Suck It Up, Millennials!

Kids these days.

So much to learn. So much that can’t be internalized by endlessly fixating upon a 5-inch screen every waking moment.

When I published the piece on travel tips for parents last week, one of the more popular responses amongst Baby Boomers and Gen-X’ers hadn’t immediately dawned on me:

“…Or they can just suck it up!” 

Traveling never caused our parents to drop out of high school, and eating fondue four days a week never derailed their adolescent diets.

After all, the parents of today’s high schoolers were brought up in a sink-or-swim environment, right? Going on a trip did not mean mom and dad had to coddle you through your syllabus.

This may very well be true for you… but careful.

The millennial generation (along with our younger siblings, AKA Generation Z) has received its fair share of character attacks in the media. According to college professors, millennials require more hand-holding and aren’t emotionally resilient enough to embrace the challenges they should be.

The Boston College Professor added that faculty members are now afraid to give low grades because of ‘emotional fragility’.

Lewis Black then recently appeared on The Daily Show to lament their Snapchat obsession and inability to interact with other human beings (

He cites McDonald’s employment of kiosks as testament to a market that caters to a generation that would rather use their phones to order food than speak to a living, breathing human being.

But for those who are trying to raise their kids to sustain themselves through ballooning student debt and a cutthroat job market, the cable show jokes won’t cut it. And they shouldn’t.

McDonalds and most other businesses that require similar cashier transactions are opting for kiosks in lieu of humans because it is cost-effective. Times are changing, and the market will adjust as such.

The market is also still hot for the mindless fruit-chopping, animal-throwing games youngsters seem to sacrifice themselves to. But it’s also led the way for the intersection of education and technology; for word games and math exercises to populate on our screens and become as recognizable as a disgruntled, red-faced bird.

According to a piece on today’s teens by Reuters,

Although teens are more physically protected by their parents than earlier generations, the surveillance does not extend to the Internet. About 70 percent of teens said they have the freedom to go anywhere they want online.

We were thrown head-first into the world in this weird transition phase. One day we’re waiting an entire 60 seconds to log onto the internet, and the next day we’re canceling appointments using wrist accessories. The average minds of our generation are merely trying to navigate the best ways to incorporate technology into our lives.

The brightest minds are changing the entire way we live.

Of course, we could use your perspective from the “rougher days”. That’s why your stories and lessons are so valuable, to show us that we, too, can pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. But the year is 2015, and Ronald Reagan is now just a name that politicians on both sides evoke to their own rhetorical advantage.

So the next time you’ve had a few cold ones at the neighborhood party, gather up the kids and slur through an inspiring Reaganism:


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