Being a millennial is not all fun and games. Older generations tend to think that millennials are very lazy and lack motivation to be hard working young-adults. From my experience this is very far from the truth. Most millennials I know actually have a very good work ethic and they’re working way harder than older generations recognize. A big problem is we are unable to show that we are working hard and making any income because many of us are extremely crippled by student loan debt. The majority of us have attended college and have significantly more student loan debt than our parents or grandparents could even dream of. We do not have the ability to move out and buy houses soon after we start working because we have to factor our student loan payments into our budget and it doesn’t leave us with a lot of money to save up.
Now, of course, there are some millennials that do land very well paying jobs and they are able to move along quicker in life. Or there are some who did not attend college and chose to stick to a trade instead who can afford to live on their own – but that’s not all of us. I am getting tired of hearing about how “I owned a house when I was your age” because it’s not my fault I can’t afford to buy a house. Plus have you ever looked at the housing markets near big cities? Who can afford to buy a house around here?!?!
Additionally, millennials are not choosing to be single forever. Come on Grandma, of course I want to meet a nice man! It is just not as possible as when you were growing up. Dating is very superficial and it’s difficult to weed out all the jerks and still have hope you’ll meet a nice guy worth your time. I know, I know, “[you] already had kids when [you] were [my] age” yeah, yeah, yeah. I am too busy working non-stop to try to make enough money to pay my loans and buy that house you are all pressuring me to buy!
Has anyone ever heard of the labeling theory? The labeling theory says that when we label people, they sometimes become when we label them as. For example, when you label a group of teenagers as “trouble” they sometimes become trouble because you already think they are. I think sometimes this is how millennial stereotypes work. Older generations have already decided we are all lazy and do not have any determination or dreams. We know that for most of us, we are working extremely hard to stay afloat. Our dreams are in the horizon but we can’t afford the big move or the additional schooling to get to where we want to be so we are settling for now, not forever. Older generations don’t see our side of it, but they also don’t see how easy they make it for the less motivated to be lazy just because they have already labeled them as lazy.
Don’t worry, Grandma. Someday I’ll buy the house. Someday, I’ll meet the one. Someday, I’ll have some children. Right now, I’m “just” working 40-hour weeks to pay my bills and have a little money left to put away in to savings. But please tell your friends I’m trying.