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Stupid, Lazy, Entitled Millennials

by Samantha Bentley 5 years ago in humanity
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An Essay/Rant

Hi. My name is Samantha and I am a ‘Millennial.’ In a way I hate that term, largely because it is painted in the media as being such a bad thing. to have the misfortune of being born when we were (between the years of 1982 - 2004 approx). Recently, Good Morning Britain dared ask the question ‘Are Millennials Useless?’ This spurred me to write this piece; it has been bubbling under the surface for some time and now the finger fury has begun to type away. According to the Baby Boomer generation we are lazy, stupid, and entitled. Said generation, you know, the ones that gave birth to us Millennials and raised us to be how we are, the generation that grew up in the 60s and 70s making sweet love and doing casual drugs. The richest generation in history (fact) that could afford university fees on a summer job waiting tables, and come straight out of education into a career. Or, should they choose not to go to uni, get a factory job, in a time where houses and living costs were affordable on one wage packet and that also supported their 2.5 children…. yeah, them. They make wild statements about my generation. The generation that will be the first in history to be worse off then our parents, every dream of allowing my mum and dad to retire early while I pay for their lavish holidays, has been axed… and my brothers and I make good money. Respectfully.

So, I am here to challenge some of the things I have read about Millennials in the last few years...

Millennials want houses with gardens, for our dogs, as a priority (how dare we care about our pets).

Being a Millennial dog owner that lives in a one bedroom flat, I can relate to this. Yes, I do want a garden for my dogs; that is a priority for my next house. Here is why. Right now, my partner and I live in a tiny ex local authority flat that cost just shy of half a million good English pounds; that’s right, people that don’t live in London, that’s what this grey, miserable, overcrowded shit heap coughs up at you when you want to live in its bustling East London hipster Utopia.

We have two dogs that spend the largest part of their day in one room. I work three jobs, I write, I teach aerial fitness/Yoga, and I produce music/DJ. My partner is part of 2 music collectives and also produces for other people in between touring. We are busy, we work this hard to pay the mortgage and bills on our tiny home. Having a garden for our dogs would be such an amazing weight off our shoulders and treat for them. It means if we have to work all day we don’t have to worry too much about them not having a massive long walk. It means we don’t have to wake up in the early AM to take them out before work and also in the late night just before bed when we are cuddled up and warm. This may sound like first world problems, and it is, but everything is relative to your own life. This is something that I would expect from a house that costs this much when we work as hard as we do.

The older generation mock our love and consideration for our pets; has it not ever occurred to them that these are our children? I am 30 and having a baby right now would be impossible, I work all hours and barely have enough room in our home as it is. It’s not as simple as it was before when houses were £30k and the wages were pretty much the same as they are now. If that was the case, I’d have 5 or 6 houses, and trust me I would not be working 3 jobs. I’d also have a baby, and have been able to take maternity leave as my other half wage would support the both of us… oh, and I’d have 4 dogs… not just the 2.

Millennials can’t afford a mortgage because we spend too much money on avocado toast.

What? I mean really, what? I would like to sidenote here that I am one of the very lucky few in my generation that does own my own home. But the struggle to get said home was a languorous one. Let me break it down for you. I am self employed, which instantly makes the mortgage process 10000 times harder then it already is (yay). So, you need to have at least 10% of a deposit to buy somewhere. Let’s be realistic and assume that by age 30, if you’re living in London and you’re working a decent job and making around, say, 35k a year (that’s pretty sweet, congrats to you) you’ve been renting nearish where you work, but you work quite central, so, not too near.

Lets say you are renting in Finsbury Park; still central and pricey but a fraction less than Primrose Hill or Shoreditch, a nice 1 bed flat in a converted Victorian house. It costs you around £1500 per month, bills not included. So after your rent, bills, food, travel and general life, let’s assume every month you manage to put a couple hundred quid into a savings account (bravo you, you’re super together! You’re also probably not eating and have no social life). Even if you manage to do this, to get a 10% deposit to be able to buy a 1 bed flat in London (let’s stick to Finsbury park, central but not too central) you would need around 35k. You then need to prove that you are earning enough to be able to borrow the rest of the money you need.

