HAVE we failed our young people?
That’s the question I discussed with friends last week after hearing an overload of facts about those born between the early ’80s and the start of the new century.
You’ve probably read a lot about millennials, too and the statistics can make for depressing reading.
They’re the first generation set to earn less than their predecessors.
If they want to buy a house, BBC analysis suggests they will need to save up for a decade first.
The jobs market is no picnic, either.
Zero-hours contracts and even getting a job in the first place can be a real struggle.
Is it any wonder they seem to have a whole different outlook on life to the parents who brought them up and the grandparents who cherish them?
I have several millennials in my life.
And I have worried about them.
There’s so much doomy news surrounding this generation.
But I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve fretted about them based on what my values were at their age.
Millennials have their own values – and we could all learn from them.
My generation, especially women, aimed to “have it all”.
That’s the nice house – owned – great marriage, kids, good job, social life and the cake baking and cooking skills of Mary Berry and Gordon Ramsay combined.
We may indeed have achieved at least some of those things.
But we were often too whacked out to enjoy them properly.
It’s no wonder Botox became so popular with women who thought having it all was the aim.
I love the way millennials seem more about living in the moment.
Maybe it’s because they can’t afford the mortgages and other trappings of our modern lives that they’ve forged a new way of living.
Or is it they weren’t bothered about them in the first place and it was parents and grandparents who stressed about it.
They might not be able to get on the housing ladder just yet. But chances are they’ll live longer anyway.
So do they really need to take on the pressure of a mortgage in their early 20s?
Of course the mess previous generations have left for them is terrible. But they’re taking each day as it comes, not worrying about “the future”.
Couldn’t we all learn from that? Too many of us worry about what will probably never happen.
My nephew packed in his well-paid job and headed off to Peru. He is currently in Canada, then heading to America.
Is he having sleepless nights worrying about a mortgage?
No, he’s having sleepless nights as he’s partying through them.
Will he ever want to settle down and buy a house?
Who knows. I doubt he’s thought much further than his next adventure.
Or maybe he’s hoping the Bank of Mum will fork out.
That’s a whole other conversation!