6 Reasons Millennials Don't Suck

Many students on campus today are on the younger end of the Millennial generation. While people still dispute the cut off dates for how the generations are separated, it’s generally accepted that it includes those born in the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. It’s also generally accepted that Millennials are the absolute worst. I beg to differ.

1. Sure, we’re using technology all the time, but we’re so good at it, we’ve been using it to create our own futures.

Having the world at our fingertips has its benefits. We have access to what seems like virtually unlimited resources thanks to the internet, and staying connected with each other is easier than ever, allowing fast-paced development, which might be why over half of Millennials want to be entrepreneurs.

2. No, we aren’t drowning in crippling debt because we’re lazy.

We’re so tired of explaining this. Let’s do the math together.

In 1975, college students at public four-year universities paid an average total of $1,935 for two semesters of tuition, fees, room and board. Multiply that by four, and you get $7,740 for a four year college degree.

In 1971, when those same students were in their freshman year of high school, minimum wage was $1.60. If a student worked 16 hours a week during the school year (about 32 weeks), plus 35 hours a week over the summer (about 12 weeks), they would make about $5,964 over the course of four years, before taxes. Without any financial aid, they would need to take out a loan of at least $1,776, equivalent to $7,944 when adjusted with inflation.

In 2016, the average cost for two semesters of tuition, fees, room and board at public four-year universities is $19,548, adding up to $78,192 for a college education. With a federal minimum wage of $7.25, if a high school student were to work the same hours mentioned above, they would make about $21,576 by the end of the summer after their senior year, meaning they need to take out over $56k in loans — over 700% more than the Baby Boomers did.

Let’s stretch it a bit. Let’s say a student in 2016 earns a $10,000 scholarship for their four years in college, bringing tuition down to $68,192. Now, let’s say they work 40 hours a week during the school year and 50 hours a week during their summers, while being compensated time and a half for overtime. That still only comes out to $56,260, which means they would still need to take out $12k in loans.That’s not even including the skyrocketing inflation of textbooks. I’m not saying college should be free, but if it didn’t cost me my right kidney and my first born child that’d be super.

3. We’re f*cking hilarious.

We literally invented a new form of media to convey our sense of humor: memes. It’s had such a strong impact on the way we communicate, we’re putting them in textbooks.

4. The younger ones actually still love to play outside. Just please stop arresting their parents for letting them.

There have been too many incidents where the police have arrested parents who let their children walk to their local park without adult supervision (currently known as “free-range” parenting, instead of, you know, normal parenting). Now even allowing a child to play in the front yard alone is considered “neglect.”

Ironically, the same generation of “hover parents” also loves to make Facebook posts complaining about how kids today spend all their time indoors, and about how when they were a kid, they would “ride their bikes around all day and didn’t come home until the sun went down.” If any parent today allowed their child to do the same, you’d stumble across an article about how dangerous it was before you could even say “Child Protective Services.”

We’re currently living in the least violent time period in America’s history, while crime rates continue to decline. Chill.

5. We’re more likely to support same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization. So, nice things. Like autonomy.

As important of a milestone as the federal legalization of same-sex marriage was, we still have plenty ahead of us. Today, we’re still telling mature, competent adults it’s illegal to ingest a plant that has an LD50 (a measurement of toxicity that represents the dose that would be lethal for 50 percent of people) that is so high, a user would need to smoke 5,000 times their usual amount to encounter any risk of death. We’re raised on the notion that our body is a temple, so in turn we plan on living in it as we please, thank you very much.

Interestingly enough, while the Millennial generation as a whole tends to be socially liberal, we have some balance in our political views by being mainly centrist in fiscal and economic issues.

6. Despite the notion that we are relatively more narcissistic than any other generation, we’re surprisingly known to be more civic-minded than our elders.

Constantly being connected with one another has an incredible impact on the way we view society. Scholars claim that this may be one reason we’re team-oriented and optimistic, and this mindset explains why so many Millennials are involved in some form of community service.

Socrates said about the generation below him, “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” We’re by no means a perfect generation, but we’ve only been on Earth for about three short decades, meaning most of us aren’t even over 25. So before the rest of the population starts jumping to conclusions about how we’re going to burn the world to the ground, let’s give ourselves a chance.