Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

Say hi to Lucy.

Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s.  She’s also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group—I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs.  A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.
So Lucy’s enjoying her GYPSY life, and she’s very pleased to be Lucy.  Only issue is this one thing:
Lucy’s kind of unhappy.
To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place.  It comes down to a simple formula:
It’s pretty straightforward—when the reality of someone’s life is better than they had expected, they’re happy.  When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they’re unhappy.
To provide some context, let’s start by bringing Lucy’s parents into the discussion:

Lucy’s parents were born in the 50s—they’re Baby Boomers.  They were raised by Lucy’s grandparents, members of the G.I. Generation, or “the Greatest Generation,” who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, and were most definitely not GYPSYs.

Lucy’s Depression Era grandparents were obsessed with economic security and raised her parents to build practical, secure careers.  They wanted her parents’ careers to have greener grass than their own, and Lucy’s parents were brought up to envision a prosperous and stable career for themselves.  Something like this:

They were taught that there was nothing stopping them from getting to that lush, green lawn of a career, but that they’d need to put in years of hard work to make it happen.


After graduating from being insufferable hippies, Lucy’s parents embarked on their careers.  As the 70s, 80s, and 90s rolled along, the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity.  Lucy’s parents did even better than they expected to.  This left them feeling gratified and optimistic.


With a smoother, more positive life experience than that of their own parents, Lucy’s parents raised Lucy with a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility.  And they weren’t alone.  Baby Boomers all around the country and world told their Gen Y kids that they could be whatever they wanted to be, instilling the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches.
This left GYPSYs feeling tremendously hopeful about their careers, to the point where their parents’ goals of a green lawn of secure prosperity didn’t really do it for them.  A GYPSY-worthy lawn has flowers.
This leads to our first fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Wildly Ambitious


The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security.  The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY.  Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.
Cal Newport points out that “follow your passion” is a catchphrase that has only gotten going in the last 20 years, according to Google’s Ngram viewer, a tool that shows how prominently a given phrase appears in English print over any period of time.  The same Ngram viewer shows that the phrase “a secure career” has gone out of style, just as the phrase “a fulfilling career” has gotten hot.
To be clear, GYPSYs want economic prosperity just like their parents did—they just also want to be fulfilled by their career in a way their parents didn’t think about as much.
But something else is happening too.  While the career goals of Gen Y as a whole have become much more particular and ambitious, Lucy has been given a second message throughout her childhood as well:
This would probably be a good time to bring in our second fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Delusional

“Sure,” Lucy has been taught, “everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd.”  So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better—
A shiny unicorn on top of the flowery lawn.  


So why is this delusional?  Because this is what all GYPSYs think, which defies the definition of special:

spe-cial| ‘speSHel |
better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

According to this definition, most people are not special—otherwise “special” wouldn’t mean anything.

Even right now, the GYPSYs reading this are thinking, “Good point…but I actually am one of the few special ones”—and this is the problem.
A second GYPSY delusion comes into play once the GYPSY enters the job market.  While Lucy’s parents’ expectation was that many years of hard work would eventually lead to a great career, Lucy considers a great career an obvious given for someone as exceptional as she, and for her it’s just a matter of time and choosing which way to go.  Her pre-workforce expectations look something like this:
Unfortunately, the funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they’re actually quite hard.  Great careers take years of blood, sweat and tears to build—even the ones with no flowers or unicorns on them—and even the most successful people are rarely doing anything that great in their early or mid-20s.
But GYPSYs aren’t about to just accept that.
Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.”  He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”
For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?”  He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”
And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here:


Lucy’s extreme ambition, coupled with the arrogance that comes along with being a bit deluded about one’s own self-worth, has left her with huge expectations for even the early years out of college.  And her reality pales in comparison to those expectations, leaving her “reality – expectations” happy score coming out at a negative.
And it gets even worse.  On top of all this, GYPSYs have an extra problem that applies to their whole generation:

GYPSYs Are Taunted

Sure, some people from Lucy’s parents’ high school or college classes ended up more successful than her parents did.  And while they may have heard about some of it from time to time through the grapevine, for the most part they didn’t really know what was going on in too many other peoples’ careers.
Lucy, on the other hand, finds herself constantly taunted by a modern phenomenon: Facebook Image Crafting.
Social media creates a world for Lucy where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation.  This leaves Lucy feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well, only adding to her misery:


So that’s why Lucy is unhappy, or at the least, feeling a bit frustrated and inadequate.  In fact, she’s probably started off her career perfectly well, but to her, it feels very disappointing.
Here’s my advice for Lucy:
1) Stay wildly ambitious.  The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success.  The specific direction may be unclear, but it’ll work itself out—just dive in somewhere.
2) Stop thinking that you’re special.  The fact is, right now, you’re not special.  You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet.  You can become special by working really hard for a long time.
3) Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.

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992 comments - jump to comment field »

  1. Anonymous

    Most spot on and hilarious thing I’ve read in awhile. I can’t get enough of this new “Gypsy” term! I’m definitely a Gypsy…

    • Anonymous

      It’s not a new term, it’s an ethnic slur that’s been used against Roma people for hundreds of years. You are most definitely NOT a gypsy.

      • Anonymouse

        Actually in the context of this article she IS a GYPSY.
        You on the other hand don’t get it so crawl back under that rock you came from and please don’t smell my air up with your trite male-bovine fecal matter.

        • Anon E Must

          Well, actually, Anon at 9.27pm is right; she is not a “Gypsy” or a “gypsy” as she claims she is. She is in fact a GYPSY in line with the article.

          Anon at 12.27AM, excellent point which I was attempting to make when I saw you had made it better.

    • Anonymous

      I did enjoy reading this… I see this through the eyes of a parent and a child It is also good to read the reactions. As a baby boomer, with a gypsy generation “child”…a very hard working one, it is tough out there. , I can see that many of the younger generation has some good points.

