Sure, they call us ‘Generation Me’, the boomerang babies, and ‘special’. Our lives are for rent and we’re supposed to be selfie-ready at all times. But there are loads of reasons to be grateful for being a millennial – right? Unless it’s just the narcissism talking…
Inspired by The lost generation: ‘I’m 30-something – and still depressed and broke’, plus my own and friends’ experiences.
Reason #1 – hope
We’ve spent so much of our twenties feeling like screw-ups that we’re actually looking forward to turning 30. It’s got to get better at 30, right? 35? 40?
Reason #2 – creativity
Let’s face it – we’ve had no choice but to get creative. Thanks to astronomical house prices and low wages, we’ve developed an ingenious approach to work, money, relationships, housing and fulfilment.
Reason #3 – enterprise
Sure, our notebooks are full of to-do lists with titles like ‘Operation: Rescue Life’. But we’ll try anything once, including starting a business or going freelance.
Reason #4 – ingenuity
See Reason #3. If there’s a personalised-pixie-sequin-eco-legwarmer niche that needs filling, we’re on it. Look out, Etsy.
Reason #5 – determination
We used to think we were failures. But, as entrepreneurs, we can’t fail. Failure is part of the training programme. Richard Branson started out breeding budgies, after all.
Reason #6 – community
The baby boomers and Gen-Xers may laugh at us special snowflakes for finding the ‘real world’ too difficult and ending up back in our childhood bedrooms. But, we have each other. And at least we understand Instagram. Sort of.
Reason #7 – flexibility
Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Have babies. Enjoy your pension. Yeah right! The old system may be broken, but our unorthodox journeys have better equipped us to deal with instability and change.
Reason #8 – humility
We have been bailed out by our mums and dads so often that we really appreciate them, and everything we have. We are truly humble. Not like these ungrateful post-millennials coming up today, with their iPads and their eyebrows. Namaste.
Reason #9 – adaptability
We’ve lived in bedsits, caravans, yurts, campervans, attics and shared houses. But we’ll never, ever go back to live-in accommodation provided by work. Eco-toilet, anyone?
Reason #10 – equality
It’s 2017, and we’ve finally done away with the pay-gap, racism, homophobia, sexual harassment and misogyny. Wait… this one was meant to be called ‘idealism’.
Reason #11 – resilience
In the olden days, there was redundancy pay. Now, there are zero-hour contracts. Being ‘let-go’ today is like riding the roller-coaster of life with no knickers on. Exhilarating.
Reason #12 – talent
We’ve taken so many interim jobs that our skills are as rounded as the globe. Who else could make a barista style coffee while managing the company email newsletter and teaching the boss’s kids to hula, while running their own small business on the side?
Reason #13 – pride
Anyone who has ever come face-to-face with an ex-colleague while wearing a big hairnet and a stupid hat asks herself: ‘Am I too good for this job, or any job?’ and answers herself: ‘No, of course not.’
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this!
It’s meant to be funny and I hope it brightened your day – even if you’re not a millennial.
This sense of loss and of being lost is not exclusively our generation’s problem. People of all ages are working hard to find out what fulfilment means for them. Many have second jobs to support their ‘real work’.
There is no legitimate path anymore. We have to create our own security and explore alternative ways of living and working. We must rely on each other, develop new skills and adapt to being lost. And that’s no bad thing.