Millennials tend to get a bad rep – we’re self-absorbed, but not sufficient. Our dreams have been coddled, and our desperate need for a reality check has been neglected. We can account for more trophies of participation than we do actual achievements. It goes on…
I don’t necessarily subscribe to the belief that these notions are true – all the millennials I’ve met are crazy hard workers and in touch with the reality of their situations (when I say student, you say debt!). Still, sometimes when I take a step back from my inner monologue, I find myself thinking – you’re a walking cliche.
For instance, last night, I was laying in bed having a “what am I doing with my life” type crisis (as you do), when I realized that a great portion of my current dissatisfaction with my job stems from the fact that – in a matter of months – I’ve gone from being consistently praised for being an “overachiever” to nearly daily reminders that I’m a completely incompetent failure who can’t get anything right.
I feel that this situation balances a thin line that a lot of young professionals in our generation have to deal with on a daily basis – being stuck in employment situations that are legitimately demanding and often unhealthy (what work-life balance?), but not being able to speak up without the fear of being viewed as a whiney millennial who can’t pass a day without an affirmation from an authority figure.
It’s time we get unstuck, and the first step is how we think about ourselves. One too many times have I been yelled at by my boss for a mistake that was not mine, only to think I deserve this because I am an entitled twenty-something NYU grad whose life has been way too easy. As if living in fear of my boss is a reality that I need to experience in order to grow the thicker skin that will be my key to success. There is a difference between facing reality and facing mistreatment, and millennials mistake the two. Just because Time Magazine once wrote an article about the selfishness of our generation does not mean that we have to bend over backwards at every request to prove we are devoted to our work. We can be hard workers without having to disregard ourselves in order to beat a stereotype.
We have to believe that we deserve better in order to make it happen. We deserve to get out of work before 9pm more than once a week, so that we have time to go to the grocery store. We deserve to make time to take a walk at lunch rather than sit at our desk inhaling last night’s Seamless Pad Thai. We deserve not to have to take multiple trips to the bathroom every week to cry because we’re afraid of getting yelled at. None of these things make us lazy or entitled.
(1 hour writing pause to read BuzzFeed)
UGH OK – this post is way to serious and depressing, but the point I’m trying to make to you, to myself, to everyone is that just because you were born between ’82 and ’00 does not mean you have to sacrifice your entire wellbeing just to disprove a point that isn’t even true to begin with! Millennials are kickass, so go kick ass – but also sleep and eat and see your friends. And don’t cry.
Here’s my kickass moment of the week (this is the first time this has happened since August. INBOX ZERO BABY.