Happy Monday to our Askies.
Hit us up. We don’t bite. Unless you are into that of course.
This week we bring you another series of Unsolicited Advice.
You may know a member of Gen Y. Maybe even a few of them. They are having a hard time. What with cell phones and internet and Facebook and college educations they are having a pretty rough time of it all.
Gen Y’s list of problems is long and includes:
- Other people say we are lazy, selfish and entitled.
- We are the first generation to follow our dreams.
- Our values are completely different – and better – than any generation before us.
- No one has ever taught us how to follow our dreams.
For those of you who don’t actually know anyone under the age of 30 you can witness some glimpses of this in the article Generation Dreamer: The Artist’s Passion vs. Paycheck Dilemma. Here a few samples for you.
Generation Y is a generation of dreamers. And while we’re not the first generation to dream, we are the first to grow up with the encouragement to follow those dreams.
In young adulthood we nurtured our creative passions, we made promises to ourselves that we’d never work a nine-to-five. Meanwhile, the economy slowly crashed down around us. And here we are now—at a time when even making ends meet is hard—with little or no direction of how to achieve these dreams of ours.
“We were always told we could be anything we wanted,” stage actor and rapper, Daveed Diggs agrees. “Then the realization hits you, you have no idea how to fund this lifestyle.”
I know. Tragic isn’t it. All that stuff you want actually has to be paid for.
And while his career is currently paying his bills, it still isn’t enough. “My income varies from month to month, and while it supports the bare minimum, it won’t be ok if something goes wrong,” explains Diggs. “I have zero cushion.”
The path to becoming a successful artist is not paved, rarely does it offer health care or retirement options, and it’s a lot of hard work for free.
Ah yes. Working for free. Gen Y is known for that. But wait, I thought money doesn’t matter? You are following your dreams!
But this generation isn’t one to seek out healthcare and vacation days. “I automatically rebel against jobs I feel forced into doing for money,” says Diggs. “Our parents—my parents—were hippies. The values they instilled in me—do whatever you want/be what you want’ –that was their rebellion. They have a different sort of model to get a ‘normal’ job; it doesn’t seem like such a compromise to them as it does to us.”
A job?!? Gasp!
“What have today’s twentysomethings done to reinvent the kind of life we dream of?” Nathan Heller wrote in the New Yorker this past January. “Certainly, they’ve contributed a lot to the structure of online culture; two-thirds of young adults surveyed in a 2011 study said they’d prefer an Internet connection to a car, suggesting a new social order. But […] Offline, the generation’s dreams seem not to be wholly their own.” Though older generations are quick to accuse Gen Y’ers of not making a name for themselves, maybe we’re trying to do something different. Maybe today’s generation of young adults is trying to do it right.
“Our generation was given a premium on finding a self expression,” says Cauterucci. “And, the way I see it, the economic recession is encouraging people to make their own jobs, instead of being beholden to a company.”
Maybe that’s the difference between Generation Y and those who came before us. Art is a passion that cannot be replaced with a steady paycheck. “We don’t have trust funds,” sums up Mac. “And sometimes we are struggling but we’re usually happy.”
Gen Y. They are way cooler than all us old people. Too cool for school. Too cool for a job. Too cool to be cool.
Robyn and I are going to give them some advice to navigate the future which awaits them.
Read Robyn’s response here: She Says: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Read Skippy’s response here: He Said: Parasites Don’t Make Decisions
As always we welcome your comments below. What would you say to Gen Y? If you are Gen Y take a moment to tell me about how misunderstood you are, how no generation before has ever been as “awesome” (I’m about sick of that word) as you and why I’m such a bad person.