Opinion: Millennial Unhappiness Leads To Misplaced Anger
This is not to be taken as whining. This is not a boo hoo poor me. This is simply to paint a picture to help you understand why my generation seems hell bent on burning the entire system down.
Now there are a lot of stories you can tell to explain the mind of millennials. We have plenty of issues; from our entitlement to our impatience. But I am going to focus on the key moments that are a bedrock of our generation’s unhappiness.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I don’t remember much from elementary school but there is one day that will be with me forever. Fear washed over the teachers as our classes came to a halt. We were told to stay inside and keep away from the windows. One by one panicked parents came to pick up their kids. America was just attacked. The whole country suffered a setback but for our generation it was a pivotal moment. September 11th marks the beginning of this story.
Years pass and graduation is in sight. But something isn’t right. Which brings us to our next major milestone. The housing crash takes out the entire global economy. My parents sacrifice every asset they own and use all the credit available to them to shield me and my siblings from the crushing effects of the crash. So when it came time for college shortly after; telling us we couldn’t afford it wasn’t an option. Why derail our futures because some greedy people on Wall Street collapsed the economy. Loans became the answer. Private, public, parent plus; anything to get us over the finish line and into a successful career.
Unfortunately job hunting was no longer a walk in the park. Ripples from the housing crash and September 11th made everything harder. The country came a long way from buying a house and raising a family on a single blue collar job.
Finally some of us manage to start careers and families. Dragging a massive weight of student loans behind us the whole way while not really acquiring much combined wealth. Those of us still struggling grow more and more upset. But the feeling of deep unhappiness is all around.
The pandemic hits. Just as we begin to move forward here we are again. Even the most optimistic of our generation begins to crack. All of us are rightfully upset but are not entirely sure why. Something has to be to blame. This creates a search for a villain and that is the problem.
Capitalism, racism, misogyny; something must be working against us, right? A favorable view of socialism grows online. Every social issue that now pops up gets the full weight of my generation’s unhappiness. The media fuels all of it just to drive ratings and it creates pure chaos.
The older generations scratch their heads and wonder why everyone is so upset about X. As politicians scramble to address X. Never addressing the real issue. Inaction makes it all worse. Unhappiness goes on.
Stop asking why my generation is upset and trying to burn the system down. With enough stress, anything will break. We have arrived at our breaking point.