The Millenial Generation: Yes I am one.

Posted: November 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am part of this generation, which has been called so many horrible things. We are called self entitled, lazy, moochers. I am tired of the over generalization. I read article upon article about my generation. If the article is not negative then the comments that follow are very negative.

As any generation we have our faults. I know I have many. The life I am living right now at 29 is much different than I had imagined. I had thought surely by the time I am in my thirties I will have arrived, no debt, a home etc. Instead I find myself heavily in debt, much of it because of my own decisions. I just recently came across this article:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/a-29-year-old-on-the-difficulties-of-landing-a-first-job/article4184375/

This article began a reflection process on my own life. If I had not had cable or a cell phone etc, that would have been an extra $5000 in my pocket. All those clothes I had to have over the years of schooling. Those cups of coffee. I have lived a life of excess and my student debt load shows this clearly. Now I had worked hard during my schooling, but in school and in part-time jobs. How many times did I celebrate and spend $50 here or there? Looking back I wish that I had walked rather than taken that cab.

I have partially allowed myself to be conditioned by society to want to live this life of excess, and that is a change from the previous generations. I do not live outside of my means, but I do live well. I should be more focused on paying down debt. I often wonder what would happen if Gail Vaz-Oxlade were to come into my life, what changes would she force upon me?

I also come from a generation where we were given everything on a silver platter. We watched our parents work their way up the career ladder with just a high school or undergraduate degree. We on the other hand struggle to find work with a master’s degree or a PhD. As a generation we are looked upon negatively, painted with the same broad stroke. I don’t think we deserve this. Yes sometimes we can be entitled brats. On the otherhand, if you take a chance on us, many times we will prove that we are hardworking individuals.

Unlike our parents generation, we have now come to understand that in the workforce we will never have jobs that are not 24/7. We have email, cell phones etc, we are always connected and thereby our work is always able to be in touch with us. I know for myself, if I get an email at 10pm on my day off, I will try to answer it that night instead of waiting til a work day. My spouse jumps into action when he gets a call that he is needed at work, arriving there within 15 minutes of getting the call that he is needed.

We are a generation that no longer takes a sabbath. We do not have that luxury, often working more than one job, as more often than not we are part-time. Full time positions are harder to find. As a clergy person, I am in a part-time position. I love my job. The hours are irregular, the required eduction is high compared to the end pay, but I am lucky. I am one of the few in my generation who is working in the field in which I am trained.

We are a generation that has become disillusioned with the world. We feel misled, we feel lost and hopeless. We lack job security. At least in the maritime region of Canada we lack jobs. I know of many Masters graduates who take their schooling off their resume so that they aren’t seen as over educated. They do this, not to find their dream job, but to find a job that will allow them to survive. The world has changed, when we were children we were given the world. As adults we find out that we cannot provide for our children as our parents provided for us. We are scared, we are lacking job security. We come across as whining on social media, twitter etc, but wouldn’t earlier generations come across the same way had social media existed?

We are struggling to figure out how to make our mark on the world and how to survive. We keep waiting for our time to not struggle, but I fear as we walk along, we will only be going into an uphill battle. The question becomes, how do we find hope? How do we move from a generation of hopeless people to a generation of hopeful people?

We have the power to change the world, we just need to figure out how to use that power.

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