Millennial is the term used to describe a generation that was born somewhere between 1980 and 2000.
In other words, it’s a term used to describe me. I was born in 1988, I’m now 29 years old, I am, therefore, classified as a millennial.
My generation has taken quite a bashing in the media.
Reports describing us as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, job-hoppers, amongst many others. And as I sit here comparing myself to the descriptions written about me by various reporters, I can’t say that I disagree with everything.
Truthfully, I probably fit the mold of a typical millennial – I don’t want to get a job, I am very selfish when it comes to giving away my time and freedom, and I believe that I can get a whole lot more out of my life.
Most people have been brainwashed into following a certain path that has been laid out by society. They don’t question why or seek other options, they just follow the same path as everyone else.
But through advancements in medicine, technology, and travel, my generation has been the first to be able to take a different route.
More people than ever have decided that they are capable of, and want, more.
A reporter can label that as entitled and narcissistic, but I call that pioneering. After all, weren’t we all taught to follow our dreams, create the life that we want, and don’t just follow the pack?
It’s the first time that we are seeing that happen on a global scale, and instead of celebrating, we get labeled as the ‘worst generation.’
Society dictates the ideal life
The ideal life that is favored by society and the media goes something like this…
- Grow up and work hard at school
- Get good grades and move on to college and university
- Graduate university and get a good job
- Find someone you’re happy to ‘settle with’ and get married
- Buy a house together and have children
- Raise your children to repeat the same path
These are life “milestones”, and the “ideals” that we are all constantly subjected to.
For some reason, other people seem to be worried, and often judge me because I am not on this path. They often mistake me for being “behind” and needing to “catch up”.
These milestones are not for me
I don’t want a 9-5 job that dictates my location, daily schedule, and lifestyle. I see so many people spending a huge proportion of their life doing things that they hate. And truthfully, life’s too short for that shit!
Not having a serious relationship and getting married allows me to go and chase my own dreams. I’m not confined to my partner’s location or work schedule. It allows me to continually date whilst staying in the ‘honeymoon period’ and keeping things casual. I can meet new people and avoid the repetitive routine of marriage.
Renting allows me to stay mobile. Economists don’t view housing to be a great investment anyway – houses trap your savings, go out of style, and require years of renovations and maintenance. Check out this recent post on Business Insider where a financial planner states that he spends more time talking young people out of buying houses and his reasons behind it.
Selfishly, remaining without children means that I don’t have to put my life on hold. Being responsible for a child would change every lifestyle decision that I had to make. And truthfully, I am not ready to give up my freedom and make that sacrifice.
Often, people complete these milestones without ever meaning to.
They accidentally fall into a job/career path that they never chose. They didn’t plan to have children but one popped along anyway. They don’t really want to get married, but they’ve been dating the same person for 5 years now, they just feel like they should propose.
I understand why all the above may be desirable to others. If they make you happy then I will celebrate along with you, but they are not for me.
Taking the road less traveled
I’m not behind because I’m not solidifying a relationship, buying property, and popping out kids.
Life isn’t a race, and I don’t have to check off these milestones to deem my life to be fulfilled.
Is this my view because I’m a millennial? Is it because I’m rebelling against society? Is it because I’m narcissistic? Or is it because I just want to consciously travel my own path and that maybe I want something different?
The world is evolving faster than ever and we millennials would be crazy if we didn’t try and grab every new opportunity that is now available to us.
Let us push the boundaries.
We may not be doing things your way (school, job, house, kids, repeat) but that’s okay, we’re swinging the bat, trying something new, and doing things our way.
P.S. Feel free to throw your 2 cents in the comments section.