college,  inspiration,  lifestyle,  productivity

The art of being a millennial

         For those of you who don’t know, a millennial is considered to be anyone born between the years 1980 and 2000. I was born in 1995, and this means that when I was born, the average millennial was already 15. Pretty large gap for an entire generation, I know. The generation before us is referred to as the Generation X (Gen X), which is why the millennials are also known as Generation Y (most people know us only as that, “Gen Y kids”).


         But, unfortunately, a lot of journalists, psychologists, and other Gen X people refer to us as “The Worst Generation”. Why? Because they attribute to us a few stereotypes, thus diminishing our role in the world and the way we choose to live our lives.
         To name a few of those stereotypes, they call us lazy, materialistic and cynical, they claim we only know how to take selfiesand we have no idea how to bond with other people, we cannot survive without technology, we will bring down the economy by not settling for anything and, above all, we are entitled job-hoppers. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
         Well, as a millennial myself, I would like to address this situation once and for all from my point of view (although I know this topic still has a lot to offer, and will be discussed on many other occasions).
         They call us lazy. I don’t think we are. Well, of course, there might be some exceptions, but overall I don’t think we are a lazy generation. I think that we found a way to make our lives easier, by delegating tasks which can be delegated, by using technology as it was intended – to make things easier and, most of all, by choosing where to give a damn and where not to. By doing this, we clear up our lives and schedules for things that matter to us, things that make us happy and give us a sense of fulfillment.
         They call us materialisticand cynical. First of all, if we ended up cynical, is because previous generations made us that way. The sad part is that Gen Y is just the result of many years of parenting experiments. Our (or some) parents read all the books, watched all the movies about parenting, and decided to apply everything they learned on us. As a result, every kid got a diploma for participation, even if he or she came in last place. Every participation deserved a trophy, a golden star or a ribbon. You made our projects for us, talked to the teachers for us, and now you call us lazy because we got used to it. You made us believe that every contestant deserved a medal, and then shamed us for having a wall full of worthless achievements.
         Second of all, by making sure that everyone gets a diploma at the end of the race, made the actual victory of coming in first place lost its shine. We were told that we could do anything we wanted and, as a result, we do just that after we finish high school or college, and then you blame us for not having realistic expectations from life.
         Also, let’s not forget that when they were our age, our parents and generally our parents’ generation could work a minimum wage job and have the means to provide for an entire family. Us? With a minimum wage we can barely afford rent, food, and maybe some basic necessities like healthcare and a phone, and they still claim we are the ones who bring down the economy.
         They say we can’t settle down for a job. They are right. We were born in the era of instant gratification. We want to buy something? We can order it online from the comfort of our own home, and we have it delivered home in a few days. We want to reach out to a friend? We text them. Like, in an instant, and they will reply (more or less) just as fast, we don’t have to wait for our mom to finish talking on the land line, so we can then use the phone. Of course we won’t settle! And nor should we.
         Previous generations were used to a straight trajectory, starting right after they finished high school: go to college – finish college – get a job – work there for 40 years – you can retire and start knitting.
         Since we were told that we can do anything, we want to do just that: anything. Anything that makes us happy. If you ask any millennial about what their dream job would be, maybe they won’t be able to tell you *exactly* what that implies, but they will certainly tell you that they want their work to matter.
         Also, we want to work to live, not live to work. Gen Y is more likely to spend money on experiences, rather than spending them on things (I’m sure you’ve seen the motivational quotes I’m talking about), which is why we are also the generation which travels the most.
         Combining our love of freedom with the desire for our work to matter, you get a generation of young adults who are growing tired of the dull 9 to 5 work schedule, and who are more and more interested in companies which allow them to create their own working hours (or at least give them flexible hours). In order to satisfy that need for freedom in the workplace, we might go through a few jobs until we find the employer that will meet our need, and whom we can be loyal to.
         Also, being the first generation to grow up with technology, rather than adapt to it, we have all the necessary information at our fingertips, thus easily accessing scientific articles related to when our bodies are most likely to focus the best, to be the most productive, and when our minds are most likely to wander around.
         This determines us to want to make our own work schedules, so we can make the most out of each hour, working when work is due and running other errands when we cannot seem to be able to focus quite right.


         Let me ask you a question: wouldn’t an employer prefer his employees to be extremely productive, even if it means that they will work 4 hours early in the morning and 4 hours later at night, rather than having them stuck to a desk from 9 to 5 and being almost productive?

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