My background is in journalism, in fact I’m an Award-Winning journalist. In 2012 I won Showbiz Journalist of The Year at the National Newspapers of Ireland Awards when I was just 22 – but if you read today’s Sunday Independent I’m actually lazy, self-entitled and self-obsessed.
The reason I’m mentioning journalism here is because it’s rare I come across a piece of journalism that truly makes me angry, but today a piece entitled ‘Our Poor, Unsolved Millennials’ has really got to me.
In LIFE magazine Pat Fitzpatrick, a man who is not a Millennial (not born between 1980s and 2000s) criticises our generation for being obsessed with ourselves, self-entitled and not having a clue about politics.
They list our problems down to categories such as ‘Booze and Muscles’ – that we’re obsessed with partying but also with the gym “millennial guys like a drink, but they also want to look ripped. The selfie generation is in love with anything that will leave it looking like Popeye on steroids.”
Another sub headline is ‘State Of Mind’ – “It’s so bad that a lot of millennials end up suffering a quarter-life crisis… that’s the problem with people who grew up with the internet. They’re not willing to wait for anything.”
While I could go on and on about what Pat wrote in LIFE, I wanted to write something myself. These are the real life issues us Millennials have to deal with, and I’ve put them in sub-headings and all.
We Suffer From Anxiety More Than Any Other Generation
There’s a reason why apps like Headspace and books on Mindfullness are selling out at the moment- we are seriously stressed out.
I can name at least three people I know well who suffer from serious anxiety issues and panic attacks – I know how serious it is because I suffer from both myself.
It’s hard not to notice the level of suicide in this country in particular, with reportedly 525 deaths by suicide each year, with the highest number of people under 25 years old.
If that isn’t proof that we are suffering and we are struggling than I don’t know what is, just because young people are taking selfies doesn’t mean they love themselves.
We Are All Pitted Against Each Other
Social Media and the internet in general has been an exciting but equally dangerous place for Millennials.
While we have been given complete creative control over our Facebook profiles, our own ‘reality shows’ on Snapchat and any filters we want on Instagram, all the access comes with a price – low self esteem.
I don’t blame people like Pat Fitzpatrick mistaking hundreds of selfies and filtered and photoshopped photos as young people “loving themselves” but I guarantee you if we really loved ourselves we wouldn’t be looking for a filter.
Between how many ‘likes’ a Facebook status has got, how many ‘retweets’ a Tweet has got and how many ‘loves’ an Instagram post has got, we are all vying for attention and we all want to be loved and favourited and liked to feel good inside.
And don’t even get me started on Tinder – in my parents generation you met someone at a bar or at work and they asked you out.
There was such a thing as courtship and dates and old fashioned romance.
Now we swipe left or right based on how sexy your profile picture is and it’s normal that the first message you will get is “I like your tits”, “wanna f***?” and “send me a pic”.
Before we’ve even met the person we are hoping to be our Prince Charming or Queen Bee we are back to feeling under pressure and insecure AGAIN.
See HERE how Goss got on when we did a Tinder experiment if you don’t believe me.
There’s No Such Thing As A ‘First Job Out Of College’ – It’s An Internship
In the Sunday Independent piece it’s stated that Millennials just want the “corner office” and to be promoted straight away – maybe that’s because they’ve already done five UNPAID internships.
When I came out of college I had worked two jobs from the age of 15, worked in sales, radio, newspapers – all while studying and I still had to do unpaid work before a company decided I deserved to earn a wage.
As someone that runs a start-up company I see the value and need for internships but I can’t help but feel guilty….however if I was a big corporation I wouldn’t even have an internship programme.
We’ve already struggled through years of college, we’re still trying to pay off our student loans (I’m still paying mine now at 26) and then we’re told all that’s out there are internships.
Why what an amazing life us Millennials live eh?
Education Is More Expensive Than Ever
I’ve mentioned college a few times here, because Millennials have no choice but to get an Undergraduate Degree, let alone a Masters.
Every single job now comes with a need to have a degree, and now it’s more expensive than ever to do so.
I strictly don’t care if anyone has a degree or not if they apply for a job at Goss.ie, all I want to see is someone hard working and ambitious come through my doors, and there are so many Millennials out there just like that.
Once your Undergraduate is done it’s normally on to the Masters – I know people who even went on to do a PHD because they couldn’t find any jobs out there and they didn’t know what else to do.
This rise in education costs has also meant a lot of people have started going to University outside of Ireland, like Brighton University or UK colleges in general.
Wonder why all us Millenials are leaving Ireland?
We Are All Broke
Don’t kid yourself, there are some celtic tiger cubs that managed to get it all together and are making a good income but most of us are flat out BROKE!!
After taking out loans to go to college, then another top-up loan to get that masters and doing all those unpaid internships to just land a job that pays just kind of well, we’re all pretty much smashed.
There is a belief among most millennials that we will never be as successful as our parents generation because we dealt full whack with the recession, and most of our mates who are making money are actually in Dubai or Canada or good ole Australia.
And let’s not talk about all those Student Credit Cards and Overdrafts we stupidly said yes to when they were shoved down our throats on our first day in University.
Most of us have so much bad debt or crappy income that we will never be able to get a mortgage.
Our Body Clock Is Completely Messed Up
Generation X or even the generation before that all followed clear social guidelines on dating, getting married, having babies but now everyone has a different opinion.
While some of our generation are just as desperate as Generation X to settle down young and start a family young we are also told that women especially need to become Girl Bosses, that we need to be strong without a partner, that the right time to have a family is actually in your 30s.
But then at the same time we are force fed articles about IVF, freezing your eggs, rom coms about finding “the one”, so you see what I mean about the confusion…
The Quarter Life Crisis Is All Too Real
One of the main points in the Sunday Independent article that got to me was the joke that Millennials only have a quarter life crisis because their too impatient to wait for their mid-life one.
But I can’t begin to explain the stress and anxiety I have seen my friends and peers go through all because of this crisis.
Now in our 20s we are expected to have accomplished so much, to be earning so much, to learn from our parents mistakes, to go and see the world but also have a steady job, to settle down but also be independent and focus on our careers.
Anxiety and depression is real in this country especially in our Millenials, as much as alcoholism is, as much as suicide is and unfortunately they can go hand in hand in this generation.
And that’s not something to joke about, it’s something to talk about…