My mother doesn’t like to admit it but she is a tail-end baby boomer. As generation X is starting to hit their 40s here comes my generation, Generation Y.
Some are beginning to call my generation “Y Me?” Why you may ask? Well frankly all the mistakes of the past are coming to bite our generation in the butt and there is no wish or prayer to stop it. Wars, inflated economy, joblessness, underemployment are all hitting us on the head as we are leaving colleges and universities.
All of us grew up with the notion that, if you go to college and get good grades there will be a job, a decent job, waiting for us. As though college was the proverbial answer to the questions, “how can I not end up working at McDonalds?” And no offence to McDonald’s, but I am not up to my eyeballs in student loan debt to work there. Now as we are graduating many of us are finding out that our history degrees are pointless. Even if you are going into education. With a stagnant economy and the questions about Medicare and Medicaid, many baby boomers aren’t retiring like we were promised. Also, with a stagnant economy even if that baby boomer retires, people just aren’t hiring. No matter how pretty your suit is.
Now yes, my generation has a lot to wine about. The problem is we have become too good at it. Our grandparents’ generation, or great-grandparents for some of us, were called “the Greatest Generation.” Why, because they didn’t whine, they did what they had to do. These people faced a full on depression BEFORE social welfare programs were the norm in America. These people took life by the balls and didn’t whine. They looked for any job, every day just to pay the bills and feed their kids. They fought in wars, and what did their hard work give them, another 5 years or so of an economic downturn. The economy did bounce back into the prosperous 1950s, the age of normalcy that brought us I Love Lucy and all of those great black and white TV shows.
We are facing global terror unlike our grandparents ever imagined, weapons that belonged only in science fiction magazines. We are facing a government that is having to learn to deal with these new issues, just like the government had to learn to deal with and understand the Cold War.
But what we have to do generation Y is to see this time as an opportunity. We have to be willing to take the road less travelled, we have to be willing to say that we are our own destiny. We have to be willing to follow our passions, instead of following the money. I know that may mean that we can’t afford the iPhone 5 or 6 or whatever the number is at now. But we have to be willing to take life and run with it, because Generation Y, we are the only ones who are really in charge of our destiny. And we have to think about the example we are setting for Generation Z.