How do you confuse a millennial?
While enjoying those precious minutes of quiet on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, I decided to do the old, slow scroll down my Twitter feed.
It read the usual: school complaints, social dissension, something-something Harambe, “#HowToConfuseAMillennial.”
Woah, freeze. OK, you got me.
What I saw had me a little broken up.
“Tell them they have to pay for their own expenses,” tweeted one user, while another wrote, “ask them to work overtime.” Scrolling aimlessly through battered complaints of laziness, disrespect and uncharted poverty, I felt perplexed.
I sifted for hours through everything from economic breakdowns from men who provided empirical data they figured sounded right, to bigoted rants about our generation’s ability to sympathize with all the people of our world.
I was awfully confused. I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that these people were criticizing the generation they raised.
You cannot blame a dog taught to bark at intruders for barking at unfamiliar guests. You taught it to do so.
We, as millennials, are expected to follow the same path as the generations before us. We are expected to go to school, get a job, buy a house, hell — throw having a few kids in there.
And sure, that seems easy enough. But, if I break it down, maybe you can see what I see. You can confuse a millennial by instilling the only way to succeed is to get a degree.
According to USA Today, tuition today is 1,120 percent higher than when the average millennial’s parents went to school. Nope, that’s not an error. One thousand one hundred and twenty percent. Education has become out of reach for far too many.
OK, but, let’s put that aside. Say, we do make it to college. Now, for most of us, we still need to make ends meet. We still need to survive. On average, working with today’s minimum wage, the wage most college students are paid, a fulltime worker will make a meager $15,080, which gets a lot worse when you consider the cost of living for any single adult is around $28,474 on average.
Maybe, you’re right and our millennial math skills aren’t as sharp as the older generations’, but that just doesn’t seem to add up. You confuse us by expecting us to find a high-paying job while the job market continues to deteriorate.
You confuse millennials by criticizing all these participation trophies that you yourselves handed us all our lives.
You confuse millennials by preaching hate for our actions while we try to demonstrate our love for one another, while we try to end the injustice we see unfit.
You absolutely, indefinitely confuse millennials by telling us that the world is within our reach, while you dismantle our economic infrastructure, pushing livability further and further way, yet you ask us why we aren’t trying harder.
We are lost, swimming upstream against a raging current. Now, while the world pokes fun at our struggling peers, I have to ask: how do you confuse the generations before us?
We, against the odds, succeed and simply prove you wrong. We could sit here and pass blame for the rights and wrongs and our disposition. But, there are other ways to be examples for the new generation, and only we can show them.