Millennials are in a constant state of flux. Can anyone blame us? Our generation's age range is from late teens to early 30s.
From our dating lives to our eating preferences, we don't always know what we want.
Russell Wilson or Machine Gun Kelly? Sashimi or Lunchables?
From our financial decisions to our career paths, we're not always sure of what we should do. To rent or to buy? To challenge the status quo or be complacent?
While this uncertainty might be an annoyance to others, we embrace the unknown. We kind of dig “the struggle.” If nothing else, it makes life interesting.
Rather than be concerned with our well-being, onlookers could and should find us entertaining. And why not?
We're a never-before-seen force to be reckoned with. Here's my take on 10 of the forces we Millennials are fighting — or at least wading — through.
To schedule a meeting or to send an email?
It’s not always obvious whether electronic or face-to-face collaboration is more fitting for a given situation at work.
In instances along the lines of “We just need our coworker’s input on five basic things,” we could easily outline our needs in a succinct email and garner useful electronic feedback.
That way, we could keep plugging along in our office and be sure not to waste anybody’s time. But, do we need to go about this in a more formal way?
Is that necessary — or simply more appropriate — this time around?
Well, maybe our coworkers communicate better when bouncing ideas off of us in conversation. Maybe it’d be more beneficial to just schedule a meeting.
Hmmm. But, I’m in the zone right now, and my office chair is pretty damn comfortable compared to the boardroom’s.
Fine, I’ll send over a meeting request. On second thought, I could just ask my coworker what he prefers. Score!
Challenge the status quo at work or not?
We know we’re still seen as the low guys on the totem pole, but our companies wouldn’t have hired us if they didn’t want our Millennial perspectives, right?
So, when we disagree with a superior’s strategy, do we challenge it? We’ve got some great ideas swirling inside of our heads.
But, will we be overstepping our bounds if we speak up? I mean, if the division manager would hear us out and execute our plans, we could help the company as well as our professional reputations.
What if their strategy came straight from an executive? Would we be dismissed or, worse, hushed and subsequently not invited to these meetings again?
We’ve got to consider all of our options when going against the grain of an organizational status quo.
This means we may never ask if wearing a tie is a requirement per dress code or if it’s a formality we can rid ourselves of (even though we seriously want to assert aesthetics don’t affect our performance).
Work or play?
We’re fully aware of the saying "work now, play later," but what if we die a tragic, early death?
What if all we did in the years leading up to our untimely demise was work ridiculous hours and lose touch with our once-beloved social lives?
What a way to go out. Millennials are reportedly more focused on maintaining work-life balance than previous generations, but this sometimes comes at an expense to any sort of regular sleep schedule.
Sleep is necessary for our well-being, but we can sleep when we die. "Hey, come hang after work!" "I would, but I've been so busy. I'm exhausted and planning on working late tonight… Wait, screw it. See you in a couple hours."
We often pull off both socialization and some degree of workaholism, but then we crash like a sugar-rushed toddler after his birthday party on the first day we decide to catch up on sleep.
To sleep-in on our day-off or not?
As a result of the work-play dichotomy, we don’t get as much sleep as our immune systems would like us to. Eight hours per night? Yeah, okay, maybe we'll do half of that.
When the weekend approaches, we’re stuck with a dilemma: to sleep or to take advantage of our day off.
I mean, there’s so much we could get done (all that laundry we’ve put off, the 5-mile run we should’ve killed on Thursday, those overdue mani-pedis and bikini waxes).
We could always get a jump on that trend analysis report we told our boss would be in his hands next Wednesday. And also, Sunday-freaking-Funday is a tempting possibility.
But, we’re. Exhausted. Can we hide those dark circles under our eyes much longer? The struggle is real.
Salad or pizza?
We used to be human garbage disposals. Adults would warn us, “One day your metabolism is going to slow down, and all that food is going to catch up with you.”
Yeah, yeah. Crap, they were right. In our mid-20s, our metabolisms begin to slow down, but we really don’t want to accept it.
We want three donuts to agree with our bodies, and then we wonder why there’s a little donut forming around our waists.
We’re so over Natty Light, and we’re into flavorful, filling, mature craft beer.
But what about that gluten stuff we keep hearing about? Is that what’s making it so hard to keep that rock-hard bod? Or is it the pizza?
We know bikini season is just around the corner, but we want to "live a little." (And we tell ourselves we'll run it off because we're still nimble enough to do so.)
Maybe this is why the "dadbod" is even a thing. On second thought, I’ll go with a salad today (if I must).
Sashimi or Lunchables?
It’s girls' night (or a bro night). We could always go for some quality sushi. And that sh*t’s good for us.
But, we’ve got some classic pizza Lunchables in the fridge and some Quintessa we’ve been wanting to crack open.
But, will that mean we’re in for the night? Well, that could be fun. But sake… yeah, let’s go for sashimi. Whatever, let’s make our friends decide.
Dan Bilzerian’s or Will Smith’s relationship style?
We want to “date,” but not really. Sure, we’d like to find our Will or Jada, but we don’t know if we want to right now.
We’re digging the no-strings-attached single life, but we occasionally wonder if we'll end up lifelong bachelor(ette)s.
Would that really be so bad? Or would it backfire into the “crazy cat lady” life? No, that’d never happen to us. Wait, would it? Would we die alone, or would we die as rockstars?
I mean, Dan Bilzerian is a legend. Yeah, we’ll go that route, at least until Drake hits us up or something.
Russell Wilson or Machine Gun Kelly? Emma Watson or Miley Cyrus?
If we date, we’re going to date who we want and who we like, but there’s always that long-term potential lingering in the back of our minds.
If things get serious, we know our parents are going to eventually meet this person.
We know who our parents would like for us to bring home: Russell Wilson or Emma Watson.
But, we’re really intrigued by the MGK or Miley type. Whatever, let’s just have fun. We’re young. If it comes to that, we’ll follow our dang hearts. Shut up, logic. Happiness comes first.
To rent or to buy?
We’re not stupid. We know we’re throwing our money to the wind each time we pay our apartment’s rent. But, buying a place of our own is a lot of responsibility.
Do we even have the means to make a significant downpayment right now? Better yet, do we have the desire to mow our townhouse’s lawn?
Not really. Or, do we want to dish out more paper to have someone take care of our landscaping? That’s more convenient, but would tackling it ourselves “build character”?
Forget it, we’ll be in the C-suite in a few years. Then, we’ll buy a place. We’ll be there soon, right? Oh, hell. We don’t know. We know we should probably start building equity, but that’s just so adult-like.
To live up to expectations or to follow our hearts?
Our grandparents want us to be doctors, accountants or lawyers. We want to be artists, authors or serial entrepreneurs.
We excel in school, and we land jobs in stable industries. But, there’s a constant nagging in the back of our minds to take more risk.
Whether we jokingly, seriously or never use the acronym YOLO, we do only live once.
We know this. Should we quench our internal nagging? Should we go for it? Yes! Wait.
We can hear our parents talking our ears off already, and we can see our grandparents’ jaws drop and facial expressions become bewildered.
We can’t help but wonder if we’ll always try to please everybody but ourselves. Is this any way to live?
Nope, not for us Millennials. We’re movers and shakers. We’re the creators of our own destinies.