A millennial. Now what do you think of upon hearing this?
For many they get the same reaction time and time again. “You have it so easy”.
When in reality this is not the case.
Millennials have many issues that they face in the very narrow time of growing up. These can be things such as education, in the workforce and even their relationships now and in their future lives.
The minute we step into higher education, as in HNC/D courses or university level, unless you are affluent you are pushed in to the SAAS system. When explained is basically a loan that you do not have to pay back until you are making enough money upon leaving your course.
Now this all seems fun and games as you may never have to pay it back, but what happens if you get a pretty decent job and now for the rest of your working days you have to pay back this loan.
The highest payable amount back if you complete the four years in education, is over a whopping £20,000.
If you do not ‘qualify’ for SAAS funding, you then have to fund yourself. Many students have to get part time jobs around their studies or even full time in order to meet rent agreements and bills, all while surviving off this said wage.
The pressure that comes from leaving school and being expected to go straight in to higher education, not only off peers but also parents.
You are seen as being ‘lazy’, or ‘ignorant’ for ignoring what our elders may not have had the chance to experience.
These many years of stress, debt, and studying may not even end in a job. Walking out of college or university with a degree or even a masters, does not in today’s society guarantee you anything?
Comparing this to older generations, many of them would leave school and go in to menial jobs or even educated jobs while learning as they go. Is all this really worth the slight chance of getting your dream career… the same dream career as thousands of other people your age or even older?
Many millennials have trouble finding part time or even full time jobs these days. They’re either too young so don’t qualify for the experience or maturity of the job, or too old as they want apprentice qualifying age groups. Even upon gaining a job, many of the younger generations face exploitation, whether it’s through how appalling the national minimum wage is for their age group or they have to work extremely unsociable hours. This is due to jobs involving PR work or even in the hospitality trade taking young staff in due to how low they can pay them, all while working late nights at the weekend as these are the only types of jobs that fit in with studying. These types of unsociable jobs all while studying, how is this the norm?
Relationships aren’t any better. With dating apps such as Tinder being introduced, the chivalry and routine of dating has changed majorly. Instead of dating those around you, you then date those you only know off a screen. This makes interacting with those who you are attracted to in person a near thing of the past. Everything is done over the phone or on a website. Experiences with friends have even changed. Many under the age of 18, have probably never kicked about the park or go to their friends’ houses as much as they would have done, now all interactions are online beforehand or even in general. The pressure from parents these days, coming from a millennial, is absolutely horrendous. Whether it be regarding education, relationships or even friend groups. This is nothing compared to peers. Having the latest phone, latest makeup or even the clothes you wear can influence your social groups completely (apart from the few lucky ones out there!).
Dr David Reeves who is a part of the team at the Southbank Child Centre in the Gorbals added to this stigma.
“Teenagers in 2017 have it harder than a lot of folk like to let on. I see many teenagers and even children come in with mental health issues than stem from their school life or even the stress put on them thanks to today’s society. Compared to previous generations this would never have been the case in majority.”
Stating millennials have it easy and/or lazy is a very broad statement from a generation who may never have to go through any of these issues. We have our pros and cons, but in many of the bigger issues and more meaningful, the cons outweigh the pros.