      I do think that one should tell their own child that they ARE special to them .. not better than anyone else, but one of the most important things in a parent’s life.
      Our parents often felt that to tell a child that they were special would spoil them.

    • Anonymous

      I know! GYPSY is a great new condescending term! I mean no one has ever used it to mean anything else especially not condescending. God you know it was so original for the writer to think of this new condescending acronym that has vaguely condescending connotations to me. Hmmmmm I wonder if he ever thought of N.E.G.R.O. as an acronym? I know if he did I would use it all the time! No idea why! Lol its hilarious!

    • Anonymous

      No, you are not a Gypsy, not unless you are a member of a particular ethnic (my ethnic) background. The fact that the author chose to use the name of a particular racial and ethnic background is both insulting and absurd. Were the author to have somehow come up with an acronym that read as “JEW” would you be saying the same thing?

      “Most spot on and hilarious thing I’ve read in awhile. I can’t get enough of this ‘Jew’ term! I’m definitely a Jew…”

      No. That would have the article labelled as racist and anti-semitic right from the start. But – for some reason – the term ‘Gypsy’ is acceptable? No. It is just as unacceptable. Just as unacceptable.

    • Anonymous

      The author is not wrong about millenials, but he (I’m guessing here) give Baby Boomers an unbelievable pass on being the most hypocritical, self-involved generation to date. And for the record, one reason why gen-Y has such over-inflated self-esteem and unrealistic expectations is because their boomer parents over-compensated for the tough love or full on neglect they felt from their own parents. The final advice is quite good and needed, but when you frame that advice around an idealized and statistically skewed notion of how great previous generations were you alienate your target audience and wind up just preaching to the choir.

      • Anonymous

        And who is the most self-important generation to date? I’m tempted to say it’s whichever one you belong too. But I don’t make stupid generalizations.

    • Anonymous

      how true, I was especially thinking about how Gen Y whinge about the cost of housing. Seems they don’t understand why a modern air conditioned Macmansion with 4 garages and a pool, 2 kilometres from the city centre doesn’t cost the same as the 2 bedroom fibro shack with no garage, or aircon and the toilet was a hole in the back yard that their parents bought for $50k (5 times their yearly salary) 40 years ago, and they feel hard done by!

      • Anonymous

        My problem is trying to afford a studio apartment while handling food costs and student loans. Even that is impossible, and it’s only going to get worse when my 12 year old car inevitably breaks down and I have to tack car payments into the mix.

    • Lucy

      Very freaked out by this: I’m a GYPSY and my name is…you guessed it..Lucy! It’s all gone a bit Truman show. I think I’ll have a sleep now. Hopefully I won’t dream about rainbow-vomiting unicorns.

    • Anonymous

      There’s some truth in all this, I will also add some images and dreams spread by TV. And as far as parents are concerned I also believe that they expect from their offspring more – you live in better world with more opportunities so you should not only get what you want, but also what we wanted but never could. So it’s not only pursuing own’s own dreams but also dreams of other generations – those depression grandparents and parents. It’s a pity it was mostly the drive for career that was ingrained, all issues concerning family, relationships were left behind, underappreciated – for our grandparents and parents family was an obvious thing, they did not cherish it that much. Now for many single and lonely yuppies this part of life is a place of endless struggle and that is sad :(

    • Anonymous

      The two people talking about the Oxford Comma were HILARIOUS – especially the second one: “an exhilarating sense of clarity and character to my writing IMO (sorry, I mean IMHO)”. That made me laugh out loud – thank you. :-) Clearly I had no idea about the change in rules wrt the double spaces after the period because I’m still putting them in there. Call me old fashioned, and I guess the publishing world would fire me, but I’ve been typing this way for so long (I don’t know Generation I am – I’m 45 so who knows what that makes me) that I’d have to retrain myself to type any differently. As for the initial post that began this whole exchange – and then veered way off topic – I hate to say this but your comment was precisely what the author was talking about. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know you, obviously, I’m not trying to insult you, and I absolutely believe everyone deserves a chance to find a job they love. I have 2 girls – ages 11 and 9 and I hope they both work hard and find jobs that they love too. However, I also know that dream jobs, like the kind of job I suspect you’re hoping for, take years – sometimes MANY years to come along. Hey – maybe I’m wrong and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who land your dream job in 6 months from now – who knows. It also depends what your version of your “dream job” is. Maybe your dream job is going to Africa to work with children in an orphanage – well then that could happen to you sooner than later. Maybe it’s to be a teacher – again a job that is not so far out of reach. However, if your dream job is something along the lines of “I want to be the Executive Vice President of Advertising for Macy’s” that’s a little less realistic. That’s the author’s point – align your expectations with what’s realistic at this point in time with both your experience and your skills. You’re young, enjoy life. Enjoy being young! So what if you don’t have your “dream job” yet – you have the rest of your life for that to happen – and trust me – you’ll look back at this point in your life and wonder why you pushed so hard and stressed yourself out so much when this is YOUR time for you to grow, learn, establish yourself and your career. Don’t be in such a hurry, one thing I know is that life doesn’t slow down – it speeds up. You’ll blink and you’ll be 45 like me – and I’m pretty darn happy. :-)

    • Anonymous

      Great read…and it’s somewhat hilarious and saddening to see the excuses spring forth from all angles. Giggity, giggity…sigh…

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think this article is wrong or right, its just overgeneralizing. And if I do some overgeneralizing myself, why not just say that they grew up in an era sensitive to the dark history of their grandparents, maybe their parents treated them like they were special, but after such a romantic history of the depression, war, 50’s, 60’s, I would say they were encouraged to be dreamers. Then came the 90’s, and every other depressing generation after that. They weren’t expecting, they were seeking dreams. They were raised to believe their imaginations would make the world a better place, and look at this hell hole, do you blame them? We’re idealists, we’re depressed because we want the world to be beautiful, not to be special. But your lack of imagination shows your inflexible opinions. your gypsy kids haven’t all found their place yet, but when they do, their passion will push them to excel. Which generation do you come from where being judgemental and jealous is your strong suit?

