If there’s one thing I’ve heard constantly throughout my life, it’s how lazy the youth of my generation are.
I was born in 1995, so depending on where you look, I’m either classed as a young millennial or a former Gen Z.
Older generations constantly discuss the work ethic of people my age, and while I agree that we generally don’t want to exist in the work environments of our predecessors, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to work at all.
We just don’t want to work the way people have in the past, and that mostly has to do with the effect we’ve seen on older people in our lives.
My mom and dad came from very humble backgrounds and they worked hard all my life to raise our socio-economic status and provide a better life for me and my siblings and although we appreciated the sacrifices they made facts, we also wished that their time with us wasn’t one of the things we had to give up.
My mother is a palliative care nurse and my father works in construction. By the time they got home at 6 p.m. during the work week, they were too tired to spend much time with us before we had to be in bed.
My mother was often on call, which meant that there were also many days during the weekend when we didn’t see her often.
From what I understand, Millennials and Gen Z want to contribute to society, but not in a way that forces us to neglect our families and work to constant mental and physical exhaustion like our parents and grandparents.
Today’s youth are far from lazy. Our K-12 schooling is more rigorous than any generation that has come before us, and it needs to be, given the advances in technology that have taken place in recent decades. School-aged children learn more advanced concepts earlier because of the amount of material to cover.
Inflation and the ever-increasing cost of living force many young adults to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Going to college, as we have been encouraged to do all our lives, costs exponentially more than it was for previous generations. This makes our loans astronomical and interest rates have made paying off your debt an almost impossible feat.
Even when we get a bachelor’s degree, it is still difficult to find a job in our fields. It seems that a bachelor’s degree today is what a high school diploma was in the 80s and 90s, because most companies are looking for candidates with a master’s degree, even for entry-level jobs. Even more outrageous, the monetary compensation offered does not match the level of skills and knowledge they require at a minimum.
This is not to try to invalidate the struggles older generations faced as young adults. Rather, it is simply to point out that while technology has made life easier in some ways, it has also made other things more difficult for young people today than they have ever been before. .
Hearing many older people ignore the challenges we face is disheartening to say the least, as we struggle to navigate society, the economy, global health crises, personal health crises, and labor and housing markets. constantly fluctuating.
Rather than being so harshly criticized, it would be nice to receive validation and words of encouragement. It would be even nicer if some members of the older generations understood that life is not a competition in which one determines who has had the most difficulty.
Simply put, I believe we should all want things to be easier for the generations that come after us rather than trying to ensure that we all have to struggle in the same way.