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What do I expect, exactly?

Just read another piece on the internet talking about "Generation Y" and "our" unrealistic expectations. Ugh. I hate being identified by my generation, and I hate mindless "generation bashing" - it's the most asinine thing I can think of; it's painting a myriad people from countless backgrounds with a brush so broad Roseanne Barr would tell it to go on a diet.

The truth is, bashing Millennials was in the vogue a few years back, but people have started to accept that we've got some serious problems, such as a f*cked housing market and student debt here and in the USA, and those problems are the result of the Baby Boomers' ambitiousness - something they accuse GenY of, and refuse to accept themselves. But to see another attempt to bring the blame back to the generation who were infants when their problems started makes me a little ticked off, so I'm going to respond.

First off, yeah, GenY as a whole seems to have a problem with thinking of themselves as protagonists, main characters even, in poorly scripted drama. It's led to ambitiousness without drive - SOME people want results, such as a high paying job, six-pack abs, or a career as an elite assassin/top-tier system administrator (whatever floats your boat) without actually recognizing how hard it is to achieve those things. This is how we were raised, though; when parents and teachers tell you from a young age that "you can achieve anything", AND THEN fail to encourage the competitiveness* and the focus on effort rather than inborn talent that you need to achieve these things, of course some people will be confused. When movies, which were ludicrous escapes from reality for previous generations, became the medium upon which your generation was raised, showing characters walking on screen and just being awesome, of course it creates false expectations. The Karate Kid taught a million youths that you can defeat hardened delinquent athletes at a violent sport they've practiced religiously for years with a short montage worth of effort and cleaning some f*cking fences. From birth we were assaulted with images of luck, wealth, success and most of it was accompanied by only the vaguest hints of actual effort.

Likewise, we were raised to look down upon "sh*t kicking jobs." This was due to attempts by Baby Boomer parents to fill GenY with the drive to succeed past such jobs, to achieve more in their lives. Even nowadays my sister tells me (whereas others assure me she's wrong) that you're nothing without a university degree, working a white-collar professional position; that's the message we grew up with. Now we have GenY youths, terrified of the working world, clinging to schooling until their late-twenties, then demanding a high-paying job without actually having to work for it. They were terrified to take any other avenue in life, and now that they've walked the fabled path, achieved the vaunted goals and expect their reward, now, at age 23. Sad, but remember: their parents and teachers told them it would be owed to them.

But all that said, while I see this happen sometimes, the truly awful cases are very rare. Most people my age were never that bad to begin with, mostly because we feel we've failed to measure up to the very high standards of "specialness" and achievement our upbringing tried to tell us was necessary, but also because reality is the best possible teacher. I expected a quick degree and a $95 an hour job... when I was fifteen and hopeful. Now I just want an entry IT position so I can work my way up and gain some industry qualifications. Most GenYs are long aware of the trials of the workforce and know we have to claw our way up the ladder.

The problem is, the ladder is not the same ladder the Baby Boomers had to climb. They changed it, swapped it out with a bigger ladder; higher and harder to climb, a boon for those already on top. Houses that once cost twice your annual salary now cost seven times; debt cripples American students especially, but everyone feels the pinch in some form; cost of living is spiraling out of control; employers expect degrees and unreasonable experience for jobs that don't require them, while there's an overabundance of graduates and a floundering economy, discouraging training fresh staff; we can't move out at 18 like our older brothers and sisters did, unless we lucked out on a tradesman role. Something that was generally discouraged by our parents who asked us to become university graduates, not plumbers. I can't just go to the dockyards and get a job to support a family by myself, like my father did. It's not that we won't accept a shitty job and work our way up - we try to do exactly that, and more. It's not the booming post-WW2 economy, it's a world fucked over by the economic effects of the War on Terror and a global economic recession. EVERYONE is hurting from this, but the youngsters and elderly with no base and no real advantages are hurting the most when it comes to social and economic advancement.

To quote someone else: "Nonsense. To the extent that there's a problem with Gen Y, it largely consists of having believed that they could do the same things their parents did--go to college, get a degree, get a decent job--and achieve the same results--buy a car, buy a house, start a family etc.

This now breaks down at several points. It's much harder to get a decent job or start a career, even with a college degree. Getting the degree often requires massive student loans. And buying a house in many parts of the country is a pipe dream.

So yes, Gen Y feels like if they do the same things their parents did, they should be getting similar results. If that's entitlement, well, so be it."

And to quote another: "I don't feel special or entitled. I just feel poor."

