If you ask the older generation, Millennials have it easy – the world is full of opportunities for education, work, and pleasure. Globalization has reached its full potential, and therefore it is easy to be a 20-something individual nowadays. Millennials are the most educated generation ever, living in a world that has become a global village, so what is the problem, and why are so many young people dealing with anxiety and the overall lack of happiness in their lives? For Millennials the reason is simple. This generation is simply not easily satisfied. This generation is the bridge between the generations who lived prior to the digital era and the generations born into the digital era. The older generations and the younger ones misinterpret and underestimate all the troubles Millennials face on a daily basis.
The older generation (Baby Boomers) perceive Millennials as crybabies who are not grateful for having so many more opportunities than they did growing up. Millennials reject many options based on their complicated views of life, according to the Boomers. The younger ones, however, see all the struggle and efforts that Millennials face in dealing with the unrealistic expectations of their parents and simply do not understand why they even bother to try to satisfy them.
The generation gap is obvious – most Millennials during their 20s are still finishing up their education, taking unpaid internships in order to get experience to apply for a proper job, while calculating the decades it will take to pay off their student loans – a phase of life when most Baby Boomers were already married, had stable jobs, and started families before they turned 30. On the other hand the younger generation – Generation Z – are still in the earliest stages of adulthood and are already prepared for what awaits them. They are aware that education is expensive, takes forever, and doesn’t really pay off in the 21st century. So they have time, and they have options.
And what are Millennials left with? Unrealistic expectations and feelings of anxiety? The fear of never finding true love and having kids? The phobia of having to take corporate jobs in order to pay off their student loans? The false representations of perfect lives on social media while being ever so miserable and alone? Is it really that dark to be a Millennial these days?
I believe not. And I am a Millennial. I struggle with all of the above-mentioned issues on a daily basis. We may be solving problems by using hashtags – but hey – we solve problems, does it even matter how we do it? We may be unapologetic about our political views and chosen lifestyles, but if we can deal with it, so should everybody else. We have survived more financial crises than any generation before, we have survived more alleged apocalypses than any generation before. So yes, some of us may be dealing with anxiety and unhappiness, but guess what – we will survive that, too. Because that is what we do. Millennials survive. (And we post it on social media).