Millennials have been living with a bad rep, not all of which is true, for some time now. But this March has proven to be a game-changer of sorts for millennials and GenZ across the world, as they reckon with situations that require out of box thinking, quick adaptation and tonnes of patience.
So, if we had to generalise, like millennials often have been, what are the possible lessons that one could have learnt as the Ides of March crept in?
Lesson One: This month may have just marked the end of the entitled millennial. As a generation, millennials have often been accused of demanding, expecting and assuming things. A lot of that behaviour is true for people of all ages, but culturally, the millennials did grow up and thrive in an environment where expectations were driven more by the individual than the collective.
Lesson Two - From self-obsessed to humanitarian.
There are many theories that’ve emerged in the last few years to explain the millennial’s 'obsession' with self. We don’t want to get into that right now, but would like to concur that aided by social media quite a few millennials have led a life centred on themselves. This is not to say that they didn’t feel the need to maintain social decorum or acknowledge the idea of a community, it’s just that it existed independent of the self.
What the pandemic has done is put back the collective morality and responsibility, driving the individual actions, back in spotlight. It’s the revelation that the individual needs to exist with others when global uncertainty knocks on the door. It has also driven one to rise above themselves, and do what the can for others. #togetherwecan is not just a hashtag anymore, it’s a way of life.
Lesson Three: Questioning Thyself
But first let’s talk about isolation and being alone. Being alone in a country like India is not usually possible, even if we live alone. For most millennials in India, life online and offline is constantly surrounded by noise and people. Giving rise to the term “Me Time”, when one indulged in self care routines.
The lockdown has resulted in a lot of “me time” or as a lot of young people called it initially “dealing with loneliness”. True there’s enough and more things to do online that don’t really keep anyone disconnected. But a lot of millennials have started using this time to contemplate more deeply and given the uncertainties we are dealing with, being philosophical is not really all that bad.
Lesson Four: The Financial Evolution
YOLO, solo or in a group, is a mantra millennials (most of them, for the sake of not generalising) have followed from the heart. And why not? Despite raised eyebrows from the previous generations, ‘living the experience’ has been a part of the millennial existence. This is not to say they are not into savings. Oh no, quite a few of them have robust investment portfolios, but not all. Personal finance management is not necessarily a skill a lot of young people strongly identify with.
Starting March, there hasn’t been much to spend on. And given the economy, chances of unemployment, furloughs, and lay-offs are high. Given these circumstances, and also strongly looking at how ‘unwanted’ expenditure may have taken over the monthly budgets, many millennials are giving their approach to money a relook. You may live only once, but currently, living healthy and wise is seeming more prudent.
Lesson Five: Will still call out the boomers.
The most important lesson of all. Like before, and perhaps more now, the young generation has a responsibility to actively dispel rumours, kill fake news and call out the boomer uncles and aunties on social media and Whatsapp groups. Sharma uncle maybe more experienced, but Sharma uncle’s beta knows that when it comes a global pandemic, experience is not directly proportional to factually correct, non-panic inducing, messaging.
Mic Drop. #Okboomer.
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