It's gone from a single man being able to feed a family with an unqualified job, to requiring two working parents... to twenty-year-olds struggling to move out, even if we desperately want to, and baulk each time we borrow money or suckle at the tax-dollar teat. Bloody hell, I've sent out 116 job applications, receiving a total of 3 interviews, and I've applied for everything from cleaning jobs to selling sponges.

I'm not special, I'm not entitled. I don't expect a quick, easy job at $95 an hour to fall into my lap; I just want a job, so I can work my way up that damn ladder and pay for my hobbies, my friends (Australian Gen Y-ers were criticized for being overly GENEROUS to others), and my eventual family. As for the claims that my "protagonistic" viewpoint makes me unhappy... I AM happy, despite it all. I have my hobbies, I have my writing, my interests. I know I mean the world to some people, and that's the definition of self-worth. A little worried for the future, but not cripplingly depressed.

But like everyone else, whatever generation, I just want to be able to stand on my own two feet.

These attacks on Generation Y are nothing more than divide-and-conquer nonsense from the lucky, wealthy elite, mixed with a little self-aggrandizing from the kinds of morons that complain about "kids these days" despite knowing nothing concrete about them.

It's all a distraction to hide us from the fact that, well, MOST of us are being screwed over by the system nowadays, and it's getting worse - that's why people are noticing it more with the current generations, who are raised on the concepts of social equality and possibility.

Instead of taking the bait, can we not admit the obvious flaws in today's system? Can we not be affronted, such as when millionaires smugly leaflet-drop McDonalds applications onto protestors who have degrees, crippling debt and two jobs already? Can we not stop and ask why twenty-five year olds who work full-time are still living with their parents, instead of vaguely blaming them? Can we not look at the graphs, charts and statistics and see there's something wrong?

Yeah, sure, GenY isn't perfect. No generation ever will be, just as no individual can be judged by their generation. But to oversimplify the economic issues we're ALL facing now as "this generation is unhappy because they have lofty expectations", is to plunge headlong into the realm of stupidity... or deliberately disingenuous.

My expectations, which are grossly misrepresented by these so-called pundits, have no bearing on the cost of home-ownership in proportion to the average income.

And I hate to say it, but guys? There's no comparison between a young baby boomer wanting a privileged job with no effort and a young generation Y university graduate expecting something better & more relevant to their skill-set than a job at Micky D's after slogging through years of hard study. They're not the same.
People aren't graduating and expecting 100k per annum; they just want something a cut above minimum wage. That's not entitlement.

Maybe you need to learn the difference. Maybe that's your delusion.


* -- you see that shit with Canadians taking the soccer ball out of soccer to discourage competition? Fuck...

This was originally intended for social media before I reformatted and restructured it for you guys instead. Sorry it's a mess!
Viewed: 65 times
Added: 5 years, 7 months ago
5 years, 7 months ago
Well, obviously, we're entitled because we refuse to work at McDonald's after our parents told us to go to college so we wouldn't have to work at McDonald's, so we went to college and got a degree and now the only jobs available are at McDonald's because our parents' generation fucked up the economy and voted in Republicunts who exported all the good jobs and gutted what little social safety net remains and then calls us communists if we want basic health care as a right like every other industrialized nation has and claims we're not American if we don't blindly wrap the American flag around us and march off to war with people who "hate our freedom" when what they really hate is the past 50 plus years of the US government oppressing them, supporting their brutal dictators and sometimes installing them themselves when a democratically elected government has the gall to do things that the US government doesn't like, and... sorry, I think I slipped off-topic here.
5 years, 7 months ago
Well they don't want to take the blame. It makes them feel better to blame us punks. Even tho they had plentiful jobs, housing, and education they didn't have to fight for. It worse here, as not only are we lazy, but we are godless heretics for being screwed over for there mistakes.
5 years, 7 months ago
american here: just want to point something out we lost the War on terror and the war on drugs, no clue why money is still being poured into them. hell, i'll be happy if i'm making 100k/year when (if) i retire.
5 years, 7 months ago
i'll say i did have some expectations for the 80 grand i put into the degree i got ... one of them was to no put 80 grand into a piece of paper. Others included not having to take 10 years to "pay it off"

I live at home because i can't afford rent by myself lol
5 years, 6 months ago
Just one more thing that makes me glad I'll never have a family. xD

To be honest, I have it pretty damn good. My house is owned outright between three siblings (mother, uncle, aunt) and two of them live in it, so there's no plan to sell it. Plus, Australia's pretty good about this whole thing... compared to America, anyway. At least our minimum wage can support the bare essentials.

But introducing a family into this (plus the added danger of the wife eventually leaving, and taking half the possessions she didn't even contribute a quarter of) would certainly complicate things; I'm very glad that'll never happen to me.
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