  2. Anonymous

    I’ll stop thinking there’s some special exception for why I deserve a dream job when you stop thinking there’s some special exception for you using the extremely out-dated and incorrect, “two spaces after every period” rule…

    • Anonymous

      Actually, despite what you learned in your (likely) liberal college where you (likely) earned a degree in some kind of “Arts” or “Humanities” major, using two spaces after a period is not incorrect. Out-dated, yes, but not incorrect (much like using “telefone” instead of “telephone” or the difference between using “data” in the plural form or not). Further, if you were not a Gypsy and had ever began a legitimate career, you would realize that it is a very common practice in report writing done outside of academia, and even in academia it depends on your professor and often the location of the university.

      Keep thinking you’re special though – who needs a career when you can use your parents’ wealth or my taxes?

    • Anonymous

      I love the insane assumptions you can make about an anon who points out that [unless you are using mono-space type] the two-spaces “rule” is in fact, incorrect. As literally every typographer will tell you. Thanks to the fact that computers use proportional typesetting, unlike typewriters from where the two-space rule originated, the rule has become literally useless.
      “Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule. It’s one of the canonical rules of the profession, in the same way that waiters know that the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork and fashion designers know to put men’s shirt buttons on the right and women’s on the left. Every major style guide—including the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style—prescribes a single space after a period. (The Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, used widely in the social sciences, allows for two spaces in draft manuscripts but recommends one space in published work.”
      But to point that out apparently means you went to a liberal college and studied Humanities (which apparently isn’t a legitimate study according to these oh so non-pretentious commenters), have never had a legitimate career, and live off of your parent’s money or welfare. Ho-ly mother of god, did this Anon hit a nerve with you or what?
      Also your simile is wrong, it is not even remotely the same as different spellings of the word “telephone” or the plural or non-plural “data”.
      Maybe YOU should’ve studied some Arts or Humanities instead of making wild assumptions and trying to shame people who did.

    • Anonymous sure is a cowardly little shit, isn’t he? When he’s not here calling people names, he’s publishing the addresses and phone numbers of members of the Westboro Baptist Church. They are unpleasant little wretches, but if Anonymous really wants to feel like a big shot, why doesn’t he do the same thing to the NSA? “oooh, mommy, I might get in trouble! Scary! Guess I’ll go pick on a random bunch of strangers, that will make me feel big and tough.” Loser.

    • Anonymous

      One space only applies to typeset material (where that single space is kerned as needed.) Else, it was always two spaces. It’s a modern pretension that web content is “typeset” therefore requires only one space. Just like the “special” Gen Y babies, you think you get to make all new rules just because you say so. Reality isn’t that way.

      - Anonymous because it’s a theme here… ;-)

    • Cynic

      really? you’re saying that his argument is invalid because of typesetting? why are you guys even arguing over something so inconsequential?

      P.S. Feel free to flame my lack of capitalization

    • Anonymous

      There is no rule regarding two spaces or one. I used APA and had a stickler for grammar in my 2nd Masters (foreigners seem to really apply the rules of grammar). I learned to type in a formal class way back when and it was two spaces. I’ve seen both in the professional world, but mostly two. The only time I’ve witnessed someone make a stink professionally was a manager lecturing the intern that he didn’t give two shits what he was told in college, but at this company (big successful corporation), the old rule applied.

      The only time I dared to argue with a boss over anything of this nature was to tell him that according to the American dictionary, color was spelled correctly and colour applied to the UK. He was Jamaican and raised on the “queen’s language.” He was grateful I caught that and I helped him change his English settings.

      This may where you can tell your boss who was trained with the two space rule why you are special/superior though. That is sure to get your smug ass a job.

      What the hell do I know though. I’m a gen Xer who worked my way up to 6 figures after hard work. I’m not that special. *snicker*

    • Anonymous

      I can’t say how happy it makes me that this has devolved into an argument about the two space rule. Does anyone want to weigh in on the Oxford Comma while you’re at it.

    • Anonymous

      I am for the Oxford Comma. It offers an exhilarating sense of clarity and character to my writing IMO (sorry, I mean IMHO).

      (Posting Anonymously as well because I want to fit in)

    • Anonymous

      I am a professional writer. I’d say it’s a dream job, but really it’s about five jobs I work all at the same time. I’ve written for both print and the Web.

      I assure you that the one space rule applies to AP, Chicago Manual, APA, MLA, and the various publisher specific style guides I use. It applies inside and out of academia. It applies in business correspondence, in emails, in print, and online. You may have someone that accepts two spaces out of courtesy for an old writer’s habits, but it isn’t correct.

    • Anonymous

      Outside the publishing world, they don’t care about the new rules. And it it simple to find and replace two spaces for one. It isn’t as simple to do if your bosses are old school…and that includes the Xers.

    • Anonymous

      This debate over one or two spaces is hysterical. And for those with astute eyes you would have already noted I use two spaces. This is due to a couple of reasons; I have never been advised the rules have changed (perhaps this is because I live outside of America)and am not a typesetter or web page designer. The original statement that started all this seemed to be trying to use the fact that as the writer had the audacity to use an extra space somehow gives justification for the commentators righteousness. By all means strive for that dream job, never give up that dream, just don’t expect to be served the dream immediately, doesn’t matter what generation any of us come from starting at the bottom working your way up gives you skills no degree will ever give you. I have done both and am proud of what I have achieved but do not think that I deserve it more than anyone who has put in the effort.

