What to Do When You’re Judged Based on Your Generation
My dad and I have been in a very particular disagreement for a while now, mostly since Trump came into the picture. I know that a lot of hardworking millennials are out there; he doesn’t. I’m sure there are a lot of other girls dealing with the same divide the controversial president has brought into families. For instance, my dad chose to send me this text today: "The world is split...your half screams at everyone they don't agree with. My half goes to work and pays the bills that allows your half to scream all day.” I’m wondering if you could ask some of your readers for their thoughts, as I’m sure they’re in the same awful position I am.
There are a lot of annoying (and false!) assumptions about young people—job-hopping, entitled, the whole living-at-home thing—but the assumption that we’re all talk and no action is one of the most frustrating. Especially when it comes to politics. Just ask 15-year-old reader Abbey Perrin, who wrote a whole essay about her experience with adults who refuse to take her views seriously. “I’ve been lectured by countless adults to ‘suck it up’ and to not worry because ‘the adults will handle it,’” she wrote. “Seeing how the election went, many of us have a lot to worry about.”
Lilli, 16, has also been through a similar situation. “It sucks,” she said. “Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that the two of you don't get along, and do your best to avoid sensitive topics. It may not be the best scenario but it'll probably help you feel more comfortable at home.” But if you do feel like addressing the topic head-on, there are ways to do so that won’t cause (more) family drama.
Remind your dad that just like not all Gen Xers are the same, “millennial” is a term that encompasses an enormous amount of very different people. To assume that everyone between the age of 13 and 35 doesn’t care about paying bills is a huge miscalculation of millions.
Take 19-year-old Kayleigh for instance. “I go to work every day from 9 to 5:30, bust my butt off for a poorly paid and highly demanding law job, pay my bills at lunchtime, get home, study, write, read at least a book a week, argue with Trump supporters on Twitter. and still have time to do some bedtime yoga, so IDK what his point is.” Kayleigh’s (impressive!) schedule isn’t totally unusual, either. Over half of young people in the U.S. between 16 and 24 are employed—and that’s not even counting the millions of teens who have side hustles on top of school.
“It’s people like us ‘that scream at everyone they don't agree with,’ aka the activists, who were able to ensure that his place of work had proper unions and workers rights by ‘screaming’ for equality when everyone thought they were wrong,” said Talia, 17.
Still, dealing with a political divide in your own home can be hard. “I grew up watching the O’Reilly Factor every day at 8pm for years. I know what you are going through,” said Aishwarya, 16. “I do school work for 13 hours a day, thanks to five APs, and then I intern for three hours and play soccer for two. You can bet your socks off that once I graduate I will be rich and I will be paying the bills.” And that’s the thing. While it’s easy for those older to point fingers at younger generations, they don’t realize that millennials are gaining the necessary experience—through school, work, extracurricular activities, and simply stating their mind about stuff they believe in—to make sure they (and the rest of the world!) have the best future possible. As Saumya, 13, put it, “We are going to inherit the Earth and all the baggage that comes with it. The fact that our opinion isn't valid is just crazy,” she said. “We are all humans and not mindless drones for anyone to order around.”
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