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Hard Lessons Learned From Being A “Millennial”

(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

I was born in 1983.  That makes me a millennial.  I’m a little bit on the older side of my generation, but I fall into the category.   This is aimed at helping those on the younger half of my generation. 

My coming of age was at the turn of the century.   I graduated high school in 2002.   I went on to college for my 2 year degree in my field and hit the work force in 2004.   Reality hit as I sat in my 1 bedroom, dump apartment, hundreds of miles from home at my first career job.   It hurt, bad.

See, growing up as a millennial we were all going to go on and do great things.  That’s what we were told from kindergarten on.  Reality wasn’t always there for us.   There’s nothing wrong in telling your kids to strive to be what they want to be, but giving them an award for just trying doesn’t quite help either.

See, we got use to praise for unremarkable things.   And that brings me to the first point.

No one is going to go out of their way to make your life better.

Simply put, you’ve got to do it.    It’s up to you.   The world doesn’t give a crap about how you do.

It’s time to grow up now, not later.

For some reason there’s a lot of people think it’s OK to put off big life things.  Like buying a house, getting a stable job, having children.  I’m not saying to do these things if you’re not ready, but also don’t put them off.  You may regret it.

Having the newest things isn’t necessary.

Spending tons of money on new high priced items shouldn’t be the priority.  I fell into this trap in my early twenties… I put off bills and fudged my budget so I could buy things I couldn’t really afford.   Then when the power is shut off, you’re new xbox isn’t really worth it, is it?

On the same topic, I’ve seen a lot of people stretch their budget for the nicest possible house they can afford.  And then call it a “starter home,” that makes them house poor.

Life really isn’t fair.   Not at all.

I finally paid off a credit card I was working so hard on.  It was really tough, but I finally did it.   THE VERY NEXT DAY the transmission went out on my truck that I still had payments on.  Credit car was maxed out immediately.   I didn’t even after have the joy of seeing a zero balance statement.

Crap like this happens all of the time.  Prepare yourself the best you can.

Enjoy the good moments.

Those first few years out of school can be really tough.  They were for me.   It’s really important that you can identify the good times while they are happening, and soak in the moment.   That’s not something that I was good at.  I’m learning from it.  I take time now to be thankful for the good times, and not dwell on small problems we may be facing.

You’re adulthood starts with debt.  And I’m not talking about financial debt.

Sure you have college loans etc, but that’s not what I’m talking about.   I’ve seen so many people my age think they are entitled to something.   It has to do with what I talked about at the beginning of this blog.   I admit that I went through this stage too.   I thought the world owed me something because I was told I was so great by everyone growing up.

Reality hit when I had my first job and I was struggling to make rent, eating ramen noodles.  It sounds cliche, but that’s what happened.  I still didn’t change for a while.  I still thought something was going to magically fall into my lap and I would be better off.

Out of the gate you owe everyone something.  You didn’t pay for your school, you didn’t pay for your expenses of growing up, a lot of cases you didn’t pay for anything.   Now it’s your turn to start paying society back… not the other way around.

 

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