Also, once you hit 30, they start asking when you plan on retiring because they don’t want you to still be paying a mortgage back when you get to retirement age… how will they get their money back? Oh no! So. All of that aside, let’s look at the fact that most YOUNG PEOPLE, and I’m talking people under the age of around 35, do not have between 35k - 70k to put down a deposit on a one bedroom shithole nearish the area they prefer in London, and EVEN IF THEY DO, they then have to jump through hoops to get a mortgage approved, proof of earning, proof of taxes and accounts, credit checks… oh wait…. you have a crippling student loan, still?

So, instead, they resign to the fact that they will, sadly, probably rent forever and might as well enjoy their life with the occasional breakfast avocado on toast at the cute indie cafe down the road that is part of the reason they love this area so much in the first place. They hate their shithole rented flat, they hate their roommate, and so they choose to spend what little money they have left after all the other bullshit, and LEAVE THE FLAT to go and eat/drink in a more pleasant environment.

All Millennials are lazy.

This one is bizarre to me. I don’t know if it’s jealousy, because our generation has discovered that you don’t have to make your money working a boring 9-5 that makes you want to blow your brains out; we are tech savvy, entrepreneurial and we are ‘slashers’… a word I learnt at a Red Bull Music Academy seminar… meaning you do more than one thing. So, are baby boomers jealous? Or just plain ignorant? Things are changing, social media and the internet have opened up new and exciting ways of generating income. People my age are realising they can in fact follow their dreams. Unfortunately, following your dreams is hard and takes a lot of time and effort and generally doesn’t make you the millionaire you once thought, unless you are super lucky. But hey! You can make a living; you might have to do a little side hustle, but it’s ok! Like I said, I work three jobs, so do most of my friends. Especially the arty types. IF you happen to have a 9-5 career, chances are you do not have time for a side hustle; you work ridiculously hard as it is.

The problem with being self employed is that I need to self motivate. I write a to do list every morning, and sometimes I look at it and want to crawl back into bed. If I was a LAZY Millennial, I wouldn’t own a house. In fact, I would probably still live at home with my parents, because being driven, motivated, and hard working is the ONLY way to get shit done.

(Disclaimer - SOME Millennials may be lazy.)

All Millennials are spoilt/entitled.

Well first off, if that truly is what the Baby Boomer generation thinks of us then… congratulations. YOU FUCKING RAISED US. I don’t think it is spoilt or entitled to want affordable tuition, affordable housing, wages that reflect how much everything else costs, oh, and to have our voices heard. The older generation, largely, voted us out of the EU, closing the door on all of us younger generations that work or wish to work in Europe. I have worked all over Europe since I was 18 years old, and my heart breaks to think that soon I won’t be able to do that without a VISA. Are we spoilt and entitled for wanting to have the choice to travel and work abroad, to live and love in other countries? Are we spoilt and entitled for wanting a house that costs less then a million pounds when we only make 30k a year?

Millennials are stupid.

I learn every day, I educate myself when I don’t understand something. If I don’t know, I find out. I am hungry, constantly learning. I am well educated, but that is a small portion of my intelligence, and I see so much of that in people my age. With the help of the internet, learning and educating yourself has become a simple tool we use daily. We all have mini computers in our hands, one tap of a button can pull up the news, recipes, science, art, literature. We read, we write, we debate, we travel. My generation is the hungriest for knowledge yet. I imagine the generation after us will be even hungrier. To call us stupid is just stupidity in itself. Some of us may not be book-smart but may be well travelled and business smart. Some of us may not have opted for university and all the fees it comes with, but have chosen to self educate, with books and short courses and interns. We learn from our friends and peers. We are the generation making waves in science and technology. WE are not like you. We are millennials, and we are proud.

humanity

About the author

Samantha Bentley

Born and Bred Londoner, Mother to baby Roman and my two pooches, Plant Eater, Yoga and Aerial Teacher + Learner, Music Maker... was once in Game Of Thrones, was once a Penthouse Pet, used to win awards for getting naked.

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