- zero tolerance policies in schools/colleges.
- parents paranoid about (accidents/child molesters/whatever) because of the cable news’ fascination with violence.
- constant social media record of all our cringeworthy moments through middle/high school and beyond (that your college staff/boss WILL look through)
- College being seen as essential, and super competitive, to the point of obsession
- Massive student loan debt being a norm, with absolutely no consumer protections common to all other kinds of loan
- No real choice in politics
- A saturated professional job market, and stagnating wages, forcing graduates to take low paying, low skill jobs, often while still living with their parents
- Pensions are a thing of the past, social security is a joke, and who can afford to save money?
What I’m saying is, this generation is surrounded by circumstances that conspire to produce a learned fear of failure. Every place their parents and grandparents had to explore and learn from their mistakes is now a failure-critical step towards the next level of scraping by. There is no healthy outlet for the kind of rebelliousness that characterized the social revolutions of decades past. No sane person would take that kind of risk.
We have sacrificed so much to live up to the previous generations standard of success, and are being called lazy and entitled because we’re not meeting their milestones, because they rigged the game before we were even born. The world’s teenagers and 20-somethings didn’t start any wars, crash any markets, or decide any policies, we have had all of this inflicted on us. Now, when we stand up and say “This isn’t fair!” the message from those in power changes from “This is the generation that will change the world!” to “Those damn lazy, entitled, millennial”s don’t appreciate what they’ve been given!” No, we don’t and there are some very good reasons for it.