For Lack Of A Better Term – Millennials

Millennials are assholes -
I know, I’m one of them.

We are selfish, sycophantic, entitled sluts who harbor overblown expectations for not our lives – because we don’t possess that sort of foresight – but for our twenties.

Allow me to preface this with the emerging crusade of articles and viral videos which attempt to define, pigeonhole, or assoil (that’s not pronounced ass-oil) my generation; and, the reasons for why I’m taking a rookie swing at this topic.

There’s an entire archive about millennials over at the Huffington Post, a majority of which seem to teeter between how much dating sucks, how much debt we have (read: fucked), and how to coerce a millennial into working more than 40 hours per week – 35 if you want to nickel and dime hour lunches.

There’s the freshly minted video of millennial Marina Shifrin, showcasing her dance repertoire while somewhat defiantly and somewhat foolishly quitting her job. She outlines her reasons for doing so in the video, and there seems to be a schism of opinion on her decision.

There’s the Wait But Why article describing millennials as Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs; where the author, with the aid of tremendous stick figures, illustrates an inconvenient truth that most millennials’ expectations are wildly disproportionate to reality.


All of the aforementioned lend themselves to the rising belief that there is something either seriously wrong with millennials, or there is something seriously wrong with the world. In all truth, it’s probably somewhere in the middle. As I stated with sweet alliteration at the beginning, we millennials are certainly some kind of capricious monster.

We’re known to throttle headfirst into fresh opportunities – start-ups are our America for Puritans – just as much as we’ve developed a reputation for hopscotching between companies every year, citing a bucket of money as the perpetrator for such behavior.

We’re known to occupy public squares and parks like a gaggle of spoiled terrorists, properly bothered that our leadership and charity degree didn’t yield a six-figure salary and that pajamas are frowned upon in the workplace, just as much as we’ll volunteer our time to families and peoples who have been displaced by war or natural disasters.

We’re known to float aimlessly, or at least without purpose, while living in our parents’ basement and investing our pizza delivery money into indie rock festivals and a killer pair of skateboarding pants, just as much as we’re known for struggling in one of the worst economies this country has ever encountered, and somehow cobbling together a life out of spare parts and chewing gum.

I believe a majority of the entitlement issue arises from the success our baby boomer parents enjoyed. We were given every opportunity to and belief that we would excel beyond our parents, so when we aren’t already living in lavish homes with fast cars and swimming pools at twenty-five years old, we chalk it up to failure.

There’s also the issue – which may be contained to the New York City metro area – that some are making modest, run-of-the-mill salaries, while our peers have Scrooge McDuck money vaults from working for that hedge fund down near Stone Street. It creates and stirs a generational cauldron of jealousy, a point-and-question “Hey! Why don’t make that much money?!” playground temper tantrum.

Not to mention that more and more millennials seem to be plotting out their lives as if have some semblance of control over when they are married, have children, buy homes, etc. (I know of girlfriends who gave their boyfriends ultimatums concerning “must be engaged by dates”) So, when things don’t go according to plan, once again, failure.

And that may be the fatal flaw of my generation – planning.

We attempt to plan for too much, fit pegs into holes that haven’t been drilled yet, get caught up in the constant pissing contest. And we become utterly depressed, or enraged, when our chronological fairy tale needs to be rewritten. Except there is no need to rewrite because we shouldn’t be writing in the first place. We need to learn to take life as it comes and make the best decisions at the times in which decisions must be made.

In short, millennials are still assholes.

We’re overly emotional, underwhelmingly driven (there’s a major difference between being driven and having dreams, or delusions of grandeur), possess flashes of brilliance like an unrefined first-round draft pick, are convinced that every bit of extra work must be compensated for, lack a true vision beyond yearning for a yacht and endless beach cocktails, and thoroughly excel at refusing to become grownups a la the Lost Boys of Never Never Land.

But just wait for the fuckers behind us. We’ll be a bunch of Eisenhowers compared to them.

4 thoughts on “For Lack Of A Better Term – Millennials

  1. hannahkarena

    The 20s are freaking hard right now and I think the few people in our age group that have jobs are sick of being “thankful” about what minimum-wage, part-time jobs they managed to get with their degrees. I think it’s a generation of people working really hard and then having a quota for how much they’re willing to put up with without some sort of improvement (a tiny raise, a tiny promotion, a tiny bit of acknowledgement, a tiny bit more respect than an intern). I know lots of people our age willing to put in the time, be bottom of the ladder, really really really work, put those dreams in a “ten-year-plan” sort of perspective, live in crap apartments with two dozen roommmates, but somewhere around two or three years of this grind and building frustration, they lash out. Like the video, above.

    1. G.P. Merwede Post author

      I completely agree that our generation gets the “pay your dues” line more often than the sun rises, and that the current corporate mindset of “grind them until they give in” weighs heavily on a lot of us. There’s a lot of dynamics playing into our generation. My first “real” job was a 10-12 hour/day punishment that was full of negative reinforcement, a “enough is never enough” attitude, and an unbalanced payscale that had members of the same team making $30,000 while others made $175,000, yet you were expected to work just as hard despite being paid a 1/6. This company also had a 50% turnover rate year over year. I believe companies have certainly lost respect for their employees, mainly because employers are in the driver’s seat as far as the economy goes, but somewhere along the line it will tip. And I truly believe that a lot of our angst stems from an optimism that was crushed by the 2008 meltdown, the lack of upward mobility because of “older” employees staying longer, our general belief that those upper echelon of directors “don’t do anything” for “all that money they make”, and, as I stated, some of our peers are chugging out buckets of money while the rest of us struggle. I’d estimate that I’ve been set back three or four years from where I “should be” at 28 years old, but I also understand that I need to work harder than those around me to make up that lost ground. But that girl in the video needed a job that sucked that much – this way she’ll know what to look for in her next job and understand how shitty it really can get. It’s probably the best thing that happened to her, although she may not know it yet.

      And just for the record, although I used the term “pay your dues”, I absolutely loathe that god damn phrase. If you’re actually THAT good at your job, you shouldn’t have to pay any dues because you’re THAT good. I’ll imagine it was dreamt up by a manager who was terrified of losing their job, so they instituted this fraternity-like hierarchy of seniority to keep the up and comings at bay.

      And for the double record, I’m not a fan of the suit and tie, white collar, old white man corporate setting or style. Although corporations seem to love them. Most probably because that’s who runs them.

      1. hannahkarena

        There is definitely a system where too many people are being educated for too few positions. It’s creating a huge population of people who feel promised those nice jobs we’re taught an education is awarded with, and then don’t get the dream. It’s the fault of the 2008 crash, definitely, and partly false promises the higher education industry attracts millions of students with.

      2. G.P. Merwede Post author

        Absolutely. When everyone mass exodused (fake word alert) to obtain their higher level degrees after 2008, it was inevitable that it would produce a bounty of people who believed they were entitled to opportunities due to their piece of paper – I can think of a few personal examples off the top of my head. And you’re right that, unfortunately, higher education can be a farce. This is where I must implore aspiring writers not to get their Master’s in Creating Writing. No one can teach them how to write, but they want to believe so terribly that they can.

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