I often hear people in my parent’s generation talk about how Millennials are sheltered and have everything given to us; loans, education, confidence, expectations of a job in tough times. These generalizations infuriate me. While it’s true Millennials are often over-confident, nurtured excessively by their parents and will most likely have careers and jobs that don’t even exist yet, our lives and success has not been delivered to us on a silver platter. We may be in more debt than our parents and often we more educated. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t worked for our degrees, that we don’t know what it means to struggle.
Ofcourse, every generation has more confidence, more conveniences and more wealth than the previous generation. That is how it should be. But that does not mean that there aren’t any problems. On the contrary, new technologies and markets only create newer problems that we must face.
I graduated from my university last week with a degree in journalism and mass communication (although I have one more class to complete this summer so I do not receive my official diploma until the fall). I move to DC in 13 days for a summer internship at Reuters and I am in the process of trying to find housing in an almost impossible housing market. Far from feeling like the world has been offered to me, I feel like I have during any other summer; stressed and overwhelmed to find a way to make things work. I have had friends, family, and professors who have helped me along the way but none of them have fixed my problems for me. It was only by taking their help when they offered, applying my parent’s lessons when I needed to, and learning to trust my own instincts that I have made it this far.
Maybe there is a Millennial out there who has been given everything. If so, I’d love to meet them. Because every single friend I have in my generation has also had to struggle. Some have been more fortunate than others. But all of us have had to work, whether for our degrees, our jobs, our relationships, our dreams, or a combination of all of those. I don’t know yet if this struggle is worth it but I do know this: Millennials aren’t the sheltered brats our parents think we are. Kick us from our nests and we soon realize how much it hurts when we fall and how beautiful it feels when we soar.