Millennials, those who were born in the early 1980’s to the mid-1990’s and who cause previous generations to tut and eye roll at every turn. We are split into Generation Y, who are slightly more similar to the previous generation, and Generation Z (where I fall). Millennials are branded as avocado obsessed spendaholics who are completely opposed to mortgages and would rather take a 3 yearlong “gap yah” than work.
But guess what? I’m a millennial and I hate avocados.
I’m also just over £44,000 in debt with the government for studying at university for three years, a degree which I needed to be able to get myself the career I have today. I would like to point out that whilst we have a choice, teenagers all over the country, and even the world are encouraged by their schools, their family, and their government to go to university and get a “good job”. Yet, we get slated when we come out with debts.
Other than this I have no outstanding debts, I have never had an overdraft or taken out a loan other than my student loan.
During university, I had two jobs for the first year and a half so that I could afford to eat, pay my rent and enjoy student life, with Sunday being my only full day off during the week. I had secured my first industry job before I had even handed in my final project/dissertation and now, a year after graduating I am in my second industry job that I love and I am pushing as hard as I can to grow and learn.
I have also moved back home so that I can save for a lone mortgage, a process which will take me years.
I have taken one path, and I know so many people who are doing the same. Saving, working hard and forging a good career.
Whilst this was my path, I also admire those who have gone out on a whim to travel the world and have adventures and who hate the idea of being tied down to a house or an office job when there are so many opportunities to be had.
Let go and move on
We millennials travel because it is cheap, and it is available to us now more than it was to generations before us. There are areas of the world that are more accessible now and we want to experience other cultures and visit places a bit more exciting than the nearest big city.
We millennials are on smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gadgets because that is what we were brought up alongside. Technology is fast growing, and we want and need to harness this to keep up with trends and with the rest of the world. Everything these days is becoming technology based, it’s just a fact. Technology has done so many incredible things and has allowed us to accomplish the unimaginable, but it has been doing this for years, it’s just gotten more advanced.
Yes, we may spend too much time on social media, which can have negative impacts on some individuals, but for many of us it’s such a fantastic way of keeping in touch with long lost friends, getting support, networking and discovering.
I have seen millennials that are indeed lacking in drive, frivolous, lacking basic life skills and are letting the team down a bit, but I have also seen people from Generation X who are angry, refuse to embrace change and have lost homes and claimed bankruptcy after falling into crippling debt.
I abhor the way my parents’ generation and my grandparents’ generation before them mutter under their breaths about how our generation is spoilt, in debt, lazy and too obsessed with technology. Many “millennials” like myself are pushing hard to build a career and save for a deposit for a house yet get branded as lazy, disengaged and frivolous just because we fall within a certain age range.
Whilst other generations had the war and the recession, we have higher living rates, ridiculous private rental prices, and often shoddy wages that we are battling constantly.
Whether previous generations like it or not, we are the future, just as they were before us. We are the next lawyers, doctors, IT technicians, supermarket workers, mechanics, and politicians. We will have to learn from our mistakes and from the mistakes of those before us.
We are all, each and every one of us, different. No matter what generation we are from. We all have our own dreams, our own goals, and all go down our own paths.
So please, let’s stop with this Generation X, Y, Z nonsense.