UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

Everybody hates millennials

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Why are people constantly putting down millennials? Millennials are being called the worst, the cheapest, the laziest, the most spoiled and the least respectful generation. The name calling needs to stop, because millennials are delicate snowflakes who are used to receiving participation trophies and not criticism.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are those born during the early 1980s to the early 2000s. We are the children of Generation X, who are defined as cynical and directionless, and they are the children of baby boomers, who have been called the ‘me’ generation. Each generation is defined by their “collective” flaws and appear to continue the pattern of insulting the generation born after them, which includes their children and grandchildren.

First, consider the fact that millennials did not just appear one day. Most of us weren’t made in a laboratory. We had parents that taught us to believe in ourselves; they told us we were special. Besides parents and family members, there were also life-defining events that have changed the way we think and feel about different situations.

Prozac became available to the market in 1987. We saw the Tiananmen Square protests and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The World Wide Web was available to the public in 1993, which was just the start of the many technological advances that took place during our generation. We became unsure of our safety in schools after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Everyone was terrified of the world ending in 2000 (Y2K).

Many of us were in school when we found out about the 9/11 attacks. Conspiracy theories were everywhere, forcing us to question almost everything we have ever been told. Firefighters, the police and emergency workers were no longer average citizens who occasionally did good deeds, they became known as heroes who command respect. Patriotism was everywhere and America was no longer a nation that can be attacked, it became a nation that attacks first. This way of thinking is still apparent in 2017 with President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

Then there was Enron, Saddam Hussein was captured, Anthrax and Hurricane Katrina – which produced a new term, American refugee. We also saw when the “Great Recession” started and the aftermath of the BP oil spill.

Imagine being around 5-16 years old during each event. What happens when you see your parents being loyal to a company, doing everything right, and then they are fired because of corporate scandals or the “Great Recession?” You are young enough to not be set in your ways, so you change your way of thinking. We are being called entitled because of these events. We learned that being loyal does not guarantee security. We constantly think of the worst-case scenario and we have to know our worth so that we don’t get pushed around and/or fired.

We are being called narcissists because we were able to adapt to change and learn from our parents’ mistakes. Millennials do have a lot of confidence, but that’s because our parents taught us that confidence is a necessity.

The older generations want to say we’re the ones who are ruining the economy because of our laziness and because we’re living with our parents instead of buying a house. They should take into consideration that we were told growing up that we had to go to college. There was no other choice, we must get a degree to get a good job because working at Subway is frowned upon. So, we went to college, found out how expensive it is and took out student loans because we didn’t want to disappoint our parents. But now, there are people with degrees with a large amount of student debt who can’t afford to buy a new house and are probably working two or more jobs, with one of the jobs at Subway.

Nobody wants to take responsibility and everyone is putting the blame on the young kids, but the kids didn’t raise themselves. The bottom line: all our flaws that are being criticized were taught to us by the generations before us. And keep in mind, we didn’t make the participation trophies and give them to ourselves.