Stop Talking About Millennials Like We’re Not Here

by. Laura Li

Analysts and commentators talk about millennials (also generally known as Gen-Y) in hushed tones, as if we’re not in the room and on the web, reading every single thing they postulate about our futures. Well, actually, when The Atlantic ran a piece last week titled “The Unluckiest Generation: What Will Become of Millennials?” I avoided it for a few days because who wants to read a piece calling you the unluckiest generation?

The article is full of the same depressing numbers I’ve seen every month since I was a senior in college. Sometimes I wonder if non-millennials (note: writer Derek Thompson is presumably in the Gen-Y club) enjoy writing and reading about our young people problems out of a sterile disinterest, as one would gaze upon hyenas fighting over savanna territory in a documentary.

You don’t have to tell us that we’re not doing well. We live out those statistics every day that we sit at home and send out 50 cover letters to positions we never hear back from. The messages we receive from media experts and other adults can be conflicting at best and otherwise downright motivation-sucking. These are the two messages we hear most often:

You’re Screwed

This one’s easy — it’s everywhere! Our student debt is bloated and growing, and that pesky wage gap will follow us until the end of our days because our salaries simply start lower. Plus, while the rich get richer and the rest of us get nowhere,

No wonder we don’t want to grow up. I couldn’t if I tried!

You’re Special, But Not Really

As befitting of the older generation, some folks chastise millennials for being “entitled.” Apparently we’ve been “coddled by parents,” according to HR executives who deplore our job-interviewing skills. How is it our fault that our parents thought we each needed to be treated like special butterflies?

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