Guess What, I’m a Millennial

image: forbes.com

I came across another BuzzFeed News article the other day. This time, though, it’s something I completely agree with.

Millennials. We were born at some point between 1981 and 1996. So, I came into play two years before the cutoff. At first, life was easy enough. I did well in school, I had friends (to an extent), and I was generally happy.

However, per usual during the teenage years, I began to rebel a little bit — to the degree that I could. My mother had hounded me about my academics for years, and I was itching to go to college and get away from her micromanagement.

But I burned out way too early. I ended my freshman year with a 2.9 GPA. So I threw myself into the fall semester of sophomore year, convinced I could get a 3.0. I worked my butt off. I hardly let myself take any breaks, and I was proud of myself for getting my assignments done on time.

My hard work didn’t pay off. I didn’t get the grades I thought my effort deserved. I didn’t understand; how could I work so hard and not be rewarded at the end?

I spent the next two and a half years trying to get my mojo back, but it never fully recovered. It was really hard to make myself care about anything after I worked myself to the bone for naught.

When it came time for graduation, I had no idea what I was doing. I was scared; school was all I had ever known. I never had a summer job because my mother only let up on the micromanagement for those three months, and I wanted to enjoy them.

I think the “millennial” stereotype gives us a bad rap. Not all of us are entitled and whiny, though some of us definitely are. I’d be willing to bet that the rest of us are just burned out from life. We’re burned out from all the expectations society puts on us, whether they’re real or perceived. We’re so busy trying to check all the hypothetical boxes that we don’t take the time to think about what we actually want for our lives.

So, all the Boomers and Gen Xers can say what they want, but they will never understand the whole picture. It’s impossible to describe and explain burnout, because everybody’s experience with burnout is different. I’m just here to validate others’ feelings in a way that has never been done for me.

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