Millennials get a lot of flack from previous generations — but do those of us who were born after 1981 really deserve all the blow back we suffer? Admittedly, sometimes, yes, we do. But as cartoonist, writer, and illustrator Gemma Correll's “Why Is Your Millennial Crying?” comic points out, being a Millennial doesn't just mean moaning over how painful your latest tattoo is or bitching about how you had to settle for drip coffee instead of cold brew today.
The comic is full of the sorts of things people love to make fun of Millennials (and/or hipster, to be honest) for: Our jeans are too tight, our coffee is too snobby, we take too many selfies, we get offended easily, we expect to be handed prizes simply for existing, and so on and so forth. And if we're all honest with ourselves? Most of us are probably guilty of committing at least one of these sins at some point. But the second to last panel drives home the fact that there's more plaguing Millennials than just our latest Instagram posts. They're real issues — serious ones — and "Why Is Your Millennial Crying" is a helpful reminder that there's a reason so many Millennials are suffering from depression. Many reasons, in fact.
These issues aren't separate, individual concerns — they all tie into each other, creating a vicious cycle that's difficult to escape. It's well documented that student loan debt has gotten so bad that it's possible some may never be able to pay them off. Unemployment rates are high, largely due to the still-recovering economy coupled with the fact that so many companies seem to think it's OK not to pay people for the work they do: The new entry-level job isn't an actual job — it's an unpaid internship (even though “exposure” and “resume building” won't help anyone pay off those crippling student loan debts). And on top of that, Millennials are often lambasted for not moving out sooner, not getting married until later (if we bother to get married at all), and not buying homes. We're often told we're “behind the curve” when it comes to hitting those “milestones” — but how are we supposed to move out if our jobs won't actually pay us in anything other than “experience?” How are we supposed to buy homes when it's hard enough to afford rent? Ad isn't it more responsible for us to hold off getting married until we're financially stable? Why do we even “need” to hit these milestones in the first place?
The answer to that last question is simple: We don't. Just because one generation does things differently than a previous one — either by necessity or by design — doesn't mean that we're doing it “wrong.” Each generation has different issues to deal with depending on the state of the world, so really, we all just need to stop holding each other to standards that no longer apply.
Also, as Correll points out, sometimes people have gas. Or they have bad days. Or they just feel kind of down. We're all allowed to feel sad or upset, so if your Millennial is crying? Maybe just let them get it all out. Once we're done pushing through the emotional bits, then we can start trying to work on finding some solutions to our problems. Just, y'know… food for thought.
Check out the full comic below; head over to Gemma Correll's Tumblr to see more of her work, and connect with her on Twitter @gemmacorrell.
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Images: Courtesy Gemma Correll; Giphy