"But Those Damned Kids Are On My Lawn!"

A friend posted something on Facebook that got me thinking, but I didn't want to clutter up the comment thread on her post with my sometimes overly philosophical ramblings (which are often seasoned liberally with profanity).

I feel like the coddled “Millennial” has become something of a meme. In my experience (and admittedly this could be colored by the fact that I work at one of the best public universities in the US), I see today's students and young professionals working to change the world in really direct ways in spite of the fact that (1) it's harder than ever to get into a good school, and (2) the amount of college debt they've taken on makes them have a lot fewer resources to work with. Just on my own personal social media in the last few months, I have seen people younger than me feeding the homeless, volunteering with political campaigns, going into public service, and donating money to charity even though it means tightening their own belts.

This is nothing new of course. When I went to college, the meme du jour was the lazy Gen X stoner. All in the Family was funny in part because it reflected the culture clash between the older “Greatest Generation” and young idealistic hippies. Each generation seems to feel a need to tell younger generations to get off their proverbial lawn.

Personally, I say, “Fuck that shit.” Cultures change—sometimes dramatically. To quote Shelley, “Nought may endure but Mutability.” The moment you stop adapting and start pining for the good ol’ days is the moment when you’ve chosen to get old, and that’s something I’ve personally always refused to do.

It’s not easy starting out. It never has been, and it likely never will be. As a young professional, you have to deal with setting up your own independent life, dating, and figuring out how to pay bills with your entry level paycheck. And on top of it? People are way less likely to take your opinions seriously in meetings. That’s something we all have in common. Let’s all try to build on that.