5 Truths About Millennials

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There’s been a lot of commentary on millennials. I guess you could say we’re a controversial bunch. We’ve been called lazy, selfish, entitled, rude…really, the list of less than complimentary descriptions goes on. We’re the participation trophy generation. We’re the kids who ate only grass fed meat and organic vegetables. We weren’t immunized. We wore hemp. Our mom’s kissed our boo-boos till we were twelve and we got ribbons even when we came in last. We were coddled. We were cuddled. We were encouraged. “You can be anything you want to be,” they told us, and we believed it. And then we grew up.

We worked hard in high school. We played three sports, took APs, and were the president of five clubs. We went to college. We worked (and played) hard there too. We studied abroad, we worked for free, we built our resumes. And then we graduated. We graduated, and this world that was promised to us, this world that was supposed to literally be at our fingertips, this promise of success and opportunity, this promised future, it didn’t exist. We got our diplomas, we took the obligatory cap and gown pictures, and then we moved back home with our parents. This future, this fruitful, opportunistic life that had been guaranteed to us since birth…it was gone. There were no jobs, there were no opportunities, and there were no paths.

We were left with student loans and bruised egos. We were met with part time employment and no benefits. We’re now greeted by our mom and dad in the morning and drift off to sleep while staring at the “Hope and Change” poster on our high school bedroom wall at night. We’re faced with an unemployment rate of 7.6% and a debt of nearly 17 trillion. We’re not lazy, we’re not selfish, we’re not entitled and we’re not rude. We’re angry and discouraged and defeated. Simply put, we were lied to.

Last week, The Washington Post ran an article titled the Five Myths About Millenials. The column, written by Mark Glassman, was an attempt at saying that millenials really have got it together, that we’re not worse off than our parents, that the economy really isn’t so bad, that we’ll make it, that we’re not disadvantaged, that we’re not royally screwed. But the thing about it, is that we are worse off than our parents, we don’t have it together, the economy really is that bad, and damn it, we are royally screwed. We’re in a recession on the verge of a full fledged economic collapse. We’re buying into systems that will soon be extinct. We’re spending more than we have. We’re training kids for jobs that don’t exist. We’re not dramatic and we’re not ridiculous; we are simply dealing with the repercussions of generations before us. We’re angry and we’re defeated, we have a wall of trophies at our parent’s house – simply put, we’re not used to losing.

5 Truths About Millennials:

1. Millennials depend on their parents and can’t find jobs.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently reported that 44% of recent college grads are underemployed. Thus, only slightly more than half of our contemporaries actually hold jobs that require a degree; the rest of us are baristas at Starbucks and folding sweaters at J.Crew. So yes, I would say that looking at those numbers, it is in fact…a fact…that we can’t find jobs. This cannot be attributed to laziness or lack of ambition; there simply are not any jobs worthy of someone with a college education.

2. They’re the most self-involved generation.
As children, we were promised the world. We grew up in a world of budding technology. At home computers, cell phones, and Google all came to be during our formative years. We were raised in a society that told us that we could be anything, and technology and innovation acted as our cheerleaders. We’re motivated and we’re hungry. We want what is ours; we want what was promised to us. We’re self-involved because we were taught to be. It’s a dog eat dog world out there, Mark. We’re just looking out for number one.

3. They aren’t interested in marriage.
It’s not that we’re not interested in marriage; we’re just not interested in marriage yet. And who could blame us? 8% of us are completely unemployed. Of the 92% of people who do have jobs, only 56% of those jobs actually require the college diploma we worked so hard to get. Even if we did feel like getting married and moving our new spouse in with dear old Mom and Dad because we can’t afford to live on our own with our $8 an hour pay and one out of every two marriages currently ends in divorce. What the hell? This is not the happily ever after I read about when I was a kid.

