We’ve even been coined “The Burnout Generation”, I say we because I like 70% of my readers am a millennial. We always have something to be done, a generation of lists, a generation that hates queuing, a generation that needs something instantly. I mean, we’re not teenagers any more, the youngest millennials are now 22 and the eldest 38 - so why are we struggling more than other generations to do the same as they’ve always done?
The pressures are immense, everyone is trying to reach their greatest potential. We think we can do it all and have it all and that the answer is simple; all we need to do is work hard for it. Work harder, work faster, work more efficiently but at the same time we’re told that we need to be a much less selfish generation and support each other more? I mean speaking for Millenials, I can tell you I’ve never seen more support than in a local pub toilet on a Saturday night where women are throwing about compliments around like confetti. But as a generation, we are tired.
Tired of being heavily reported in the media that we are self-entitled spontaneous rebels that take too many selfies and party at any given opportunity for any given reason whilst fuelled by all of the drink and all of the drugs. For a part, this may be true but it seems as though we can’t do anything right.
Exhausted by social media and the keeping up with the Jones’ effect or even keeping up with the Baby Boomers who let’s not forget could get a 100% mortgage and didn’t even have to think of student loans.
Drained by the pristine Instagram profiles of our peers and guilt-ridden that you’ve eaten a McDonalds just before watching the Victoria Secret Show which then forces you to turn on a 4 am alarm to rush to the gym to burn off those delicious calories. No wonder we are tired.
Yawning profusely as we desperately scour Tinder to find the love of your life because we don’t have the time to date, your thirties are fast approaching along with Christmas and you can already hear your Aunty Sally asking you “When are you going to get married?” at the dinner table whilst try and enjoy a pig in blanket.
Worn out by constantly making efforts to protect our mental health. Take a bubble bath, read, make sure you drink enough water. We are consumed constantly by long lists of small things to do to ensure that we are keeping up, not just with the Kardashians, but with life.
A friend of mine who turns the big three-oh next year said to me in conversation the other days “Only one more M to go before, I’m thirty!” The three M's… Mortgage, Married, Mother. We’re in a generation where we are constantly defining our happiness by not just our material possessions but by ideologies such as “You’ve got to be married by 30”. However, I can’t help but wonder that these ideologies have been passed down from previous generations, it’s no surprise that Millenials are marrying and starting families later compared to our parents and grandparents. Maybe it’s not about us and the way we choose to live our lives, maybe its just that we now live life differently.
This so-called burnout isn’t new, we’re just more vocal about it. The struggles of for example being a stay at home parent are widely discussed and rightly so, however in previous generations, this behaviour and role within the family home was normal and not something to be complained about or even become a topic of conversation.
It can be difficult to hear older generations belittling ‘us’ for our phone usage and not wanting to go to university but the world has changed. For some generations school was a privilege and phones weren’t readily available, so of course, there is going to be a difference in behaviours and opinions.
Or are we just being over-dramatic and this is life? Life is tough and everyone is busy. I can’t help but feel with the added pressures of social media, the constant comparison to others, the desperate need to be successful and constantly working towards being the best version of yourself, we’re left with a generation that is juggling many spinning plates simply doing our very best not to drop any.