Millennials: We were sold dreams

(image not my own)

When I started writing this, the idea was “keep it very short and simple”…but then I got to thinking. It isn’t just millennials to whom society sold dreams. The sale of dreams is still a prevalent placebo that is being administered to the youngest generations. I would rather we say to the younger generations, “Go to school. Pass your matric well enough to qualify for university and once in varsity dedicate yourself to your studies so as to attain a qualification which MIGHT allow you the opportunity of a corner office at a well paying job”.

Because look at us now…millions of qualified (MScs and PhDs), depressed and unemployed youth. All because Society told us time and again, “Go to school. Work hard *smart* to pass your matric so you can qualify for university. Dedicate yourself to your studies so you can get a qualification, then a job, then a car and a house on the hill”. And work damn hard we did. Yet here we are…in a society that was not designed for so many young qualified people, maybe even purposefully so.

And so we are asking, “What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers? What about all the broken happy ever afters? What about all the plans that ended in disaster?” because we were promised all these things our whole lives and we were going to do great. But here we are with our fancy degrees in a country where the job atmosphere is so thin *South Africa (in 2019) is arguably the country with the highest unemployment rate at 27.6%. 55.2% youth unemployment, 31% of whom are graduates*. We are interns who gladly *because it’s opportunity. exposure. we are exercising gratitude* perform professional duties on a domestic worker’s wage. We are still persevering…soldiering on…willing ourselves to believe that nothing we ever did was in vain.

And now they say to us *their faces beaming (but we’ve seen those faces before)*, “Become entrepreneurs”. Wait, what?! As the saying goes, history repeats itself…because this is the same as:

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First of all, not all of us have the entrepreneurial gene *education itself was never a one size fits all*. I for one would appreciate if they would go easy on shoving entrepreneurship down our millennial throats when we can barely keep our heads above the water trying to wrap our heads around the predicament we have suddenly found ourselves in. We are at best, and EVERY. SINGLE. DAY, trying to make lemonade out of these planet sized lemons. Never were we prepared for the worst. so we are, I believe, doing the best we can. We are a problem trying to solve itself.

Dear Society

Stop selling young people dreams

Yours truly,

Qualified, unemployed, distressed, lemonade out of lemons making youth

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