Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Why Gen Y?

Times have changed, and the pressure on gen y to be everything, yet nothing, to obtain success and status, yet only in good time, to be married, yet youthful, but not too old, to have a family, but not before a career, and not without your career getting in your way of starting a family, and to maintain a loving relationship while juggling all of life's pressures without falling victim to divorce aka what some older people would say as 'young people giving up too easily' is really starting to grate my nerves.

Wow, that really is a lot to take in.

Let's break that down.

What peeves me about peoples perceptions and expectations on gen y?

Pet peeve 1: the narrow window. What on earth do I mean by a narrow window? Well, you know that time frame that is socially acceptable to 'do things'? You know, how if you are under a certain age, let's say, 23 and are married and or have children, then sometimes it's seen as too young, naive, and inexperienced, yet if you dare leave it until 26 and upwards, then your biological clock is ticking, your career shouldn't take the place of starting a family, and all of the good fish in the sea have been baited and caught? Wait a minute, so society is saying that there is a 2-3 year, well maybe 10 year tops 'age window' where gen y's should be getting married and having children to be socially accepted? What? Unrealistic expectations and contradiction in beliefs and opinions much?

Pet peeve 2; juggling a career and family for women. To add to this 'window of acceptability' is the pressure for women to have a career. Let's face it, if a gen y, 17 or 18 year old female told her teachers that all she wanted was to get married and have babies soon after school, then she'd be looked down upon. As sad as it is, now that women have choices, and feminists have fought so hard for women to be seen as equal in the work force, it is no longer socially acceptable for women's career goals to be solely raising a family. Therefore do women really have a choice? Yes, compared to gen x and baby boomers, gen y's have more career options, but on the flip side, the choice to become a young stay at home mum, before a career, has almost been taken away; society just doesn't provide the financial support and incentives for couples to start families young (just think about the costs of housing and child care!) Maybe I should ref raise this, it's not that gen y's can't start a family young, I think it's just way more difficult then it should be, both financially and receiving respect and encouragement to do so.

Pet peeve 3: caught in the middle of expectation. Many older generation people hold the belief that young people 'get things given to them on a silver platter' and don't work hard for what they have. One gentleman even said to me 'that young people want, what took us 50 years of hard work to get' ie brand new cars, houses, and the latest technology. But, on the flip side, if people choose to buy dilapidated houses that need renovating, second hand cars that need some fixing, and opt out of buying the newest gadgets then there also seems to be prejudice out there. New debates arise like the need for cars to be reliable and safe, the cost of completing renovations, the comparisons between people with old and new belongings, and the lack of respect and care that some people show towards anything that isn't brand spanking new. So how do gen y's win? If they are looked down upon for buying everything new, and on loans, without working hard to save for them first, but if they do buy second hand items, then they also cop slack for being cheap and nasty, then what is socially acceptable for the obtainment and quality of gen y's belongings? 

Pet peeve 4: that gen y's give up on marriages too easily. Nothing peeves me more then this. Yes, divorce is now a legal option to leave a marriage, but for many young people that I know, in their minds, divorce isn't an option at all. Yes, gen y's suffer different pressures to previous generations - they are juggling larger mortgages on single wages while they try to allow the mum to stay at home and raise their children, or, both parents are working in order to literally survive, pay the bills and put food on the table. Yes, there's more expectations for people to travel and have nice things from the get go, and to be able to afford all of these things. Yes, couples are placed under immense stress to run a house hold, maintain a career, spend time with their children, play sport, keep fit and healthy, volunteer at clubs, and still somehow manage to find time and energy for their marriage. But no, I don't think young people give up too easily; if anything, now that it is more socially acceptable to talk openly about marriage struggles, people seek help and pull out every stop before heading for divorce.

Pet peeve 5; that gen y's don't know what hard work is. Excuse me? Now, more then ever before, people are working longer hours, in fact, most full time employees work 40 plus hours a week, for 48 weeks of the year. On top of that, both people in a relationship are usually working full time, and still needing to complete all of the tasks and duties, to the same standard as the generations before them, on very limited time frames. Full time work does not stop couples from starting families, but it sure makes them work a whole lot harder to have a work life balance.

In no way am I saying that gen y's have it any easier or harder then any generation before them, i respect and amire the challenges and struggles of gen x's, baby boomers and everyone before that, but what I am trying to show is that gen y's deserve the respect and appreciation that those before them have had.

Let's cut gen y's some slack.

What do you think?

Have you struggled with any of my pet peeves in your life time?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

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