Millennials are a different breed from the rest of us. We all look the same and inhabit the same spaces but the similarities end there. In a world filled to bursting with spectacular colour and endless possibility, millennials are an oasis blanketed by quiet sunless gloom.
It’s no secret that millennials worldwide are anxious. But are they truly as mired in hopelessness as everyone thinks they are?
In Pakistan, young people vibrate with anxious energy. They never stop thinking or moving, always searching for the next best thing. But nothing is ever enough. And worst of all, their crises are constantly invalidated by those in positions of authority: parents, mentors, relatives. According to everyone else, their only problem is “social media” warping their minds.
Get off that phone for a minute. Don’t get so influenced by your friends. Stop going out so much. Get a job. Work harder. Get better grades. Find a purpose.
Get over it.
Millennials, meanwhile, seem to cringe and cower in the face of an invisible but terrifying force. Bombarded with solutions from people who talk down to them and tell them to “do more”, they slither into their deep dark holes to escape from the cacophony. The problem is, they simply carry too much: too much perceived responsibility, too much guilt, too many accolades, too many lofty goals.
Parents have changed too. They don’t want to hold their children close. They want them far away, perhaps in the land of the free, situated in a steel high-rise creating legacies. Their children, meanwhile, struggle to visualise what they’ll be doing next week – let alone 10 years from now.
Now, in a cold post pandemic reality, millennials feel worse. They are told there is no place for them in the job market. The little money they managed to put away for a business start-up will now surely be a sunk investment. Now it will be a different world, they are told. Vacations, jobs, MBAs, marriage: all seems obsolete.
Millennials are scared now more than ever because they are the ones who are expected to rise out of the rubble and save the world. As always, there is too much to contend with, but also too little. Everything comes easy to them, but they also have to seek opportunity and make their own mark. This is the paradox that drags millennials down, every time.