There’s been a lot of talk this election season about the importance of the millennial vote. Democrats and Republicans are desperate to court them while at the same time struggling to make sense of who, exactly, millennials are. There’s a good chance the politician with the most millennials in his or her corner will be our next president. This generation, made up of roughly 18-30 year olds, is a significant voting bloc. And if I’m being honest, it worries me more than a little bit.
I’m going to generalize and stereotype my way through this column, and I have no doubt some people who are technically millennials not only don’t behave the way the majority of their generation does, but are also disgusted by it. Those are millennials that give me hope. But they are often overshadowed by their generational cohorts, like:
The girl who, when told by her boss to tidy her work area, walked out the door and screamed "It is not my job to clean. I quit!"
The kid who brought his mom to his interview and asked if she could sit in on it with him because, "She’s better at explaining how good I am at stuff."
The other millennial, who, with a very straight face, suggested he should be making six figures at age 22. After all, he just graduated from a public college with a B average.
And yet another who insisted he would never take a job without six weeks of paid vacation. Because sitting in silence with his shaman in India for a month each year was imperative to his mental health. The remaining two weeks of his paid vacation time would be spent at Coachella.
The girl I overheard talking on her cell phone in the locker room at the gym who could not believe her landlord expected her to street-park her Audi while he fixed the driveway. He obviously has it out for her.
In the past few months, I’ve run into each of these millennials. They are real, live people who one day, in the not too distant future, will run our country. And it kind of terrifies me.
I’m kind of afraid of living in a world run by a generation who got trophies just for showing up.
I’m kind of afraid to live in a world run by a generation who can’t have a conversation without an emoji or a full, grammatically correct sentence.
I’m kind of afraid to live in a world run by a generation who takes a duck-face selfie at every red light and immediately posts it to social media.
I’m kind of afraid to live in a world run by a generation who consider sex a currency and Snapchats a credit card.
I’m kind of afraid to live in a world run by a generation who would change "Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by" to, "I took the one less Tweeted about."
I’m kind of afraid to live in a world run by a generation who needs to see a therapist after reading this column because it hurt their feelings and now they feel persecuted.
It used to be that each generation had a handful of entitled trust-funders who never understood the concept of having to work for something. But that was OK because they actually didn’t have to enter the workforce. Now though, we have an entire generation of people who feel entitled, and they don’t have a trust fund, or much of a work ethic, to back it up. And worse, they’ll be the ones to put the rest of us in nursing homes one day.
I want to tell this generation that criticism might hurt, but it’s important. Sometimes you need to know this so you can improve. It’s not an excuse to go home sobbing about how unfair the world is and how you’re a victim.
Being held accountable for your actions, being expected to show up at work and be professional is not a reason to gather signatures for a petition and create a new movement #ideservemore. Somebody needs to tell them: #noyoudont.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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