Opinion: The attack on millennials

Feature Photo By: Izzy Honey – Junior Karly Trimble looks at her daily planner for her classes. Millennials are often accused of complaining about their stressful lives, but more often than not, most students have an intense academic workload as well as extra-curriculars on their plate.

By: Izzy Honey, Review Staff

Millennials are often placed under fire by older generations for many reasons: reliance on technology, laziness, and especially our apparent tendency to whine about our stressful lives. Coming from a millennial’s point of view — someone who is actually living as a teenager in this day and age — our ‘whining’ is not unwarranted.

We are a product of how we are raised. Everywhere I go, I see children sitting with their iPads and tablets while their parents talk to friends or do their shopping. Parents are conditioning their children to rely on technology for entertainment, but then berating teenagers for always being on our phones.

Seniors Rayvon Fisher and Sophia Bambury watch a video on a phone during an off period. According to popular belief, reliance on technology has become a persistent issue in younger and younger populations. (Izzy Honey)

Let students enjoy the benefits of the technological age. It’s not our fault we have Google to help us research for school projects. I refuse to apologize for being on my phone too often. I love having the opportunity to look up any question that may pop into my head, and I love being able to communicate with anyone in a matter of seconds. Why shouldn’t I take advantage of that?

I sat down in my internship class a few weeks ago to find that we were covering how to write business letters that day. The teacher started the lecture by asking if any of us actually knew how to write a letter: ‘Back in the day, we sat down at a desk with a pencil and paper and we used all of our fingers, not just our thumbs. I don’t know if you guys can do that, but we’ll see.’ She laughed, but as I looked around, none of my classmates shared even a smile.

To think that I do not know how to write a letter is extremely demeaning. Yes, I have written more emails than I have letters in my life, but emails are faster, more efficient, and more reliable. Most businesses currently rely on email to communicate anyways.

Ironically, I sat down in the same class a few days later and the projector in our room had stopped working. Instead of possibly reading off of her computer screen or writing the lecture in note form on the board, our teacher paused class for almost forty-five minutes to wait for a new projector to be brought in. You can’t rely on technology to teach a class while also bashing the advances that technology has made in society.

Millennials are apparently lazy, but according to a Twitter poll, 61% of Rangeview students who voted have jobs on top of school. Many of us have internships, part-time jobs, and participate in sports, all on top of school (whether that be high school or college).

It’s not that millennials are lazy, we just have different priorities. We like to follow our passions. We like to find more efficient and out-of-the-box ways of doing our job, which our coworkers often see as cutting corners. A lot of older workers in the workforce value the “it’s always been done this way” argument, but millennials like change, especially if there are better ways of doing things. We value innovation and advancement, both of which are just as important as tradition.

Senior Noah Sung takes a nap in the Locker during her off period. Students are often overworked and told off for being lazy. (Izzy Honey)

 

Our lives are stressful. School has gotten much more demanding since our parents and grandparents attended (Read more about how millennials are dealing with the stress of school in our staff editorial here: The reality of stress).Our day starts early despite many studies showing that students don’t learn well in the early morning. Cherry Creek schools have made the decision to push back start times, but such a decision has yet to come from APS. Here is a study that explains the benefits of later start times: cdc.gov.

Not to mention that ever since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the education system has shifted its focus to cramming as much knowledge into students’ heads as possible to prepare for standardized tests. This is just adding fuel to the fire.

When my brother was in first grade, he had at least an hour of homework each night. He was expected to sit in one spot and stay focused for an hour after being in school for seven. The education system is raising students to hate school and to see school and learning as a punishment.

Past generations could graduate high school with a diploma and expect to be able to find a decent job that paid enough to afford a house and settle down with a family. Nowadays, looking for a job that provides a living wage is like looking for Bigfoot. Our best bet is to go to college in order to find a higher paying job, but then we’re in debt for the rest of our lives.

According to Huffingtonpost.com, the cost of college tuition has increased at a much faster rate than the inflation of other goods/services in the market. Since 1978, college tuition was increased by 1120%, medical expenses by 601%, and food by 244%. Even with the recent passage of Amendment 70 to increase the minimum wage, incomes are not increasing at a rate that can match the rising cost of living.

Many say that millennials only have such a hard time because we have been babied all our lives. We ‘whine’ and we claim mental illnesses because we can’t handle the stress of life. I just think that life is stressful and each generation has different ways of dealing with that.

I want people to understand that we do not deserve to be criticized because we use social media, because we are driven by our passions, or because the stresses of today’s economic environment are almost too much to bear. Though we are millennials, we are people who have intelligent thoughts; I just want to be treated as such.

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