’m amazed by how many of my peers really did get music business jobs. They’re the very people who are figuring it out, and hopefully building it back up.
WORST: We think we’re “special”
Through nothing but good intentions, our baby boomer parents were too nice. Our parents were so good to us. We were told we could be whatever we wanted. Our finger painting skills rivaled Picasso. Exposure to the real word is a harsh reality for a lot of us. I think I spent my first few years of college being like “Y U NO THINK I’M MUSIC PICASSO?” For me this also happened with sick days at work. I didn’t understand why I no one believed that calling in for “a tickle in my throat” wasn’t code for hangover. It took me awhile to realize that no one but my sweet, loving parents cares about my ailments.
ADDITIONAL WORST: Overcorrecting to prove you don’t think you’re special
There are people who go the other route and act irrationally strong – “If I pass out in the meeting, just slap me in the face. I’ve got a touch of menengitis, but it’s NBD.” Go home you sickly jerk.
BEST: We take on and deal with massive debt to get a higher education
I’m so unbelievably lucky to not have any college debt (parents, u da u da best), but the reason I thought of this point is from watching one of my college roommates take on probably $100K in debt to get a music education degree. After she graduated, she got an office job that paid OK and quit after three days because she knew it would eat her soul and she wanted to use her degree. She worked at a restaurant for several years so she could work a side job doing what she loved for basically no money. She paid her rent, made loan payments and got an Amex so she could earn miles. She showed me her budgeting spreadsheets and I couldn’t believe how much of a financial boss she’d become in a matter of months. After a few years, she got a full time job teaching music.
WORST: We don’t have a big, unifying activist movement
Once, on an OkCupid date, a dude referred to “getting stoned and getting Family Guy back on the air” as a great activist feat of our generation. I deactivated my account the next day. Maybe it’s because a lot of the major barriers have been passed. Maybe we’re lazy? There’s gay rights and Occupy Wall Street, but I don’t think we’re doing any big Vietnam-esque stuff. Are we? Am I missing something?
BEST: We’re awesome at nostalgia
WORST: We’re narcissistic
I’m really only saying this because it’s a major complaint against us. Isn’t everyone? If your diary from when you were twenty was publicly accessible, wouldn’t it be about you? Mine is in the form of a livejournal somewhere, and it’s definitely all about me. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent trying to find the link. Whenever I find it I will post.
I’m going to end on a positive – SERIOUSLY, WE’RE FIGURING IT OUT.
When I got my first job offer, I was sitting in a bathroom stall at my hostess job. My iPhone had pinged, and I was hoping that maybe someone in New York, the city in which I was already paying for an apartment despite living in Georgia, would hire me. Gen X people have told me about this thing called “hiring bonuses.” Like, people would PAY you to take a job. I cannot fathom that happening to anyone now. Every time I interview for a job, this is my thought process: “How much can I deduct from what I really think my salary should be to beat the person who interviewed before me without getting evicted? God I hope they didn’t go to an ivy. I’m so screwed. Can we fight to the death or something? I think I could take him.”
Jobs are hard to come by and the rent is too damn high. We’re told all the time that everything is hopeless. Even so, we are singing, blogging, tweeting and YouTubing our ideas out there. Are some of them shitty and self-involved? Hell yeah! Are some of them so awesome that they go viral? Hell fuckin’ yea. Besides, sometimes after a long day of working, it feels good to be a little narcissistic and look through all your old FB photos. So sue us. But seriously don’t because we don’t have any money.
Peace, love and who run the world? MILLENNIALS. (Ok, not yet… but one day?),
PS – Here’s another picture of a bear.