A Recent Report On Millennials Claims It's A Lost Generation (But, It's Dead Wrong)

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A Recent Report On Millennials Claims It's A Lost Generation (But, It's Dead Wrong)
Contributor
Self

Millennials. We are one of the most criticized generations out there, and speaking as someone from this frustrated group, it's getting rather annoying. 

The millennial generation is defined as being born in the time from the early 1980's to the mid-1990's, so teens today are actually Generation Z, not Millennials, as they are sometimes believed to be. 


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The older generations of Baby Boomers and Generation X love to comment on how lazy we all seem to be and that we expect things to just be handed to us. They praise their own work ethic as a gold standard, while demeaning all millennials as entitled.

In fairness, this is something that older people tend to do with younger generations overall. It's quite common to see your own upbringing and values as the ideal. The question is though, are their assumptions about us valid? 


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A new report by The Daily Mail states that Millennials who were born in the 1980's are now at risk of becoming a "lost generation". The term is in reference to research that this specific group of Millennials are the worst off when it comes to wealth accumulation. It also adds that the wealth gap between the young and old was significantly widened following The Great Recession in 2008 and that the 80's babies might never financially recover from it. Basically, it's a glorified way of saying we're screwed. 

So if Millennials indeed are a "lost generation" or at least on the verge of becoming one, who's to blame? Is it Millennials themselves, or is it outside factors that led to this? 

Our critics would argue that it's us. Because of our entitled beliefs, we lack the necessary work ethic to succeed and therefore, that is why we are financially worse off than the Baby Boomers and Generation X.

From someone who actually is a Millennial born in the 1980's, I can tell you a strong work ethic is not something that solely belongs to those older generations, nor did they do everything perfectly either. Yes, there are absolutely those Millennials who further the notion that we are entitled, but that certainly isn't representative of an entire generation.


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Even for the hardest-working Millennials though, there are outside circumstances that have had a negative impact on our generation's opportunities for economic success. 

The biggest example of this is the drastically rising cost of universities. A college degree is a necessary step to compete in today's workforce, and attending college is also an experience that many young people want - and deserve - to have. The problem that many millennials have had to deal with is being able to afford the high cost of college, which is where student loans come into the picture.

Millennials were not just entering the workforce with the focus of finding a job; They had thousands of dollars in student loans to deal with as well. Landing a job right after college that you can live comfortably on AND pay off your student loans - where is this unicorn? 

It's not just the rampant loans we are dealing with though, but also the continually growing wage gap.

via GIPHY

Baby Boomers and Generation X's prime working years were at a time when America's middle class was thriving. Millennials on the other hand, are seeing their prime earning years defined by the wealthiest in the country making more than ever and everyone else's wages stagnating, essentially decimating the middle class. Add onto that high healthcare costs, and it's easy to see why Millennials are having such a hard time.

Regardless of where you stand politically, there's a reason that Bernie Sanders' message resonated so strongly with millennials; We were the age group who felt most affected by the burdens that he was focused on addressing. 

The truth is that many Millennials have to work twice as hard for less money and have bigger financial setbacks because of many outside factors that ironically, were created by those older generations.  

So if Millennials are indeed becoming a lost generation, there's a good chance that you can find us at the local mall, where we're working our second job in order to make rent and pay off our student loans. 


Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and Michigan native. When she's not writing, Jill enjoys Zumba class, travel, and referencing classic Seinfeld episodes.