Dear Baby Boomer Generation:
You know, we try really hard not to hate you. Really hard. You’re my parents’ generation, you know? And I fucking love my parents.
But your generation really needs to learn to shut up and take a good, hard look at yourselves.
Today, I tried to get advice in a civil, polite and educated manner about a situation in which one is trying to juggle work and uni. I wanted to know how one could navigate the narrow criteria to qualify for youth payments from the government. And while some people were helpful, some were outright disgusting. All they could say is “KIDS THESE DAYS ARE SO SELFISH/LAZY/ETC MAYBE YOU SHOULD SPEND LESS TIME ON YOUR SOCIAL LIFE.”
Okay, firstly–if I ask you for advice and that is your response, which, by the way, I CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WITH, how about you shut the fuck up?
Secondly, are you seriously fucking saying that every single person in my generation doesn’t work hard? You’re saying that to me? I’m a DIRECTOR at the age of 24 in an organisation with over 200 employees. I have two degrees. I work, intern, study, and volunteer, and the first thing that gets put aside when I’m busy is my social life. And you know what that results in? A FUCKING LOT OF CRYING AND PANICKING AND PSYCHOLOGIST APPOINTMENTS. I have a great resume and references, but do you know how much I paid for that in terms of my own fucking sanity?? A FEW FUCKING THOUSAND DOLLARS IN TEARS, THANK YOU.
Thirdly, let’s talk about how the average burn-out rate in my youth organisation is 7 months. 7 months, and these are kids who volunteer, as well as study at uni or school, work and pay their own rent, utilities and bills, and are under the age of 22, in most cases.
My 21 year old director messaged me today to tell me she wasn’t coming in because had a mental break and panic attack last night, and she’s only been in the role for 3 months.
My 24 year old best friend had a nervous breakdown last month because of the stress of her workload, working full time at EY and studying 1 unit of uni.
My 25 year old ex-boyfriend and I split up because he didn’t have the time or mental capacity for a long distance relationship on top of his 60 hour graduate working week in construction management and 2 units of uni.
I had a meltdown last year at 23 because I was handling full time uni, and internship and volunteering. I can’t get a job despite testing within the top 15th percentile of graduates because you’re not creating them.
I went for a meeting at one of the biggest financial management organisations in Australia the other day and was told that the 9-5 job was a lie, that you’re expected to work more, and not be paid for overtime.
Our generation works our fucking asses off. You take advantage of us all the fucking time. We’re the first generation to be less wealthy than our parents because you guys fucked off with the economic boom of the early 2000s and left us with nothing. By 24-34, we’re only 48% likely to own our own homes compared to your 61%, because of your unsustainable housing market boom. On that note, did I mention that although average wage has rise by 27%, average housing prices have risen by 121%? Yep. My parents bought my house for ~$200,000 in 1990. In 2015, it’s valued at $750,000. Also, you are now making us pay for our university degrees when you got them for free, and not only that, but according to the Governments’ changes in tax law and war on universities in the past year, it will now take us twice as long to pay off our university debts. We’re the first generation of tertiary-educated Australians in history who will start work already in debt because of our university degrees.
Your generation is the one that has been labelled as the ones with the obsession with “instant gratification, a tendency for poor planning, and a sense of materialism”. We’re the offspring of you, the most divorced generation in history.
You hate us, but we’re a generation who grew up with war, with terrorism, with fear and conflict and murder and the aftereffects of capitalist bloodshed on our screens every day. We’re watching society fall down around our ears. My International Security professor told us last year that there will be kids entering high school soon who have never seen a year of peace in their lives.
We’re the ones who have been saddled with the mistakes you’ve made. We’re the ones who are holding on to each other despite our differences and telling each other it’s okay to be who we are, whether we’re gay or straight or black or white. Who are trying to save the environment, who are trying to solve your wars and find homes for the asylum seekers you’ve created, who are trying to cure poverty and wage inequality and food distribution, who run your social impact teams, who volunteer, who study courses that are going to change the world, who give back to society, who travel, all the while building our character strengths and portfolios so that we fit into the dumb as fuck capitalist world you made - and all you can say is that we’re lazy?