There are certain moments when you get older that you realize you've become a full-fledged *adult* — like when your CPA tells your broke behind you owe the IRS $5,000 or the person you dated for the last six months stops answering your texts for no obvious reason. It's these same moments when you feel vastly unprepared for what life is throwing you at. Reddit recently discussed lies millennials were told growing up; and if you ever experienced long-term unemployment even with a shiny new diploma, or a burdening struggle to save even a tiny amount of money on the side, you'll be able to relate.
Before anyone reminds us that we're overly sensitive, whiny, spoiled, self-entitled snowflakes, know that we're not throwing ourselves a pity party, here. Millennials don't sit around the campfire lamenting the challenges we face and wondering why our lives are so terrible. What some of us will argue, though, is that the algebra lessons and physics classes we were required to take growing up didn't prep us for how hard it would be to find a well-paying job, a suitable place to live, and a healthy relationship.
All of life is a learning lesson, and no person — young or old — is without their struggles. But let's talk about these misconceptions that many of us were taught growing up.
1. You Can't Be A Successful Artist
There's a misconception that artistic fields automatically equate to a future where you'll be jobless and broke. It might be more challenging to break into that field; but more so, it's just different, and not typically a future we're prepared for. You can absolutely, 100 percent make a good living off of your art. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for visual artists is $53,400. Some are making close to six figures.
People will try to tell you it's not the norm. Whether or not it's true, it doesn't even matter.
2. It'll Only Get Easier From Here
This is something we tend to tell young people; and in some ways, it's true. In other ways, it dismisses all of the many challenges we'll face as adults, sometimes leaving us feel like there must be something wrong with us if we still can't figure life out.
3. Money Won't Make You Happy
Maybe it's more accurate to say money buys you choices, and choices can bring you happiness. It stands to reason, then, that yes, money can make you happier. Sure enough, some research has found that the wealthier people are, the more satisfied they tend to be with their lives. On a different note, consider the research arguing that money don't really matter. Some studies have found that rich and poor people are generally as happy at their counterparts. The difference between the two? Wealthier people are less sad on a daily basis.
So, it would seem money can bring some kind of happiness or satisfaction. Should you totally rely on it for happiness? No. That would be a big mistake. Other things are important: like love, health, giving back, and your relationships.
4. Debt Isn't Really A Big Deal
They may be "normal" because they're common, since so many people need them. That doesn't mean they work, or it's the right direction to go in. No one seems to warn you before you take loans out that they will haunt you for many, many years after graduating.
5. Our Generation Is Spoiled And Self-Entitled
People criticize millennials for being self-entitled snowflakes, and often point to participation trophies as an example. But as this wise Redditor points out, we never expected to be rewarded for not winning — until we started being rewarded for it.
6. Men Just Want You For Sex
Generalizations like this are dangerous to both men and women. It teaches women that we're here to please men sexually, above all else. It puts women in a place where if we "fail" to please him sexually, we're lesser of a person. It puts men in a position that completely devalues their thoughts and feelings and reduces them to nothing but the physical. Bad, bad, bad.
7. Fatty Foods Are Evil
We live in a web of lives. Fats have long been the devil; but the conversation is so much more complex than this. Low-fat, no-fat, fat-free — fats are not the enemy! You need them to be healthy. The human brain is almost 60 percent fat, for Pete's sake.
8. Certain Careers Are Guaranteed Safe
Newsflash: not all doctors, lawyers, and engineers are loaded. They're not all happy either. For instance, many lawyers make somewhere between $40,000 and $65,000. Is that bad? Of course not. Are they rich? Largely, no. These professions are vulnerable to the same stresses and pressures as most other professions, too.
Does this mean you should pursue medicine or law if they're your passion? No! The point is this: nothing is guaranteed, and all you can do is your very best. If you go after a career simply because you think it's stable or you stand to make a ton of money, you might be in for a rude awakening. Find something you could enjoy doing for the rest of your life.
9. We Have It Easy All The Time
"When I was your age, I had to walk five miles in the snow to get to school." We've all heard some variation of that story. Should we respect the challenges that people from generations before us had to conquer? Of course. We may not have to walk to school in the snow today, but guess what? That doesn't mean our lives are totally easy and stress-free. Every generation has their own problems to deal with. Just like they want respect, so do we.
10. High School Is As Good As It Gets
The same is often said about college. Honestly, it's a bad "truth" to be told. You're basically saying that those four years are the best it's ever going to be; and after that, it's all downhill. That's it? That's all we have to look forward in life? Not very promising.
11. The Government Represents The People
If there's anything the current administration has taught us, it's this lie. Not all politicians are evil. Unfortunately, at present time, the ones ultimately making the decisions think they own the right to control our bodies, determine how valuable we are in the workplace, and more.
12. Hard Work Equals Success
To this day, we stress that hard work will get you anywhere. Of course, you need to learn how to work hard, because sometimes, that's the only solution. But no one tells you know that there will be times when it doesn't matter how hard you work — you just won't win.
13. Your Employer Will Always Take Care Of You
LIES. They won't. Okay, maybe some do. But you definitely should not make this assumption; because at the end of the day, if a company's budget is tight and they need to make room, they will choose their budget over your personal success and wellbeing.
14. Jobs Are Everywhere And Within Reach
Have there ever been a ton of jobs... anywhere? Has finding a job ever been easy? True, everyone's experience is different. But I suspect most millennials would agree that they're not exactly torn between the countless job offers they have — because they don't have them.
15. Retiring In Your Beautiful Home
So. Much. Pressure. Owning a home has always been a part of the ~*American dream*~ we all strive for. You graduate college and realize you're broke; so, no home for you. You're 25 and still broke. 30? Still broke. Get used to apartments, friend. (And hey, apartments are awesome too.) Also, let's talk about retirement: is anybody able to save substantial money for retirement? No? Moving on.
16. You Should Fall In Love Young
The ticking clock in our ears gets louder and louder as we age; and the noise it makes sounds something like, "Why are you still single? Why are you still single? Why are you still single?" Really, there's no set timeline for when (or even if) you fall in love. And what about the people who are happy to be single? We all do things in our own time, and there's OK.
17. Good Grades Will Take You Far
Education is but a fraction of what employers look at today. Of course a degree helps; but over the years, it's become less and less sufficient. Employers like on-the-job experience; so you try to get a job to gain experience, but they won't hire you because... you have none.
18. You'll Know Everything When You're Older
Sure, things you didn't understand as a younger person will make sense when you're older. But then when we're older, filing taxes, applying for loans, and finding a place to live are total mazes. There will always be mysteries in life; does that need to be a bad thing? No.