Generation Y. The Millennial Generation. My generation. We range from anyone born from 1980-2000, so anyone from 12 years old to about 32. Some say that the future for us is dark. I like to think differently. I couldn’t help but notice the facts, though. They’re interesting, I’ll be honest, and I’m quite amazed at some of them. You ready for them? Chances are that if you’re reading this you’re a member of Generation Y. (For the record, most of these facts are about the American Generation Y).
We’ve grown up with 9/11, school shootings, and the recent Colorado shooting. We have some of the highest amounts of student debt than any other generation before us. We’re also more racially diverse than any other generation but in 2008, only 40% of us were seeking education after high school, the study done on graduates who were from the age 18-24 at that time. Apparently, younger Caucasians are twice as likely to graduate from college than African Americans and Hispanics combined (22% to 11%).
13% of us that are students in high school do not work. 33% of graduates are working at what they consider their life time career. 36% depend on financial support from their families (this is graduated millennials), including 14% of all the mils that are working full time. A little over half of us pay our monthly bills on time. On average, we carry three more credit cards than our previous generation, and one out of every five of us have credit debt of around $10,000. 60% of workers, when losing or changing jobs, from the ages of 24 to 32 today have now cashed out their 401(k) retirement plans, which isn’t a good thing because that brings about tax penalties and squanders your retirement funds. 2/3’s of us have and will graduate with student loan debt.
93% of all of us use the internet regularly while 75% have a social networking account. 41% only own a cell phone and no land line. 50% of YouTube users are in our generation. 1 out of every 5 of us have posted a video of ourselves online.
40% of us have tattoos. Just 2% of Generation Y males are military veterans. At a comparable stage of their life cycle, 6% of Gen Xer men, 13% of Baby Boomer men and 24% of Silent Generation men were veterans.
Our generation is supposedly smothered in student debt. And the numbers say that a third depend on their parents, while half still don’t pay their bills on time.
I was always told as a younger kid when I wouldn’t exactly appreciate something for what it was worth or, frankly, when I was being a little brat, “Just wait ’till you grow up and face the real world.” Is this the real world that we’re supposed to face? My generation is being put up against the highest costs of living, the highest costs for education, and the highest costs for medical care. We’re going to inherit this debt of trillions of dollars that our nation’s brought on and the couple billion dollar deficit with this state.
The school of my dreams? It would’ve cost me about $68,000 to attend for four years, including the interest. That’s in fifteen years of paying back $300-ish a month. And those are the private loans at a semi-decent interest rate.
You see, there’s a reason why I’m involved in politics. Many reasons, and this is one of them. And I’m not saying it’s impossible to succeed. Because it definitely is something anyone can do. I think, though, that it needs to change. Politically, yes.
But my generation, the Millennials, the Y-Generation, needs to start fighting. There needs to be a change in the way we’re choosing to live our lives.
Some of us spend hundreds of dollars on clothing. We buy jeans that cost at least forty to fifty bucks a pair, socks that cost five bucks a pair, and shoes that cost close to a hundred. The youngest girls of the Millennials look twice their age with the ton of make up on their faces, and I know at least a half dozen sixteen year-olds that drink regularly with other high school friends.
Most of the Millenials that are my age almost expect things to be handed to them. Food on the table, a car, college, you name it. I’m not trying to make myself better than anyone else nor do I believe I know better. Also, I’m completely generalizing. And I’m not perfect either.
What I’m trying to say is that this world expects something out of us. It expects more than us to just sit around and wait for things to look good for us, and finally do something. In fact, I think this nation is demanding that the Y-Generation does something huge about the way things are going for it, and the rest of the world for that matter.
When I’m an adult, I don’t want to have to sit down at dinner with my children and turn off the news because America is now 40 trillion dollars in debt, gas prices are over ten bucks a gallon, and I can barely afford the food they’re eating. I don’t want to be scared for their futures, and be in a defeated acceptance of my own– if I were going to make them succeed, I’d have to work till the day I die.
We’re faced with crashing economy, unemployment highs, and a nation led by politicians that would rather point fingers, argue, and blame each other than work together to find any solutions. This is all true, yet most of us are more concerned with who’ll get the Grammy Award, what singer will win American Idol, and how another star overdosed on drugs and died tragically.
And that gets more publicity than the soldier who lays down his life to save his platoon, leaving his children fatherless, and wife a widow.
We need to start caring more about not just our future, but the rest of this nation’s. And I know a lot of you still want to have fun. Especially the youngest. I’m directing this at the young adults around my age. You guys can complain about what the adults are doing. And blame them for doing nothing to stop the crisis headed our direction in the years to come. Don’t be a hypocrite and partake in that same inaction.
I’m going to end this before I start going overboard. Frankly, this upsets me too much.
Here’s a quote from a very smart man.
“Always, we hear the cry from teenagers: ‘What can we do, where can we go?’ My answer is this: Go home. Mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and when you’re finished, read a book. Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun. The world does not owe you a living; you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy, and talent so that no one will be at war, in sickness, or lonely again. In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, and get out of your dream world. Develop a backbone, not a wish bone. Start behaving like a responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late for you to sit around waiting for somebody to do something, someday. Someday is now, and that somebody is you!”
He’s so right, too. You’re worth something, you have enormous potential to do something, and there’s a lot of something you can give if you choose to. Someday is now, and that somebody is you. So do something, contribute, and start changing the world and the direction it’s going in. I won’t say whether it’ll go south or north, but I know our generation, the Millennials , can change that.
PS; this is a totally general rant. I’m not saying we’re all inactive and such, it’s just that there aren’t enough of us who are active. FIN.
Featured image credit: NationsWell