Generation Millennial: entitled crybabies or youth in distress?

Posted on 31 March 2016 by admin

Why young America should keep whining, despite criticism

Opinions Editor

Years ago, as a child, my goals for my future were bright. Like most kids, I wanted to be successful. When I thought about what my life might one day be like.

I could see myself in a big house on the beach, driving a sporty car and heading to my corner office in a building with a lobby fountain. As juvenile as it sounds, that is what I wanted. At one time, all of those things seemed possible to me.

Now, however, my big dreams are a lot different: I want to one day — hopefully — live in an apartment by myself; I want a job that does not completely suck; I want to take one brief trip to another country. In comparison, I have grounded myself quite a bit, and yet I still worry that those dreams I have – those last big hopes and wishes — will not happen.

For so many people my age, the future looks bleak. We live in a society that requires a degree for most jobs, and yet tuition rates are at an all-time high. To go to college, most of the people I know have had to take out ridiculous loans. Unfortunately, those loans often become a burden so large that graduates are entering the work field with a mountain of debt demanding to be addressed.

With that debt, they face bleak prospects: the degree they spend so much time on and worked so hard to achieve does not promise them anything.

Engineers and Bio-Chem majors become full-time sales associates at Target, or night shift servers at Steak N’ Shake. The wage they receive at those places is nearly-impossible to live on. The aftermath of such a disappointment can be devastating.

I hear people my parent’s age scoff at Millennials often; we enjoy technology and practice self-love so we must be vain and lazy.

One night, on the verge of exhaustion, I voiced my frustrations on social media. This was met with a swift, annoying response from an uncle of mine: “Welcome to the real world.” I could hear the condescending tone of his voice through my computer screen.

I am twenty-two and I work three jobs on top of my full-time course load. Every day that I am not in school I have to work. With that kind of schedule, I rarely get a good night’s sleep. I am tired constantly. I get sick more often, and my pre-existing condition becomes even harder to deal with. As hard as it is, I remind myself constantly that others have it much worse. Every time I feel like moaning and whining, I stop myself because I do not want to give anyone else the satisfaction of allowing them to think that I consider myself above this kind of lifestyle. I tell myself that this is typical, and I should not complain.

Only, my complaints are not empty — they mean something.

I could sit here and list out fact after fact about how — financially, at least — Baby Boomers had it easier. I could talk about inflation; I could talk about unemployment; I could gripe about social security. That would be fruitless. Baby Boomers are not interested in relating to a struggle they cannot see.

This issue is not a cry for attention though — it is real. It did not appear from thin air, and the limited options provided to young people deserve to be addressed.

If we suppress our problems they are easier to ignore. The best way to address the numerous issues we face as a generation is to keep talking about them — to make them known. We have to actively participate in the formation of our society; we have to play a part in electing leaders and cultivating culture.

As much as we would all like to refrain from being a nuisance, we almost have to be to be acknowledged at all.

Fortunately social media has given us the opportunity to breathe life into our worries and use them for a good cause.

Baby Boomers like to call us entitled, and they like to say we whine a lot. Since we cannot change their opinion of us, it is only practical that we embrace it and allow it to make us more active citizens. In a time like this, we need to be.  So whine, cry, and make   a scene. Do whatever you want.

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