      PS I’m Gen X

    • grmpf

      Putting two spaces after a period seems to be a uniquely English-language thing because I have never heard of this even being an issue in my own language. It also wasn’t taught to me in English or French class, probably because it has been outdated for a while now in English and because the French were the ones who have been using one space all along anyway (it’s seriously called French spacing vs. English spacing – I suppose the French had to win at something at some point).
      Besides, I can’t believe nobody has pointed out that there is not supposed to be a comma before the quotation marks in the comment that started all this.

    • Anonymous

      Actually to the “acute” eye you may have noticed there are no double spaces after a period in comment sections. They are automatically removed as that is the HTML standard. As well as you know, the standard in all print publications.

    • Anonymous

      The two people talking about the Oxford Comma were HILARIOUS – especially the second one: “an exhilarating sense of clarity and character to my writing IMO (sorry, I mean IMHO)”. That made me laugh out loud – thank you. :-) Clearly I had no idea about the change in rules wrt the double spaces after the period because I’m still putting them in there. Call me old fashioned, and I guess the publishing world would fire me, but I’ve been typing this way for so long (I don’t know Generation I am – I’m 45 so who knows what that makes me) that I’d have to retrain myself to type any differently. As for the initial post that began this whole exchange – and then veered way off topic – I hate to say this but your comment was precisely what the author was talking about. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know you, obviously, I’m not trying to insult you, and I absolutely believe everyone deserves a chance to find a job they love. I have 2 girls – ages 11 and 9 and I hope they both work hard and find jobs that they love too. However, I also know that dream jobs, like the kind of job I suspect you’re hoping for, take years – sometimes MANY years to come along. Hey – maybe I’m wrong and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who land your dream job in 6 months from now – who knows. It also depends what your version of your “dream job” is. Maybe your dream job is going to Africa to work with children in an orphanage – well then that could happen to you sooner than later. Maybe it’s to be a teacher – again a job that is not so far out of reach. However, if your dream job is something along the lines of “I want to be the Executive Vice President of Advertising for Macy’s” that’s a little less realistic. That’s the author’s point – align your expectations with what’s realistic at this point in time with both your experience and your skills. You’re young, enjoy life. Enjoy being young! So what if you don’t have your “dream job” yet – you have the rest of your life for that to happen – and trust me – you’ll look back at this point in your life and wonder why you pushed so hard and stressed yourself out so much when this is YOUR time for you to grow, learn, establish yourself and your career. Don’t be in such a hurry, one thing I know is that life doesn’t slow down – it speeds up. You’ll blink and you’ll be 45 like me – and I’m pretty darn happy. :-)

      • Anonymous

        There are two spaces? NO!!!! I’m still trying to cope with the idea of an infinite universe. Does this mean I have to take a second copy of my family photos for the “other” space?

    • Anonymous

      It’s amazing how many of you still insist on using two spaces after the period when it’s completely irrelevant, even after being proven incorrect and told why repeated times. You pretentious dipshits do realize that most websites will actually strip out the extra space character, right?

    • Anonymous

      You are right: print media stopped using two spaces a long time ago, probably because all that extra white space added up to higher paper costs. It is not a question of correctness. However, correct grammar still uses the possessive before a gerund; you should have written “for your using”–and, BTW, “outdated” does not require a hyphen. So who are you to criticize?

    • Anonymous

      Early on in computing it was the norm, then it was determined that all caps is harder for the eye/mind to process. Now, all caps exists, but has a designated purpose.

      Likewise, the ‘two space rule’ was overridden as being inappropriate to the web. Then it was determined that the added spacing did, in fact, make it easier to process the transition from one sentence to another. And now, it all depends on which version of which manual you are using.

      In the grand scheme – utterly meaningless. However, it does make a lovely diversion for those who are unable to focus their attention sufficiently to address the actual *content.* Must admit, the status of critical thinking concerns me far more than the status of the two-space rule…. But “debates” like this one *do* illuminate how some of our politicians manage to get elected despite the words that come out of their mouths…

    • It was a “big” moment for me when I replaced all the double spaces after periods with single spaces in my book manuscript. Seriously, it was a shift. I like two spaces, and that’s a fine reason to do it. It doesn’t matter what one or another manual says, it matters who you’re writing for and whether what you do communicates. No one ever failed to parse a sentence because it has one instead of two spaces after or two instead of one, so anyone who thinks this is an issue of right or wrong is somewhat of an idiot. But it does matter to respect the sensibilities of the people you are writing for. In my case, I wanted to shift from writing for a reader to writing for a publisher. In the case of this blog, however, folks who come here are likely to use either method, and one type “spacer” isn’t a more likely reader of this blog than the other. Since you all understood what the author was saying, you should stop whining about the spacing.

    • Anonymous

      For those who don’t know how the web works, all contiguous whitespace characters–carriage returns, new lines, tabs, or spaces–are represented as a single space. There are ways to add non-breaking spaces so that it appears there are 2 spaces together, but that’s an awful lot of work for the standard blogger. :)

    • Anonymous

      I’m a lawyer who graduated high school in 2000, and I also had no idea the world had moved on from two spaces after a period to only one. When were people going to tell me? I’m going to stay with two until formally put on notice.

    • Anonymous

      I also was never told that we only use one space now. Since I am the boss that means the first snide Gen Y to tell me will be arbitrarily fired.

    • Anonymous

      I want all of you heretical two space users to unite. We (the one space after a period users) will hunt all of you enemies of the state down. We will place you in re-education camps.
      My fellow one space users, we must unite against these counter revolutionaries. We will declare an old fashioned Stalinist purge of the two space users. We wi..Anyway I was going to brain strom a funny acronym for a shadowy government police agency to identify two space after a period users, but I have a career to which I need to apply effort.

    • Anonymous

      It turns out the rule for spacing after a period is not so universal as some overblown windbags would like us to believe. Incidentally, neither does the convention of two spaces after a period have any historical correlation with the typewriter. For an interesting counterpoint to the argument, see the following article: http://www.heracliteanriver.com/?p=324.

    • Anonymous

      ok, since everyone is anonymous, can we be sure this is not just one person having a conversation with himself/herself? did I use the wrong / there? Was the ? ok?
      Geesh, I have been out of school way to long to not realize the space behind .:;? have changed. Or is it only behind the . that the “one-space rule” applies? where can I find this “rule”? I want to make sure I’m doing it the right way.

      of course, I’m anon, what else would I be?

    • Anonymous

      Proven incorrect? your posting that on this board doesn’t “prove” anything except that you disagree with how folks are typing. HTML removes the double spaces huh? sure looks like a larger space between the. and the next word than between words. What if I put four spaces. Do they remove them? Does it matter? Is the NSA going to show up at my door because I used two spaces behind a .?

    • Anonymous

      I have very deep feelings about the amount of spaces allowable after periods, particularly at the end of sentences. My anonymous upbringing has allowed me significant leverage in negotiating terms for the exchange of the conditions that would allow for the space to be condensed to a single unit perpetually, but alas, my plans were nixed by some kind of secret grammatical society that I seek to learn more about.

    • Anonymous

      This is some Grade A whinging about First World problems here! The Oxford comma shiz was awesome though, and I really did LOL. I thought happiness was having lots of sex, eating lots of food and having tops friends. The whole double-vs-single space shiz is a real buzzkill!

    • Anonymous

      A little background. It was previously normal to use one space after each sentence in the early days of PCs because of space limitations. Once those were overcome, the normal practice was to use two spaces to provide a better visual cue to identify separation of sentences. BTW, in the real (business and government) world it is normal practice to do that for exactly that reason.

    • Anonymous

      The only time I dared to argue with a boss over anything of this nature was to tell him that according to the American dictionary, color was spelled correctly and colour applied to the UK. He was Jamaican and raised on the “queen’s language.” He was grateful I caught that and I helped him change his English settings.

      Okaaay, so you told your Jamaican boss that his English English wasn’t good enough for you and you’re proud of that? It’s colour, cretin, not color!

    • Anonymous

      A kid made a sarcastic remark, where his own sense of entitlement was part of the joke. People took it seriously, and came give him lessons about being arrogant. Really? Do you really think, after this article, the boy was actually being serious? Some people can’t get humor unless it is spelled out for them.

    • Anonymous

      Just for the record, one or two spaces after a period has absolutely nothing to do with English grammar! It is merely a style issue.

    • Anonymous

      I’m a Gen X’r and I’m special. I know this to be true because my mama told me so. She said “Your special just like everyone else.” -HA

    • Anonymous

      Did I just stumble into some sort of weird parallel Nazi universe? A long discussion about the rules for how much empty space to leave after a dot. Are you all mad?

    • Anonymous

      I love the one space rule and I’m a trailing phase boomer. I can’t say I think it’s particularly germane to the GYPSY discussion, but it did enhance my smile to wince ratio while reading. I’m sure you’ll all be thrilled to know that the style manual for Oregon’s Department of Human Services prescribes the one space rule.

    • Anonymous

      Can we please focus on the real issue here? Why does a professional field in Humanities not count as a “real” job? People have different strengths. If everyone was good at math/chemistry/physics, then everyone would still be struggling to find a job. Can you imagine the world without people who didn’t have so called “legitimate” careers. There would be no books to read, no plays/musicals/operas to attend, no one would be playing musical instruments, there would be no art in the world, no television/movies, no clothes, no furniture, no nice restaurants, NADA. The world would be a dark and dismal place without creativity, and plenty of people would be unhappy living in this world whether you are a creative person who needs to go into a creative field, or whether you go into a “legitimate” career but appreciate any of the things I listed above. What would be the point of getting a degree in business if everyone was doing so? And if you managed to somehow work yourself up to the top, although you are now competing with everyone, what would you spend all that money you made on? Sorry, there’s no designer clothes to wear, nice restaurants to dine in, no tickets to any art shows to attend, no fancy furniture or art to put in your house, no fancy house to even buy, no books to fill up your library, no good looking cars to buy, no music to listen to (goodbye CDs and iPods and concert tickets) and no movies or television to watch on your huge flatscreen tv, no lawyer to draw up your will, or people to run the government etc. Sorry. (None of these things exist anymore because everyone was trying to obtain a “legitimate” degree and pursue a “real” career.) If you are an engineer, or businessman/woman or whatever is considered a “real” career, then thank you. We need people like you. BUT you should also know, we also need people who have different strengths and passions than you have. There would be nobody special if everyone was the same and trying to achieve the same thing. Just because you might earn more, does not mean that your job is any more “real” than a person who works in the arts or Humanities field. Oh, and by the way, there have been plenty of artists in every generation.

      -A Drama Production Design/History major who is going to a PUBLIC university (because it was cheaper than liberal arts colleges even with scholarships), and is working to help pay. Does that make me special? Maybe, maybe not. Just don’t assume that every arts/humanities major is living off of their parent’s wealth (or lack thereof) and your taxes, because I know MANY who are not. Do I appreciate the people who went to achieve so called “legitimate” careers? YES, thank you. The world is better place with your inventions and your skills. However, I think the world would be a lot less enjoyable and meaningful if there were no people who created art in any form, because they were obtaining “legitimate” careers. I know many people who have “legitimate” careers appreciate the arts in many different forms, so thank you to those people. What makes the world beautiful is diversity.

      • Working Man

        Simple… if it’s not work someone will pay for, it’s not a real job. If you’re really good at finger painting, but the only way you can survive doing it is to leech off the tax payers, that’s not a real job.

        Time to grow up, buddy. You can chase your dreams, or you can live a life. Probably not both. Think your great-grand-daddy really wanted to man an assembly line machine or till the soil constantly?

    • Anonymous

      There is no office or other public establishment, legitimately empowered by legislation or executive decree, that is authorized to make any determination concerning this language and the number of spaces on a period’s posterior. This ain’t no party. This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no foolin’ around.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sticking with two spaces. Just because it’s “correct” in X,Y,Z doesn’t it make it correct. A perpetuated error is still erroneous. In this instance, old is better. All you one space lovers can keep your wall of text approach. I prefer to know when a sentence ends with a casual glance.

      But I shall be liberal in where and when I use spaces after commas. One, none – watch me go crazy shaking that up. It’s how I roll.

    • Anonymous

      A hundred years from now when a text book tries to explain internet culture in 2013, it could hardly do better than quoting this one versus two space argument. It has literally made my day (by which I mean to launch a cascading argument about proper use of “literally”). Thank you all so much.

    • Anonymous

      I find it hilarious that all of these assumptions and generalizations stemmed from a comment about double spacing after a period. >.<

    • Yehoshua

      I don’t think this is a good reason to devalue the text. But I’ve never heard of using two spaces anywhere. Besides English, I speak Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian, and no teacher has ever told me about it. It seems to be a discussion exclusive to the English language.

      But there is another point of view of mine. As a graphic designer, I have learned that typesetting rules are a responsibility of my profession, and not a grammar rule. I mean, typesetting is pretty much about white space. If there had ever been a two spaces rule, we would be the first ones to know such a thing. There are “em” and “en” spaces, which are longer spaces, and they could be used between sentences. But they aren’t. So what could be the reason for people to use more than one space?

      I have a theory. For a long time, people used to write on typewriters, which used monospaced fonts. As the name may suggest, it uses the sames width space for all the characters (even spaces themselves and punctuation. So the space between the full dot and the first character of the sentence probably looked a little awkward – and two spaces looked fine.

      While some of my books define it as a “typographic crime” (along the likes of “dumb quotes” and hyphens in the place of “em” and “en” dashes), I don’t think lay persons have the duty to know it. Pretty much in the same way that I don’t have the duty to know quantum physics and the theory of relativity*. So, yeah, it’s a crime for a graphic designer or typesetter. Not for everyone – there’s no reason for you to be so pedantic, my anonymous friend.

      *I’m not saying people shouldn’t be curious. I myself am very curious.

  3. Anonymous

    My husband and I are baby-boomers with 3 well-adjusted and succeeding Y-gen kids. Unlike many of our peers, we made clear to our kids that they were “not the center of the universe” and that noone owed them anything. This blog points out exactly what happens when parents fail to impart those two critical messages to their kids.

    • I was raised that way as well, however, failure to find a job and be self sufficient after college is a major blow to our feeling independent, on top of any entitled feelings we may have. I think the GYPSY model is spot on even if kids were raised right, because many of us will not be able to reach even reasonable expectations of success – and I’m defining success as being able to find a full time job (much less one with health insurance!) and being able to contemplate having a family without having to go on some sort of welfare. I will probably never reach the standard of living my parents raised me with. That’s depressing.

    • Anonymous


      You probably thought you were entitled a job with a college career in whatever field you studied. If you got a degree in a more economically useful field with more definable skills you would have much less unemployment chances (i.e. engineering – though there are many others0.

    • Anonymous

      What is amazing is I didn’t die without health insurance in my early 20s. /sarcasm

      Maybe next voting time, people will vote differently. The fact that we are overtaxed eludes many. Taxing the hell out of business hinders growth and the benefits they offer. We are one of the few countries in a free market system that has the highest corporate tax. Not to mention one of the most litigious, which of course, gets passed down to the consumer. Vicious cycle.

      I do feel bad though. I was taught in high school about economics and budgets with emphasis on how that applies. These days, kids are taught fun stuff like how to put on condoms and how evil America is and it is the “selfish” beliefs of our parents and theirs why the world and their lives are so messed up.

    • Anonymous

      No it makes them good parents. Teaching reality instead of fantasy preps their kids for the real world.

      The biggest crime done to the Gen Yers is that adults give self esteem. Self esteem is earned and comes from within.

    • Back when my parents were in school they WERE taught helpful things like economics and basic living skills like how to balance a checkbook and dutifully write and edit a paper. Now kids are taugh things “like how to put on condoms” etc. But that’s because so many parents now are expecting schools to teach their children morals and life skills. That’s not the schools job. But if they don’t teach these things 1. the kids will never learn them and 2. they will lose funding. It’s ridiculous. Not to mention it’s getting increasingly difficult to teach children everything because while parents expect the schools to raise their children, they never taught them to respect their elders/superiors and thanks to that (and other reasons) the school has no disciplinary power. It makes it incredibly difficult to educate morals if you can’t discipline your students.

      Thank goodness my parents cared enough to truly teach me as a child. And while they did tell me that I could be whatever I wanted but they did not guarantee that that would be enough though they did guarantee that to succeed at what I wanted was going to take plenty of hard work and plenty of time. So thanks for that Mom and Dad!

    • Anonymous

      “…because so many parents now are expecting schools to teach their children morals and life skills. That’s not the schools job.”
      of course one sends the children to school to get a sheet of paper for beeing conform for over 10 years but just imagine what could be if (bear with me) schools actually taught children so that they wouldnt leave school completely unqualified to do any job beyond picking litter and flipping your burgers
      one sends children to school so that their education cant be isolated and politicly motivated bullshit (irony eh)
      true gen y has a fucked up sense for authority but take a look at our history and tell me you respect the cattle that till today wont accept their fuckups let alone their childrens

    • Anonymous

      Why I remember when I was in a kid. To graduate high school you absolutely had to take a class called “life skills” where they would teach you how to balance a check book and write resumes/papers. You also had to take at least one class on how economics worked, one class on how civics and government worked, and two classes on a useful technological skill. And I went to public school in the middle of LA! They should still be doing that now!

      Oh wait I graduated high-school in 2006. Oh wait those are still all requirements. Oh wait they still had time to teach a health class too… Damn them for also trying to teach me basic rudiments of health. Glad I never listened in that class. Let me just eat my junk food and scratch my balls. I wonder why the became so itchy and green in the first place?

    • Anonymous

      So since I was born in 1984, what generation does that put me in?
      Gen X was ending in early 80’s but that’s also when Gen Y is being said to have started.

    • Anonymous

      Csmith – you are spot on, I am 45 years old and my children are now 21 and 20 both with really good jobs. My youngest boy hated school but went all the way to yr 12 a huge credit to him. I have seen way to many times how easy it is for children now just to leave school cause they can (and they ‘think’ that they are the adult). The teachers are doing their best BUT if you have children that are going to school and face booking on their mobiles while in class – of course – they are not going to learn anything. So I would tell these teachers to get a basket ready before each class and get these children’s mobile in there. There is no respect with the kids these days, all that comes out of their mouths is rubbish (as my mum says), so is that peer pressure or is that how this generation is going to succeed (lol). I still to this day believe that if a child wants to leave school so early then they should be put straight into the Army etc. (that’s if they haven’t full time employment or going to full time study) there is just too many out in the street or getting pregnant.
      So i agree well done to our parents and to the ones that are really given it ago to the generation now……

    • Anonymous

      If businesses are so overtaxed, why are they making record profits while the overall economy is anemic? If taxes are so burdensome, how can many companies afford to spend even more on lobbying? If individuals being overtaxed is the problem, how did society ever survive the Boomers’ younger years when top tax rates were much higher?

    • Pat

      csmith123, it is refreshing to read what you wrote. I am a teacher and currently on mat leave, I’m seriously considering not returning to the profession simply because I feel like a counselor to the kids and the parents, I just want to teach kids what they need to know, & pass back the responsibility of the holistic stuff (manners, respect, understanding etc) back where it belongs, with the parent!

    • Anonymous

      Apparently no generation is immune from bragging about their kids and taking credit for it…

      (Iow you are, in fact, like most of your peers).

    • Anonymous

      Actual American here. The only thing that makes this offensive is to be called a Gypsy. I’ve had to call the police on these illegal Romani’s who refer to themselves as gypsies who tried to swindle me by messing with my car in a parking lot.

    • Anonymous

      HAHAHAHAHA. Racial slur..?!? You need to get a job. Your race, whatever it is, isn’t special. You’re not special. Nomadic, grift-centric, fringe cultures have existed and been referenced in pop culture for decades and centuries. Seriously, get a job, it will take your mind off all matters of race. Go Redskins!

    • Anonymous

      So, just because we’ve used racial slurs in the past in pop culture to subtly disempower and insult racial minorities we are to continue doing so in the future? Why, because you want to and its fun and don’t want to think of any of the implications that your doing so has on these “fringe cultures?” Have we progressed nowhere in social awareness? While I would argue most of us haven’t, this is an example of the kind of ignorant, everyone’s-born-with-equal-opportunity, bullshit mindset that continues to perpetuate systems of racism in todays society.

    • Anonymous

      “Actual Romani person here” —- this is how you know you are not a gypsy. Gypsies or Romas – are a tribe of nomadic people. They have nothing to do with Romanions or Romani… wait, what the heck is “Romani” anyway?

      It is not a racial slur. It is a derogatory term. Being a Roma is an ethnic description, not a racial one – like being Caucasian, Asian, etc. A little more critical thinking and knowledge helps here, folks!

    • Anonymous

      Romanians are an ETHNICITY not a RACE. Romanians are Caucasians… which I didn’t realize was now categorized as a “minority” in some circles.

      GYPSY, as used in this article, is an acronym.

      Some people need to get a life and stop looking for a reason to be offended by everything.

    • Anonymous

      Trigger warning, use of racial slurs in descriptions of hate crimes.

      I am a white woman. I am the granddaughter of a Nazi. A real, WWII Nazi officer.
      Hitler spoke of the “danger gypsies pose to an ordered society”, hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of Roma were killed in the holocaust. The numbers are uncertain due to a shoot on site policy.
      Roma were slaves less than a hundred years ago in eastern Europe.
      Roma woman were/are sterilized without their knowledge/consent.
      Neo-nazis protest and commit acts of violence against the Roma worldwide (including the Americas) to this day. Throwing bricks, committing arson, shooting into houses with children, all the while chanting “gypsy go home”
      Roma children are forced out of school because of racist bullying, even teachers tell them that their native languages sound animalistic. (Yes languages, the Roma are a collection of different groups with different languages, cultural beliefs and names. Sinta, Romani, Kale, Kalderesh.)
      Teachers don’t invest effort in the Roma children because failure is a forgone conclusion, it is assumed that they have no interest in learning, not that they get forced out by constant bullying.

      All of this is done because of the stereotype of the “gypsy” a wilfully ignorant, illiterate, lazy, dirty, beggar or con artist. The “gypsy woman” as the fortune telling witch, or the sexy temptress. The personification of gypsy as other, as less than human, so its OK to enslave, murder, beat, and rape them.
      Because of a word that is a able for the other.
      A word that means “animal”.
      A word that deserves the same respect that nigger, kike, gook, and spick have.
      A respect for the inherent pain that word causes.
      A respect for the slimy evilness.
      A respect for the dead, with that word tattooed on their skin, and a respect for the living with that word tattooed on their soul.

      I’m white. My grandfather was a Nazi. My dad is a racist. I am sorry. I know that I have benefited from them. I have no doubt that my family benefited from the holocaust. I want to be better. If anything I’m sure that I haven’t described in harsh enough terms what Roma experience, I can’t ever really understand. But I think that the acronym used in this article is shitty. My use of a slur in this post is for clarity and impact.

