For the passed couple days I’ve been seeing this video in my Facebook feed about what’s wrong with Millennials. Being a Millennial myself (1988 baby!) I kind of avoided watching it because I figured it was going to be the same old thing: we’re lazy, entitled, narcissistic brats who go whining to mommy whenever things don’t go our way. I’ve heard this time and time again, and it’s something that bothers me because I don’t see myself that way.
I wasn’t coddled growing up. My mother didn’t baby me and hold my hand every step of the way. She raised me to be very independent and self-sufficient. I was given a $20 allowance every month that I had to earn by doing my assigned chores—dusting, sweeping, setting/clearing the table—and that allowance was further used to buy things that I wanted that she didn’t deem to be necessities, such as makeup. Of course when I was a child I was bitter about this when I saw that everyone else around me was having things handed to them, and a lot of my peers didn’t even have chores. But boy am I ever grateful now.
I worked for my A’s in school, and I worked hard. My mom didn’t call the school to complain or accuse the teacher of being unfair if I came home with a C. I also never blamed the teacher myself; I never whined, “Mr. Sharma just hates me”—I knew I deserved that C because I knew I wasn’t good at f*cking drama and I hated it so I didn’t try. That was on me, and I knew that.
I never got “participation medals.” I took gymnastics, swimming, archery, and track, and I earned my places. If you didn’t earn first, second, or third, you didn’t get shit. That’s not to say that I didn’t get any praise for trying, because I did, but I was also told that if I wanted a medal, I’d have to try harder.
We had an old dial-up computer. Just one. Not multiple. No Ipads, tablets or smartphones. Of course it was exciting when we finally got one; I wanted to play on it all the time. But our time on the computer was limited. And even then I still spent the majority of my time outside riding my bike, climbing trees, building forts and playing in the street. In addition, my mom took us for walks on trails every. single. weekend. I also had to make do without a computer at all for the majority of high school. I wasn’t glued to a screen for my entire childhood.
I started working when I was 12. Yes, it was at my mom’s work, but she wasn’t by my side all day long. I was given instructions and left to my own devices. I went on to obtain other jobs throughout my teen years with the belief that I had to start providing for myself.
I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 18, and I only even got one because it was given to me from my best friend, who won it at a concert we were at. Even then, there was no data on it. I had a plain old Pay-As-You-Go plan. In fact, to this day, I have never paid for a cell phone. I never go out and buy the latest, greatest one; I simply take my friend’s rejected phones when they go out and buy the latest, greatest one. Also, I haven’t even had a cell phone for almost a month now and I feel no pain lol.
This is why I am a bit offended when, as a Millennial, I get lumped into such an unfavourable generalization. I’m not perfect, and my upbringing wasn’t perfect (who’s was?), but I wasn’t raised to be a spoiled, tech-obssessed, self-important brat. Sure, I wasn’t completely immune to the effects of growing up in the Millennial generation; I’m still guilty of looking at my phone when at dinner with friends or checking Instagram while brushing my teeth in the morning. But I’m far from the “lazy and narcississtic” person that most older generations have reduced us ALL to.
That is why I enjoyed this video. Simon Sinek explains why many Millennials are the way they are, which further supports my argument that I’m not entirely like what my generation has been accused of being. I’ve seen this video being shared back and forth, and I believe it’s because someone has finally, clearly explained what is “wrong” with my generation, and further, I think there are plenty of other Millennials out there who feel the way I do; they resent being called lazy, entitled, etc. and refuse to be diminished that way.
Watch for yourself and let me know what you think!