April 25, 2017
There has been a recent flurry of online and offline stories detailing the clash between Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) and Millennials (people born after 1982). Why?
It seems that often-overlooked middle child Gen X (those born in the late 60s and 70s) never had that much of an issue with their parents’ generation. They just got on with it, discovered acid, did their degrees and let the old folks gripe about their issues. Gen X pride themselves on just rolling their sleeves up and quietly keeping on keeping on.
The Baby Boomers sit at home and bleat. Gen X sigh, go ‘Whatever’ and watch Blade Runner. Millennials take Snapchat pictures of themselves crying and head out for some chicken nuggets. It’s fairly obvious why the oldest and the youngest don’t get on. But the Baby Boomers don’t always have it right; here are seven reasons why their attitudes wind Millennials up.
BUYING HOUSES. They think we don’t want to, but we do. We just can’t afford it. In 1960, the average cost of a home in the UK was £4k and people earned around £11k. That’s the equivalent of someone on a £25k salary today buying a house for £12k, which, as we all know, is impossible. The average deposit for a home in the UK is now £33k - and don’t even get us started on London prices.
WORK ETHIC. ‘You just don’t work hard enough to get the things you want!’ is a criticism often levelled at the young. But when you’re housesharing in Catford and you work as an assistant office manager in the West End earning £22k, it’s hard to save for a house, a car and a pension all at once. Yes, we could take two jobs - but why would we, when we start at 9am and finish at 6.30pm? How are we going to find the time to source a reliable partner, househunt for an affordable flat and breed before the age of 30 if we’re working two jobs? The odds aren’t on our side.
FOOD. Some older people actually believe we can’t buy houses because we eat avocado on toast. This is a thing. They honestly believe if we give up brunch once a week, a house will just become magically affordable. That’s like saying ‘If you poke your head out of the window twice a day for ten years, you are statistically likely to meet the love of your life.’ No. Just no.
EDUCATION. They think we’re needlessly getting ourselves into debt because we choose to do degrees (the average student leaves uni with £44k of debt these days, so don’t worry gang, we know about the cost). Their education was free. They had grants. Our education is not, but we’d still like to learn more, discover more, and get a degree to help us get a (badly paid) job we’ll love. They had the chance - why shouldn’t we?
QUESTIONABLE DEGREES. They accuse us of having degrees in Lego. And One Direction. And victimhood. And safe spaces. As far as we know, only one woman got a degree in One Direction (it was part of her masters, and it actually looked pretty damn interesting). We’re derided because we chose to study a subject which wasn’t Maths or English. We thought outside of the box - took some initiative - and got ridiculed for it.
SAVING MONEY. Baby Boomers seem to believe we are just setting fire to our cash on payday and merrily watching it go up in smoke. We’re not. We just can’t put £250 away every month because we’re on low graduate salaries and we’d like to be able to live before we start those families you’re always pressuring us to have. Which moves us neatly on to...
HAVING KIDS. It costs just over £231k to raise a child in the UK these days from birth to the age of 21. See point above and recognise why we might be trying to put that off until we’re financially comfortable. Of course, if we do that, we’re selfish for having children later in life. However, if we decide to have kids but we’re not married (possibly because the average cost of a wedding is £20k), we're Godless sinners with no morals - just read the comments. We cannot win!
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