As I enter adulthood I seem to be getting a lot of advice from other adults, primarily from the generation who raised mine, about what being an adult is like and how they coped and how I’m lucky because it’s easier for me now that it was for them way back when. Whilst I appreciate the advice and take some of it on board, I find it hard to relate to a lot of what they are saying for the simple fact that we are generations apart.
I find it difficult to categorise anyone who is over four years either way of my age as being in the same generation as me, so anyone over the age of 23 I find hard to relate to. Some people might disagree, but the simple fact is that I’ve just entered adulthood and many people four years older than me have got their degree, started their career and have begun to settle down – I am nowhere near that stage yet. It is for this reason that I struggle to empathise with certain things they say.
First of all, one of the biggest axe I have to grind is finding a job. Back in the eighties/nineties/generally anytime before 2008, people were able to leave education with the bare minimum and walk into an establishment, hand in a CV and get a job. Nowadays it doesn’t work like that. For a start, the population is growing, meaning there’s more competition now than there ever has been. Secondly, qualifications matter. The more qualifications you have, the better your chances. Thirdly, it takes up to a month to hear back from a job for the simple reason that hundreds of people apply therefore there’s a massive amount of applications to process and it’s just not possible to reply to every single applicant, meaning that often we are left in a lurch. So stop yelling at young people for being ‘lazy’, it’s not a case of being lazy, it’s a case of there being more people and more abilities to compete with.I’m sure if some of the generation above tried to get a job in this day and age you’d see it’s not as easy as you clearly think it is.
Technology. How many times do young people get yelled at by their technophobe parents for being on their phones or laptops too much? A lot. I understand that in the eighties you had to use a landline to call your pals, but this is not the eighties. If I have a device that I pay for myself that makes talking to my friends easy, I’m going to utilise it. Social media is vital. News breaks first on social media, we can get support from strangers who understand us on social media, we can find videos demonstrating new skills on social media. It’s a tool and sometimes people abuse it, but for the most part we utilise it in a way that benefits us. I know some people will argue that all we do is sit on our phones, but why would we want to interact with people who call us ‘lazy’ and ‘entitled’ all the time? There’s a reason we’d rather use our phones.
Thirdly is moving out. Back in the day you could scrape enough for a deposit, walk in to a shop and get a job and hey presto, you can now pay your rent, all at the age of 18. Unless you go to university away from home, odds are nowadays you’ve got no chance of moving out until you’re in your mid-twenties. So whilst you (generation above) can sit there and say ‘go to work, stop whining and being lazy’, it’s not quite that easy. In the nineties you could buy a three bedroom house for £20,000. That same house would cost over £100,000 more in todays market. Our money doesn’t go as far as yours did, so stop being blind, take your blinkers off and realise that actually, you had it easier on the housing front.
Finally is looks. So many people complain about how young girls dress, how much make-up they wear etc. We have been raised in a time period with heavy photoshop usage, higher standards of beauty and a shit-tonne of judgy peers. A baggy jumper and slacks simply won’t cut it these days if you want to avoid snide comments. Fashion has changed, trends have changed and styles have evolved. Beauty today is not what it was ten years ago. Contouring is the new blue mascara and hair glitter.
No generation has had it easy, we’ve all had our struggles and troubles. It’s easy for people to look at us now and think that we have it easier but we don’t. We have our own problems that you didn’t have, just like you had problems that we don’t have. It’s not fair to look at us and call us lazy and privileged and entitled just because we can’t get a job or we dress in smaller skirts. Instead of slagging us off and widening the differences, we should help each other. Teach your mum how to use Twitter, and if you’re a mum, respect that finding a job is going to take a little longer and support your child instead of yelling.
Images inserted to post: PDD – no copyright – no credit due
Featured image: Donna Longobardi (PDD)