4. Republicans don’t stand a chance with them.
I’m going to preface this with saying that I’m a Republican. However, if the past two presidential elections offer any proof, young people as a whole are not voting for the conservative candidate. In the 2012 election, 67% of people aged 18-29 voted for Obama. Granted, only about half of all eligible people in that age group vote, but that comes out to a cool 23 million, 15 million of whom voted for Barack Obama. The number of young people who voted for Mitt Romney? A little under 7 million. The fact of the matter is, until major changes within the party are made, the GOP won’t be winning any elections any time soon.

5. They have an infinitesimal attention span.
Look, I’m by no means a doctor, but if the obsession we have with refreshing our Facebook pages and Twitter feeds is any indication, I’d say that yes, we have a short attention span. Our eyes are glued to computer screens and our hands are in constant connection with some sort of electronic device. We’re busy bodies. After all, aren’t we the generation that was fed Ritalin from a silver spoon?

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Catie Warren

Catie struggles with adulthood and has been celebrating her 21st birthday for the past three years. She attended college in the nation’s capital and to this day is angry that Pit Bull lied to her, as you cannot, in fact, party on The White House lawn. Prior to her success with PGP, Catie was most famous for being featured in her hometown newspaper regarding her 5th grade Science Fair Project for which she did not place. In her spare time, she enjoys attributing famous historical quotes to Marilyn Monroe and getting in fights with thirteen year olds on twitter. Email: catie@grandex.co

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  1. 47
    Chuck_Moskowitz

    #4 absolutely blows my mind. Try being a millenial Republican in Los Angeles… it’s not fun you guys.

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • -3
      thefatbaker

      Wow, seeing all of you here supporting each other, It’s amazing. It sucks being a millennial republican, I’m so glad I found you all. *seriously this is not sarcasm* All my friends are liberal and they just don’t get that the dem economic policies are batshit insane.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
      • -19
        OmarShamshoon

        I’m 30, so I’m old enough to remember a solid economy. When I started college in 2001, student loan interest rates were 2.1%. Can you guess who raised them? Hint: wasn’t Democrats. I also remember that the Bush tax cuts were passed because the government was running a surplus. Bush argued, “Well, that’s America’s money. Give it back and watch it boom!” Then 9/11 caused a recession and revenue dropped. The answer? Tax cuts! “Why, we don’t have enough money. Give ‘em a tax break and watch it boom!” Millenials are bearing the brunt of a decade of that bullshit.

        One party has batshit crazy economic policies, and it ain’t Democrats.

        Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
  2. 27
    Bubba

    Republicans don’t stand a chance with any young conservative voters until they actually run a conservative candidate with and actual plan of how to fix the economy. Young people haven’t hurt Republicans, the American reliance on a 2-party system has. I’m very conservative and don’t like 99% of them.

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • -2
      dargonhuman

      Amen to that! That’s why I get so irritated with my girlfriend when she complains about my job and that I should get a better one.
      My usual reply is, “Mm-hm, and as soon as there are better ones available, I’ll fight off the 30 or 50 other people applying for the same positions with my bare hands to get it just so YOU will be happy.”
      I should mention that because of disabilities, she hasn’t had to work for nearly 11 years and has zero clue about what the current job market is like. Hell, she’s not even a Millenial, she’s a Gen-Xer having been born in 1975.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
  3. 14
    JDbro

    When I was growing up, literally no one was telling me to get a STEM degree (entered college pre-recession), and it’s disingenuous to offer this as “advice” to millennials now.

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
  4. 10
    postgradpanda

    Catie, I love this post. This does seem to be exactly what the world thinks of the millennial generation despite the fact that most of us have been working as hard as possible for as long as we can remember. I just graduated in May, and while I did get a “real” job despite my degree in English, it’s not something I even remotely like or am passionate about. So even when we do get jobs, chances are it’s not what we really want to do, but we have no choice because of the mounting pile of bills we face in the real world. Thank you for speaking up about this.

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
  5. 5
    BitterJD

    I believe that the unemployment rate for recent grads and 20-somethings is at least double the national average of around 8%. I don’t remember where I read this, though.

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
  6. 3
    tprice5

    On top of the ribbons and trophies you didn’t earn, they’ve now given you an excuse for why you’re failing, the ultimate coddle if there ever was one. It amazes me that people major in English and Liberal Arts and are genuinely surprised to find that their are zero career prospects following graduation. Did you research trend reports and annual salaries of desired positions before choosing your major or did you just go into Philosophy because your ”bff ashley” was doing it. I am turning 24 in October and I am pretty sick of being lumped in with my unemployed, whiny peers, if you could even call them that. I’d include my salary but I’m not trying to pull any power/douche moves today. Can’t get a job? Join the fucking army/airforce/marines/navy (I’m in neither, btw). Have you ever heard of veterans preference? It basically gets you bumped to the front of the HR line. I’ve been trying to join Air Guard for years but can’t find the time to get away from work.
    tl;dr version: Stop making fucking excuses for why you’re not where you want to be and do something about it!

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • 6
      MGMT Trainee

      Sometimes people choose those degrees because it’s what interest them or what they are passionate about, I wish I went that route instead of getting a business degree.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
      • -3
        tprice5

        And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. My sister got a degree in Music performance and teaching and now is a music teacher at an elementary school. She doesn’t bitch about her salary and she sure as hell didn’t walk out of undergrad expecting a fat check.

        Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • 5
      JDbro

      You dumbass the military is in cut mode, and the standards are insane now.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • 2
      BitterJD

      Wow. You totally don’t understand this article, the struggle most young people face, or the reality of the world. I would curse you out, but “I’m not trying to pull any power/douche moves today.” Do you have any idea how few people can even join the service today? My best friend is a Marine, and he was almost excluded from enlisting because he was prescribed Ritalin more than a decade prior to joining the Marines.

      For the record, I’m 27, a lawyer, went to a better undergraduate school than you, majored in business in undergrad, was a DI athlete, and I basically hit every single positive check box that HR departments want. Yet, I still was unemployed until almost a year after graduation, and I have a salary that is about 1/3 of my student debt load.

      tl;dr version: They’re not excuses, you self righteous cuntstain. Almost all of us have done “something about it,” yet we are still ridiculed, criticized, and subjected to uninformed rants by dipshits like you. Go buy a cactus and sodomize yourself with it.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
      • 0
        tprice5

        I like how you gloat about your undergraduate degree and complain about your student loan debt in the same breath. It’s not about where you go. ROI is the bottom line. Seeing as how I graduated with zero debt and am now making what I had dreamed of making by 30 at 23, I’d say I won that one, champ.

        Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
      • -2
        tprice5

        You just substantiated my entire argument in one word, “Lawyer”. Go look up how many students law schools are churning out these days. Go ahead …. I’ll wait.
        D1 athlete? You mean they didn’t just drop to their knees and blow you right there? HA! You’re so fucking full of yourself. I know life was real easy for you in college but we grown ups operate on a different set of rules. You actually have to show up and can’t, wait for it, cheat off someone! I know this is a lot for you to handle all at once but you’ll get through it.
        “Almost all of us have …” Have you met every single graduate in the past 8 years and did they elect you to speak for them? Now I believe the D1 comment. You’re over generalization destroys any credibility in your argument.

        You missed MY point. What upsets me is posts like this that extend the message that it is completely okay to do nothing because thats just how things are right now and there isnt anything you can do about it. It’s a fucking lie. Move somewhere with better opportunities. Get a PMP certification. Go back to school and get a degree with value. There are countless things one could be doing to make them self more valuable to potential employers as opposed to just giving up.

        I know it’s hard out there for some people but I think if you’re willing to move and you have a good work ethic you should be able to find something.

        Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
        • 3
          JDbro

          He has a job…

          Just incidentally, legal hiring for recent grads is 1) pedigree-obsessed and 2) incredibly regional. Some “good” schools hold barely any cache outside a given state (ex. UF, UGA, Bama). Some “okay” schools don’t hold any cache outside a specific tri-county area (Penn State, Brooklyn Law School, etc.). Good luck if you want to tap into your law school’s alumni network in some far flung area (I’d venture to say most places hire exclusively on or rely heavily on referrals). Then you have another state bar to worry about. So in general, for lawyers, “just move” is pretty worthless advice.

          Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
          • 2
            fthisplace

            Have a good friend that went to a good law school in the north east. Graduated high in his class, but when he moved back home to a fairly large metropolitan city in the Midwest he had a tough time finding a job with a large firm. All of the big firms basically have agreements with the 3 regional law schools for their associate openings. When they have openings that don’t go to graduates from the regional schools (usually 2-3 a year) they pluck people from Ivy league schools. Basically unless you graduate from a top 10 program you better intend on practicing in the same region as the school you went to… unless of course you want to work for the government.

            Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 6 months ago
          • 0
            tprice5

            I know he has a job, and I’m glad he does because that’s just one less lazy asshole I (we) have to support. My “lawyer” comment to him was based on data suggesting that the market is currently flooded with law school graduates.
            My advise to move was generalized advise for people who only search metropolitan areas in a 50 mile radius of their parents house.

            Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • 1
      Average Joe

      Joining the military isn’t something you just do because you don’t have any other options.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • -1
      Semper_YUT

      “been trying to join Air Guard for years but can’t find the time to get away from work.”

      Yeah that’s exactly right, I earned the title of Marine because I couldn’t get a shitty entry level job HAHAHA. And you don’t have time to join the air national guard? Grow up peter pan its once a month on the weekend commitment.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
      • 1
        tprice5

        No its 9 weeks basic, 12 weeks OCS, 16 weeks for BOLC. That’s roughly around 9 months. Can you take off work for 9 months? And I know, “they can’t fire you” blah blah blah. That’s complete horseshit.

        Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • -15
      dargonhuman

      Veterans preference? Yea, that only lets you cut in line at the homeless shelter. There are just as many – if not more – veterans who are out of work, homeless or underemployed and not just from our generation but EVERY generation. Military service doesn’t give preferential treatment, it gives HR a built-in excuse to reject your application outright. “You’re a veteran? Oh, I’m sorry, but that makes you overqualified for the position,” which really means, “I’m worried you may be doing drugs due to your PTSD because I was a draft-dodger in the 70’s and have zero clue what being in the military is like.” My high school friends who served have taken to hiding their veteran status just to get jobs as Target night stockers or WalMart greeters.
      Taking years away from your family, risking your life and fighting for your government doesn’t even get you a pat on the back and a “thanks,” from the government anymore.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
      • -3
        JDbro

        Veterans do get preference for jobs with the federal govt. Too bad there’s a sequester on.

        Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
        • -5
          tprice5

          Hiring freeze will be lifted soon and organization are hurting for people.

          Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
  7. 3
    ICF

    Companies want people who have accomplished something. Most grads, while getting decent/good grades, didn’t accomplish anything extraordinary in college beyond days spent hungover. Compounded with the lack of new entry-level positions, this makes employment hard.

    I’m not saying you went through college drunk and stupid, but remember those losers in the chem lab at 11:00 p.m on a Saturday night? Yeah, they’re published in a scientific journal, employed, and are probably loaded.

    Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago
    • -3
      mericangurl

      I’m all about getting useful degrees, but I don’t entirely agree with this. I went to an engineering school and got an engineering degree AND a product design degree and I’m seriously underemployed. If you’re implying that I didn’t work hard enough in college, I’m a little offended.

      I even did the internships and was all lined up for a job in the medical device industry…until the company I worked for lost 350 mil because of Obamacare.

      So yes, I get your point about getting a hard-fought degree…but that doesn’t guarantee anything in this economy anymore either.

      Nice workMehLog in or sign up to reply. • 2 years ago

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