A Lesson for Millennials and Baby-Boomers

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As a millennial, I understand that our generation has a pretty bad rap. I've been around adults who did not hold back their opinion when it came to telling me what's wrong with people my age. In my own opinion, millennials are eager. They know what they want out of life, and they are ready to work hard and get it. However we're believed to be self-entitled with a demand for immediate results. It's assumed that we expect success, yet aren't willing to put the necessary work in.

Internet definitely has taken a toll on us, and it has created a divide between our generations. We grew up with the most advanced technology; our parents did not. We grew up with access to absolutely everything right at our fingertips, able to be found in a moment's notice. Inevitably, this gave us a degree of impatience. Since we've always had immediate results, we continue to expect them. We are distracted with short attention spans, we want things quickly and sufficiently, and all over social media we are seeing things we want, need, have to have. Unrealistic expectations are everywhere, and millennials are thirsty to make them happen. But if this presidential debate is teaching us anything, it's that you shouldn't generalize a group of people. You shouldn't take one person's qualities and apply them to everyone relative.

Although I don't think it's appropriate to attribute so many grievances to a general age group, there is something I do think us millennials need to learn: patience.

We are all about instance gratification. We expect raises, promotions, success, and wealth to come almost instantly. I have coworkers my age demanding a $10,000 raise after working for one year, at their first office job ever. We want success, and we're willing to put in the effort and hard work, yet we're impatient. We want everything now. We think we deserve everything now. We think we have earned everything now.

Yes, our attention spans and unrealistic expectations can be to blame. But you parents of millennials, who claim that they are spoiled brats with no work ethic... what is your role in that?

The reason I drag you baby boomers into this is because parents have a direct influence on who their children grow up to be. As I listen to parents complain about their kids my age, I can look back and see a direct correlation between their influence and who their children became as adults.

BMWs and Mercedes littered the parking lot of my high school. They didn't belong to the grown-up, hard-working teachers. They belonged to 16 year-old kids whose parents bought them luxury cars for their birthdays or after they passed their driver's test. So obviously as those same kids grow up, they'll be demanding, expecting, a Range Rover by the time they're 25. They never had to work for the BMW, so why would they have to put in the time and effort for the Range? As for the kids with the hand-me-down cars, those were the kids who were working after school jobs and putting their own money into their gas tanks.

So many millennials grew up just being handed things by their parents. And even when they are practically adults who can enter the work force, their parents will continue to endlessly hand them money. I do think that parents should support their children for a period of time before they can be completely and comfortably independent. But do you think supplying your child with an infinite amount of cash to spend at bars and on blow during college will really motivate them to work hard post-graduation?

I know some people who would break their expensive cellphone, tell their parents, and then they'd suddenly have a new one, no questions asked. It wouldn't matter that it was their fifth iPhone 6 that they broke in a year. They would have no idea how much it cost or how long their parent had to stand in a Verizon line. Hmmm... I wonder where this self-entitlement and instant gratification thing comes from.

I've watched parents complain about our generation's laziness while they did their 23 year-old's laundry. I've had adults tell me to my face that my generation isn't hard-working; meanwhile I've had a job since the fifth grade. I did pet sitting and baby sitting and once I was of age, I was working after school jobs in high school, I never stopped working during college, and I immediately sought jobs right after graduation. Those parents who say something like that to me usually have kids who drive Infiniti's, use Daddy's platinum to get gas, and only got a good job after college because they had connections.

Overall, baby-boomers and millennials grew up during very, VERY different times. It's hard to even begin to understand what struggles the other generation has gone through. As millennials, we don't realize the problems they're facing later on in life, and they don't realize what it's like to be living in a time when you can't afford to move out of your parent's house until you're almost 25. This is why we all must learn patience, from each other and for each other, so the gap between our generations is only based on age and not lack of empathy.

But this is what I want to clear up: those millennials that you baby-boomers call lazy, those are the people who were handed everything through life by their parents. Before you start patronizing and generalizing an entire generation, why don't you take a look at who raised them?