5 reasons why I’m an annoying millennial and ok with it

Hat: Urban Outfitters |Tee: Hanes (literally my hubby’s) | Pants: hand me ups from my sis-in-law, similar here by Paige (always a good brand) | Bag: Chanel | Sandals: Rebecca Minkoff (now only $39!!!!)

Before I explain why I’ve been pondering the meaning of my existence as a part of the current generation, I want to show you this perfect state fair outfit. That makes sense, right? lol

Anyway……. the outfit is classic American style with the distressed blue jeans, baseball hat, and white tee. What makes it “now” is the glossy finish on the hat, twisting the bottom of the shirt, a sick handbag, and studded sandals. This outfit makes me feel like a total Millennial, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s ok to be in this generation.

That sounds weird so let me explain.

Ever since I can remember I’ve listened to people complain about the “kids these days.” The points were always the same: 1) life was back in their day and 2) almost all kids (except their own) are brats.

Sometimes the older person would preface that statement with something like, “I’m surprised by how hardworking you are. Usually kids these days….” Those comments always made me feel good, like I was a cut above my generation. Better.

Going into my freshman year of college I heard that most college students change their major [like] eight times and take five years to graduate. Then those students move home and get a job at a grocery store. I wanted to be different, more “evolved” than the rest of my peers.

As a reaction to the statistics I declared myself an art major and refused to switch it (even when I realized I wouldn’t be able to make a living as an artist). Then I graduated in three years.

That sounds pretty good in writing, but the reality was that my “college experience” didn’t prepare me for the real world at all. My gen Xer and Boomer professors and other university staff pushed us to find a major we loved, to follow our hearts, to not consider money as a determining factor in our career path.

Top 5 reasons I know I’m a Millennial:

 

1. I majored in something I love, but that won’t make money.

I’m not sure if the universities encourage that type of major hopping and anti-capitalistic job selection as job security or if it’s just more rhetoric they push because they blindly believe it, but either way I kinda sorta bought into it.. at least in a way. I thought that it would be better to find happiness doing what I love (making art) than to make a ton of money doing something just because it makes money.

Then I basically had a panic attack (not really, but kinda) when I realized I had bought into the lie that my university sold me (actually my dad, for about $70,000). I followed my heart and it led me to either more school to become an art teacher or to a retail job working so many hours a week that I didn’t have time to make art if I wanted to pay my bills.

I’m not saying money should be anyone’s ultimate goal, but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt to pick a career path based at least partially on income. It’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness, but neither does being broke.

2. I moved home

So I became a statistic, moved home, enrolled in more school (grad school) to become an art teacher, and worked my butt off at two jobs. It was a humbling experience to realize that I was just as confused and let down by our school systems as most other kids in this generation.

3. I still don’t have a real career

  1. Fast forward five years to now. Ive done some things in a less Millennial-y way. For example, I actually got married, taught for 3 years, had a son, and stayed home for a year (best and also hardest year of my life, BTW). But now I’m working as a kitchen designer, am overqualified for my job, have zero job security, and deal with snooty gen Xer and Boomer customers who think I’m an 18 year old with zero education and no experience.

4. One time I wrote on my hand….

Because apparently it means you’re a horrible millennial.

Just the other day at work I was called out (rudely) way for being a millennial.

In the middle of helping a customer design her kitchen island a snooty looking couple in their mid to late sixties stood over my desk huffing, tapping their toes, and coughing until I helped them. I had already politely acknowledged them and called for another employee, but they couldn’t wait. The woman I was working with nicely said I could help the couple while she chose the edge she liked.

After answering some initial questions the guy had a specific question about a washing machine motor and I admitted that I was clueless. He promptly took a chance to tell me I really didn’t know much and I wasn’t a lot of help. After that (ahem) friendly exchange he said he wanted to buy a machine and wanted me to ring it up right then and there.

Okay….

A glance at the countertop lady told me I had to make the sale fast so I jotted down the washer’s model number on my hand and got to work.

The next words out of his mouth were less than encouraging, “I shouldn’t have expected you to know anything… no offense. You’re a Millennial. I saw you write the number on your hand. Why would I expect good service?”

Excuse me?

The person getting poor service at the moment was the woman who nicely let the Boomers buy their washer first. The problem wasn’t me writing on my hand. The problem was their lack of grace and kindness.

{AND for the record, I cringed when I wrote on my hand! I hate writing on my skin for lots of reasons. One of which is the fact that students who write on themselves are more likely to be engaging in self-harm so I hated it when my students wrote on themselves!}

5. I have a blog and occasionally take selfies.

When starting my blog I did it purely as a hobby because I had grown to love creating cute outfits. I realized that the market is totally over saturated, that I’ll never “make it” as a blogger, and that it’s a temporary thing… but loved telling people where I got things when they asked and loved giving people shopping advice at my retail jobs in college and grad school.

I know it’s weird, but I don’t enjoy taking selfies by myself. I love taking them with my family or friends, but not on my own. I do it sometimes, but to set the record straight, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re self-obsessed! It’s just something our generation does!

Why it’s actually ok to be a millennial

After fighting it for so long I’ve decided it isn’t all bad to like the latest apps or to be in your late twenties and still figuring out your career path. But I still feel like I have to defend myself and other girls in our generation for our selfies, bloggers, job insecurity, or lack of washing machine motor knowledge :P. I know there are some statistics about taking selfies, being on Instagram a lot, or not having job loyalty, but I think people need to walk a mile in our shoes before judging us.

Don’t you sometimes find it ironic that the same people who made fun of you for spending time on Facebook ten years ago are the same ones who spend the most time on it now? It’s only a matter of time before (more) of them start taking selfies and earning money being fashion bloggers. Oh wait, I’m pretty sure that’s already happening and I love it! 🙂

Where to go from here

So you’re a millennial and you’re proud of it? Good for you! But there are things for us to work on.

We should be constantly improving and growing. Just because older generations complain about us doesn’t mean we have to change everything, but I think wise people weigh criticism to see if there is truth in it, then change accordingly.

In my opinion we have 5 main things to work on as we learn to adult:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others on social platforms. We all know we only show the good things in life on there so don’t compare the bad events in your life with the good in other people’s lives.
  2. Put down the phone, especially around the kids!
  3. Work like you’re making good money doing your dream job, even if you aren’t. Sometimes you just need an in between job. Sometimes you just need to pay the bills. Give it your 100 anyway (then leave the stress at work and don’t take it home). For more on this point, read Colossians 3:23+24.
  4. Gender equality is a good thing, but don’t get so carried away that you loose your right to fulfill your motherly instincts.
  5. Stop reacting to your parents’ issues and start crafting your own future. Just because your dad or mom was overly stressed in his/her career doesn’t mean finding a job that makes money is intrinsically bad.

Is there anything you would add to that list?

P.S. If you’re in college now or going into college soon I’m totally jealous of you. I wish I could go back in time and be undecided longer or take a year off and live on my own to understand the value of money. At the same time, I wish I had embraced my Millennial status sooner by starting my blog when I first had the desire and switching my major eight times. haha

Know that whatever path you take you will be fine. We will all be fine as long as we can keep growing and learning to adult.

Xo,

Kellie

 

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