The Cost of Perfection

5 Min Read

Mahira Taj

While it might be easy to dismiss rising mental concerns among our younger generation as a side-effect of the Internet, the bigger issue here is often ignored or straight denied by the older generation, the baby boomers.

Taking a look at this concept of ‘millennial laziness’ gives us a lot of misinformation. For example, recently  [magazine] published a news article about how millennials were killing the diamond industry because they couldn’t buy diamond products, or how the price of expensive watches were dropping because millennials couldn’t afford them.

The greater alarm seems to be directed towards an ever-growing financially unstable millennial population. According to a report from Urban Institute, only thirty seven percent of millennials were homeowners by the year 2015. According to the CNBC network, sixty percent of millennials have debt that they will virtually never be able to pay off.

Now, it’s easy to see where the alarm comes from. Millennials are poor, but does that necessarily correlate to how hard millennials have been working?

1. False Stats

It’s harder to get a job now than it was before, so we can’t exactly blame the average millennial for their house when college is over. According to the Heartland Monitor Poll XXIII, seventy eight percent of adults agree that it’s now harder for millennials to get started in their career. Thus it isn’t a lack of hard work, but more a lack of opportunity, that prevents millennials from being financially stable.


2. Competition Depression

While baby boomers in their generation may have been content with any progress they made in their lives, millennials are more difficult to please. This is because our generation has been exposed to the Internet from the start, and getting an A grade doesn’t seem all that exciting when you’ve watched students that get into Harvard on Youtube. This may seem silly, but it actually has a lot of truth behind it. Even top universities have become racially and regionally diversified and your chances of getting admitted are much greater if you come from a country whose students haven’t been taken in yet. Nowadays, competition is international.


3. Lack Of Motivation

This ties in with the excess of competition. Let’s say a millennial individual starts working extremely hard, and manages to get a good job and good pay, like being an accountant. Yet, he still might not feel successful in life. Why? The job isn’t one he’s passionate about, because he has a degree in art. On the other hand, it’s a job that requires long hours which means he can’t simply tend to his mental health anymore.

The example I’ve given here is a more common occurrence than we think. According to a study by Survey Monkey, thirty-three percent of millennials are likely to experience anxiety or depression to the point it interferes with their work, and this is near twice the average rate of ordinary citizens.

This means that millennials won’t be happy even if they do get a job, and that lack of dopamine can have serious long-term consequences.


4. Millennials are trying

At the end of the day, millennials are like the kid at the back of the class who never gets anything right, but always works very hard. And that isn’t a bad thing, especially not something to be alarmed over. Perhaps next time, we can encourage the average millennial to reach whatever goals they want, instead of worrying about their wallets. They’re bound to get emptied on avocados later on, anyways.


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