For over 20 years, Millennials have been the generational punching bags. From the 1990s, when participation trophies – which, for the record, only got handed out because a committee of adults decided to – were awarded, to recent years when we have been blamed for killing every possible industry that ever existed.
Yup, before we were even old enough to do anything for ourselves, we were being saddled with horrible stereotypes. To that, I simply remind you that Gen X had hair that, quite frankly, needed its own zip code. Let’s not even talk about the amount of hair spray you all had to use to get it to stay just right. And Boomers, did you actually want to go down the disco rabbit hole right now?
Well, listen up, you thirsty little spin goblins, because we are in a new decade. During these next 10 years, older Millennials are going to hitting 40… so, to put it more eloquently, y’all are fucked!
You see, as of 2019 we are already the largest living generation and we are getting to the age where we stop worrying so much about avocado toast and start making changes to the chessboard of life. As we transition from entry-level to middle managers to running the whole damn show, we are going to finally be able to make decisions that will affect change for all of the future generations to come.
A little bit of history before we get too far. Millennials were born between 1982 and 1996, roughly. We grew up with two working parents, during an economic boom in the 90s, were forever changed when 9/11 happened, and were the first generation to embrace and come of age with technology. Social media used us as guinea pigs and we began graduating into a non-existent job market with the Great Recession at the end of the 2000s.
You could say that we have kind of survived a lot – I mean, we even made it through Gangnam Style relatively unscathed. But all of these experiences have affected, effected, and warped our brains. When it comes to making decisions all of these things have been blended up into some kind of nasty smoothie that we take a swig of while planning out our life decisions.
But I can guarantee that within the next decade you’re going to see Millennials leading the charge on these topics:
- Climate Change
While Gen Z currently hosts the climate change poster girl with Greta Thunberg as their own, one of the cornerstones since our wee-teenage years has been a socially conscious collectiveness. As Mayor Pete is proving, we are now old enough to be President. While not that many people can actually be Commander-in-chief, you can bet your bottom dollar that more and more of us are going to be ascending to prominent roles in government. With that, we will be making the environment a high priority; you know, so we have a place to live.
- Higher Education
When we were in high school it was force-fed to us that in order to have any kind of adult life, you had to go to college. We were brainwashed harder than a Scientologist, that college was the only path to success. What wasn’t explained was the crippling debt that it would lead to – which coincidentally has been realized and college is no longer viewed as the only path for high school students. The cost of college has led to many of us delaying adulthood milestones like buying a house, getting married, having children, and the ever-important: making it rain down on strippers for the fun of it. (They don’t take kindly to trying to make it rain quarters, just FYI.)
- Health Care
Look, in theory, everyone wants to give everyone access to healthcare and not let others die in the streets. But going to that whole looking out for the greater good thing that Millennials have repeatedly been found guilty of in surveys, we are willing to actually spread the wealth and let more people come to the table. Obviously, health care reform is a complex and boring thing, so I won’t go into my very detailed three-step plan on how to fix it. Just know that within the next 10 years you’re going to see something happen, and you’re welcome in advance.
And, if there’s time, we’ll work on some kind of world peace. It’s on the plan.
If this sounds a little bit like a battle cry, then just call me Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because Millennials are coming into power and aren’t going to apologize for fixing the messes that we have inherited. It may take baby steps, but we are patient. We’ve been the brunt of your jokes for 25 years.
Ok, Boomer… so the next time that you think about mocking a Millennial, remember that most likely we are also going to be the ones having to make the decision whether to pull the plug at some point. We are going to be running things shortly and we can all live together harmoniously, or we can just burn it all down and make The Purge movies a reality. Your move…
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob