Let it burn, I say.
If there’s one thing millennials know for sure, it’s that the world hates just about everything we’re into.
There’s nothing we can do right – we rent property instead of buy, are obsessed with selfies, entitled, lazy, and so dependent on technology we don’t know how to exist in the real world.
As someone who’s in that fun gap of maybe-millennialism (the most popular references cite millennials as being born between 1982 and 2000), I’ve had the dubious luxury of watching the birth of this elder hissy fit.
There are plenty of great articles on the internet that focus on dismantling the various accusations flung at our generation. They talk about issues like skewed tax rates, crippling debt and rising costs that don’t come with an appropriate rise in pay. Exported jobs, the requisite of college degrees that are getting more expensive and less valuable, and the ignorance of believing all you have to do is pull yourself up by your bootstraps and try hard enough to be successful, are key components in many of these arguments – and they’re all great points.
Honestly, though, I don’t care. In fact, I can’t wait for millennials to destroy everything. It may be the best thing we could possibly do to secure our futures.
I remember being in highschool and having to sit through adults dolling out advice on securing the right careers and mapping out our futures. There was a lot of talk about building a perfect resume, knowing how to dress and act for an interview and making sure you landed a steady office job. That was the key to success: a reliable job with a solid, predictable salary. “You don’t want to be flipping burgers for the rest of your life,” they’d say.
Of course, I went to highschool between 1999 and 2002. A lot of people in my age group learned some very rough lessons by following the advice we were given when the recession hit in 2008. I knew people with law degrees from good schools with good connections who still ended up working at Ikea because no one was hiring. People who followed all the rules were laid off, couldn’t find work out of college, or, like me, ended up in an abusive work environment getting strung along for paycheques that rarely came when they were supposed to.
The recession happened for a lot of reasons, but one of the big ones was in essence the greed of the baby boomer generation. They built an economic world that required college degrees to hold onto a middle class lifestyle and then got on board with governments and private universities to make sure tuition costs continued to rise. Converted into the value of the dollar today, you could go to a four-year public college for $6,800 with tuition, room and board included. At a lot of schools now, that’s the annual cost of just tuition and textbooks. Community college can offset some of those costs, but since none of these office jobs we’re told we have to have hire anyone who stopped at an associates degree, that leaves millennials digging for loans to make it work, on the promise it’ll get us jobs that’ll let us pay off the loan.
Then we graduate, enter a workforce that’s oversaturated by people who’ve done the exact same thing we did, and watch our debts rise. And the response from baby boomers is, “Look at how lazy and entitled this generation is. What, you’re too good to get a job flipping burgers?”
I hope millennials destroy the way we connect work and school. I hope they never buy homes, continue to rely on public transportation and drop out of college. I hope the private financial firms that sucker adults who, throughout their public school educations, are never once given instruction about how to manage personal finances, go under. I hope we continue to enhance what our phones and tablets can do for us. I hope we make it safer for us to walk around with our faces glued to screens so we can continue to stay connected to the world and the people we love no matter where we are. I hope the generations that created these industries catch up with the times and stop insisting the way they did things still works just fine, even in the face of completely contradictory evidence.
I hope it all collapses.
I hope millennials destroy it all.
Maybe then the generation behind us won’t have to suffer from depression and crippling debt while being blamed for both.
Images via weheartit.com and giphy.com.
Comment: Are you a millennial or a baby boomer? Where do you stand in this debate?