A Millennial Asks A Baby Boomer
Many people of the Baby Boomer generation think that the Millennial generation is lazy, spoiled and entitled,but there are a few who can see that a generation can only be successful if given the opportunity
August 27th, 1991.
I am a Millennial; the current generation of young adults born between 1981 and 2000. Each generation has a different world of experiences from the previous. Sometimes two generations have similar experiences and sometimes they’re vastly different. And more often than not, Millennials are compared to the Baby Boomers. Usually, this is because most Millennial’s parents are those of that generation. Baby Boomers are those who were born between 1946 and 1964. My dad was born December 29th, 1961 making him a Baby Boomer, growing up in a different U.S. than I did. I’m sure my kids will say the same thing about me and they’ll probably be right.
Back when I was unemployed and eagerly job hunting, I talked to my dad briefly about the differences in job hunting now vs. job hunting back when he was my age. This coming to mind recently, I thought it might be interesting to look at the world through the eyes of a 25 year old Baby Boomer and compare it to that of a 25 year old Millennial.
I, the Millennial, asked my dad, the Baby Boomer, about living in the U.S. then vs. now, some key differences between our two generations, and what he thinks of this generation. Here’s what he had to say!
The Job Market:
Millennial Me: I feel like the parents of my generation think that a college degree will guarantee you a good, secure job. But, the unemployment rate of Millennials with a college degree is higher than you think. College/University is getting too expensive and causing the dropout rate to escalate because they’re all trying to get jobs to start paying off their loans and tuition! And that’s causing the job scarcity that exists today.
Baby Boomer Dad: “Unskilled (factory, general labor, etc) were plentiful and the country was still producing both durable and non-durable goods. Skilled jobs were available but competition was keen as my college generation was the first to have computer-related classes or majors. Minimum wage was $3.65/hr. I owed $50,000. My monthly student loan payments actually applied about $12 of $150 toward the principle, the rest paid the interest. My student loans payments were about 20% of my take home pay.”
Millennial Me: We have access to know just about everything going on in the world. Elections, Women’s Rights, LGBTQA+ Rights, climate change, terrorism and everything in between are brought to light because we’re the generation of social media. I’m not convinced that there’s more happening in the world now than there was then, good or bad. We just have more access to it and are more easily able to educate ourselves.
Baby Boomer Dad: “It was the time of discovery and initial understanding of AIDS. Social issues were not in my day to day thoughts. Again, no cell phones, no internet, no social media, only three major news network on television, cable television was a novelty, and MTV played only music videos.”
Millennial Me: Between 1946 and 1964 (the Baby Boomer years), 3 of the 4 U.S. Presidents to take office were Democrats. Yet, the majority of the generation is more inclined to vote Republican and act as such. Between 1981 and 2000 (the Millennials), again, 3 of the 4 U.S. Presidents to take office were Republican. Yet, the vast majority of my generation votes Democrat and holds the party’s ideals.
Baby Boomer Dad:”I think that the people vote for the party that did not create the current conditions.”
Morals/Ideals of the Baby Boomer Generation:
Baby Boomer Dad:”Morals: Since the flower-children of the 1960 were the majority of my peers’ parents, they were more interested in making their children their friends. As a result, my peers had either very strict parents or very relaxed parents. As you would expect, the strict parents expected respect, demanded obedience and accepted only success. The relaxed parents were, again, hoping that their kids would help to make a difference in the world and did not label, limit, or judge. My opinion is that it’s these people that have created the participation trophy generation we have in our colleges now.”
Morals/Ideals of Millennials:
Millennial Me: I feel like this is the first generation since the era of “flower power”, to be this open and accepting of other cultures, creeds, religions, ethnicities and so on. We try our best not to judge but, we know what sits as right or wrong with each of us personally.
Baby Boomer Dad: “They seem to follow the lead of their parents, although very distantly. They see the good and bad of both kinds of parents that their peers have, and are trying to make their own way.”
What Do Think Of Millennials?
Millennial Me: I think a small few have given the generation a bad reputation. Baby Boomers think we’re lazy and entitled but, we’re actually very driven. We’re socially conscious, political, educated and independent thinkers. I think that until there are more opportunities for us to succeed, that stigma’s going to continue to plague us.
Baby Boomer Dad:”I feel badly that what was once available to the 23-26 year olds is now almost impossible. We have changed to a service oriented country. If your skill set is not in that realm, finding a good paying job is very difficult. The stereotypical “They’re lazy” is wrong. All other things being equal, the Millennials do not have the same opportunities that my generation had.”
Whereas many people of the Baby Boomer generation think that Millennials are lazy, spoiled and entitled, there are the few, like Dad, who can see that a generation can only be successful if given the opportunity or the ability to create those opportunities for others. I wonder if my generation will create ample opportunities for success for the next generation? As long as there are those like Dad who are looking at the big picture, seeing that it’s not only the person but their world, there’s a hopeful future to look forward to.