Ukraine’s Millennials

 “So this is the way the world ends,” HuffPost congressional reporter Matt Fuller tweeted. “Not with a bang but with a bunch of millennials who don’t know how to mail things.” During the last years, the term ‘millennials’ was used for the description of the pros and cons of the youth. But in 2019, millennials finally grew up: the youngest are 22, the oldest are around 38. Most of the traits attributed to the millennials are signs of one social group of people, mostly white Americans born from 1981 to 1996, whose formation was influenced by social and cultural shifts.

The son sent me a good material on this topic: “Read About Yourself.” I carefully scrutinized it and realized: it doesn’t match. Why in this concept a millennial’s portrait takes after me like an identikit after a wanted man – same way approximately.

Americans write that the parents of millennials – the youngest representatives of the baby-boomer generation of 1940-1960 and the oldest representatives of the X generation that was born in 1960-1980. The childhood of the American millennials took place in the period of relative political and economic stability. Those children were growing up under intensified parents’ control. Risk-management became the main strategy of surviving. Today, around the whole civilized world the children’s games are controlled, free times is planned up to a minute by adults, a child is never let outside without a mobile phone. The older millennials who grew up in the eighties were hardly affected by it (“We played the piano for fun, not for the future”), the younger have already faced it.

Among the keywords in the search for the generation of millennials are procrastination, laziness, perverseness, complaints to all, complaints to other millennials for damaging their reputation, etc.

‘Adulting’ is a word which was created by millennials to mark the generalized tasks of self-sustained existence. It turns out that the utility services must be paid. It turns out that one must go to work. It turns out that dinner must be cooked daily.

Used to be controlled, American millennials refuse to mature, refuse to take responsibility, refuse to handle the troubles, avoid making difficult decisions. If it’s hard – change the work. If it isn’t interesting – go out of the profession. If you are fed up – go to Thailand for a year.

Ukrainian millennials, instead, went through the collapse of the empire, the establishment of Ukraine’s independence, criminal and hungry 90s. Our generation knows numerous ways how to optimize, learn, self-improve. We can go further against the odds.

Apparently, the progress of Ukraine for obvious historical reasons has been slowed down exactly for one generation: they already gave birth to millennials while we were destroying the Soviet Union, they still talked about economic stability while we were changing rubles for coupons and the like.

It seems that my son’s generation is the Ukrainian millennials, that is, the children born in the late nineties. Relatively speaking, the first people who were bought a mobile phone in childhood are the millennials in Ukraine.

These are they who reflect on the optionality of higher education (we actually got it), quit the job over the first trouble (their employment record is as big as ours), fall in spleen and seriously talk about depression (do you remember your alcoholic-disco-crazy twenty years?)

Shortly, I’ll send you backward. To the topic: “Read About Yourself”.

Tetyana Monakhova

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