Everyone seems to have an opinion about millennials being “so entitled”. Whether it’s about looking for a free ride at life or spending too much money on avocado toast, there’s no doubt that millennials have become a major topic of debate. Oftentimes, it’s older generations that have a negative opinion about millennials.
Let’s rewind for a minute though. How can an entire generation be entitled? How did this happen? Maybe this is just my opinion. I’m going to go ahead and say the way we were brought up has almost everything to do with it. Here’s why.
We Were Sheltered Compared to Previous Generations
Millennials: how many of you remember not being allowed to build snow forts or throw snowballs at recess among many other school safety rules? Other generations: how many of you remember saying “back in my day, we were allowed to do those things”? How about fighting your children’s battles for them? Did you ever argue with your millennial child’s teacher over them getting a poor grade on a report card?
Using Manipulation to Get Good Grades
My parents and teachers all had the best of intentions for keeping us safe/happy, and that’s exactly the problem. So many of us then left our bubbles and didn’t know how to handle it. We feel like we’re entitled to getting good grades or not having anyone be mean to us because that’s what we were taught growing up. I remember going up to teachers and crying about grades a couple of times because that’s what I had been conditioned to believe would work. And do you know what? It did. Those teachers were made to feel like they were being unreasonable all while I was actually slacking off. I deserved those poor grades, yet I very easily got out of them through manipulation tactics and making them feel in the wrong.
Expecting Others to Form Opinions Based on Our Own
I also remember disliking people growing up and other people in my life automatically disliking them too. They barely knew them and they weren’t there for the moments that led me to disliking that person. They were making assumptions solely based on my own feelings. This led me to believe that everyone in my life should be catering their opinions based on mine. If I disliked someone, they should dislike them too, right? I now realize that’s an extremely messed up way of thinking, but this is what I believed for most of my life.Millennials were conditioned to think a certain way based on our upbringing. Now we're just trying to work through gaps that have arisen in our beliefs about how adulthood should look. Click To Tweet
Those tactics don’t work in the real world, and I was so underprepared for that. I was conditioned to believe that I deserved to get good reviews all the time, even when my efforts weren’t quite up to par. I believed the people in my life should base their opinions on my opinions, which is incredibly catty and childish thinking. I’ve had to process where these thought patterns came from, why they were unhealthy, and how to adjust them. I’m just now getting to the readjusting of my thought patterns. It took a long time to get here. While I’m lucky enough to get to this point, I can’t be the only millennial who was conditioned to think this way.
We’ve Always Been Told Our Hard Work Would Pay Off
Another question for millennials: how many of you were told if you went to university you would be able to get a high paying job in your field when you left? Parents of millennials: how many of you said that to your children? Not only did I hear that from my parents. I heard it from my grandparents. I heard it from my teachers. Everyone and their mother told me that growing up. So now we’ve graduated. Of course we feel entitled to the jobs of our dreams! We’ve been conditioned to believe it would happen from day one. And because it hasn’t we now need to quickly figure out a way to readjust how we see the world. “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up”. “Hard work always pays off”. “Education is the most important thing”.
These Are Things We’ve Always Believed to be True
This is why reading articles by a baby boomer or Gen X criticizing millennials aggravates me so much. Newsflash to those guys, YOU MADE US THIS WAY. You try being told all your life that all of your dreams will come true once you graduate only to be stuck working in retail. Of course we feel we deserve more. We’re just trying to survive based on the guidance you gave us, and while most of it was great we have issues like these to work through in order to become functioning adults. So cut us some slack please.Us #millennials have been told forever that if we work hard and get a good education we'll have our dream job when we graduate. Of course we feel entitled to it now! Click To Tweet
Now I’m not here to pick on other generations, because I know parenting doesn’t come with a guide or a handbook. You did the best you could in order to help us live a better life than you did. And our generation will do the same for our kids, and I’m sure we won’t be perfect either. My point is that we’re all humans on this earth, and we’re all imperfect, so let’s stop the generational hate and just try to understand where each other are coming from.
Technology Provides Us With a Unique Perspective
Millennials are the first generation to have grown up in an era where technology has been so prevalent in our lives from childhood. I started regularly using the internet when I was about ten years old. I remember coming home from school and going straight to MSN Messenger where I would be messaging boys I liked and gossiping to my girlfriends all night long. Still to this day, some of my fondest childhood memories were from chatting on MSN. The next generation will have technology even more ingrained into their childhood memories. And do you know what? I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.
Every generation looks at the next like “their childhood sucks compared to mine”. I’m guilty of it as well (our television shows were way better than the kids shows today, am I right 90s kids?! Lol). Will that ever change? Probably not. But easy access to technology has so many benefits. We grew up knowing how to quickly and efficiently research information with just the click of a button. That information would have taken hours of searching through tons of hard copy publishings. We write papers on Microsoft Word in a quarter of the time previous generations wrote them by hand. We have access to calculators all the time, so it doesn’t really matter if math is hard for someone, because they can still get by in life.Older generations call #millennials lazy because we use technology for everyday tasks. I call it efficient, time-saving, and savvy. Click To Tweet
Laziness Has Nothing To Do With It
Older generations call us lazy because of this. Really, I call it efficient, time-saving, and savvy. I know how to write with a pen and paper. I know how to do math by hand in my head (except percentages and division because calculators work just fine). Yet I also know how to build a website, market online, and type extremely fast. I know how to connect with a friend living across the world completely for free by the internet. That’s something previous generations weren’t able to do before the internet.
At the end of the day, no one person is perfect, no generation is perfect, and we need to stop hating on each other. We’re all very much a product of our environment. I say that with full confidence being someone who studied psychology in university. And while we as a generation tend to have this label of entitlement, I also feel like it’s important to remind everyone that overgeneralizing isn’t helpful either. Is it okay to say all baby boomers are grumpy and don’t care about the environment? No, because that’s an overgeneralization.
What are your thoughts about millennials being labelled as “entitled”? Is it accurate? Is it not? Let me know in the comments!
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