    • Anonymous

      Actual Romanian here. 1. Its RomaniAn not RomaniOn and never ever ever ever ever Romani. That’s like saying the English or Engli. 2. Plenty of Romani live in Romania and thus are Romanian Romani. 3. Romani are sometimes referred to as Roma. It seems to depend on who you ask which of those two terms is preferred, but gypsy is always ALWAYS an ethnic slur. Gypsy comes from a mistaken belief that the group originated in Egypt when at some point the group in fact left India. Romani or Roma is the English equivalent to the various Romani words for themselves (they speak more than one language all sharing a common linguistic ancestor that split from Hindi/Urdu when they left the Indian subcontinent).

    • Anonymous

      I’d ask how people would feel if the author referred to people as “NIGGERs” and defending it as “oh, it’s just an acronym, go get a job,” but I have a feeling that a lot of people here would still miss the point…

    • Anonymous

      Everybody has been called names before, being part of a racial minority or not, it happens all the time. Men go on with their lives. Crybabies bitch about it.

    • Anonymous

      When Van Morrison belts out the phrase, “…I want to rock your gypsy soul…”, he is not slurring downtrodden Romanians or Egyptians, you stupid, useless, 20-something GYPSY douche. He is hearkening us to the nomadic and free-spirited sentiments that are associated with groups who BEHAVE a certain way and have certain attitudes and lifestyles. Keep focused on all the wrong things – sizzle rather than the steak, and the worst slur of all will be “Millennial”.

    • Anonymous

      so now racism is okay because everyone should join the homogenous mass, stop thinking, and work until they’ve earned their keep. oh wait, how about that systematic swindling of everyone, especially those who aren’t born into class and money and whiteness and the West? oh that’s right, we capitalists like to deny that society is an actual thing because it gives unfair advantages to the rich (Us) and crushes the rest (Them). oh and how about the fact that the economy and job market and forms of labor have actually CHANGED in the last few decades. oh that’s right, the above post was complete high-octane bullshit, because it was written to sound edgy and get attention, not to be an appraisal of the facts.

      It doesn’t surprise me that this post has attracted the uneducated, racist Right wing (I wonder how the author feels about this). It makes them feel better about themselves and their flawed belief systems. Bad news – the system lied to you, too.

  4. Anonymous

    Spot on. My wife and I talk about kids growing up under the “every kid is a winner” philosophy. Most get cut down once they graduate to the real world where winners are determined by effort and ability and you don’t get an award for just participating.

    • Caffeine_Enema

      Wonder who taught Gen Y that everyone was a winner? Kind of a cruel thing to do to a growing generation. Hopefully Gen Y will do better with their offspring.

    • Anonymous

      Dr Spock. The “expert” everyone followed to raise their little x’s and mostly y’s. the same one whose son committed suicide.

    • Anonymous

      Doctor Spock was also popular in the 1950’s when Boomers were being raised.

      Truthfully, the “self-esteem” movement didn’t begin in earnest until the 1980’s when they began to give trophies out for showing up for a baseball game, regardless of whether or not your team ever won.

      This flawed concept began in academia. My wife and I, both educated to be teachers, refused to allow that cancer into our home. My son once received a trophy for “showing up” and I promptly threw it into a burn barrel in the parking lot on the way to the car. At the time he was angry (and so was my wife), but later in life he reminded me of that event and thanked me for the lesson.

      Why? Because he said he had never since received a trophy for showing up and was taught that he needed to do his very best every time if he was going to be rewarded in his career or any other endeavor (including relationships). “Very best” doesn’t equate to “perfect” as no one is perfect.

      Makes a dad proud.

      And, yes, both of our kids are employed, make 6 figure incomes, own their own homes, barely circling 30. Neither one has been unemployed since graduation (2004). Why? Because I paid for their education and demanded that they have at least one degree in a marketable skill. Both have leveraged their degrees into careers while following personal interests as well. If they wanted to minor in underwater basket weaving, that was fine with me. But the major would have to be marketable or the checks stopped. I have a friend who is paying $53,000 a year to send his daughter to college to be…. a teacher. He’s going into hock and she’s taking loans. I regret to inform him that she’ll barely make enough money to make the payments as a teacher. While we need teachers, a degree in education from a state school suffices – not some private boutique college. $250,000. Insane.

      We were even considered to be “monster” parents who were bent on destroying their fledgeling “social lives”. They thought this because their friends’ parents didn’t give a crap about what their kids did and let them run wild and stay out ’til the wee hours of the morning. However, we did care and had 11:30 curfews (which included changing the door locks if they were late – only needed to do that once to deliver the message). Fast forward 12 years and now we’re considered the “cool” parents because we were invested in our kids’ lives and those, who were free to do as they pleased, found out the hard way that the rest of the world didn’t think they were special at all. Sadly, some of their friends are still living in their parent’s basement.

      The kid across the street from us is 26 and NEVER had a job. Not a summer job. Never delivered a newspaper. Never mowed a lawn (not even their own). And he wonders why no one will hire him for a “real” job. He lives with his mother. She wants to retire… but can’t bring herself to do so until he’s launched.

      We have raised a generation of people who have no concept of what consequences are.

      And for those of you so quick to judge, we maintain strong relationships with both of our kids and many of their (and our) friends envy the bonds we have forged.

      And I will place two spaces after a period. I taught typing decades ago and these old fingers know no other way. Get over it.

    • Anonymous

      It was his grandson Peter who committed suicide, not his son. Apparently Peter had suffered from schizophrenia for a while.

      I am not defending or criticizing Spock but merely correcting the factual error.

  5. Anonymous

    “Baby boomers” aren’t really the parents of Gen Y. They are the parents of Gen X. “The Greatest Generation” is full of people who happened to be working while the economy was on the upswing, and they received a healthy, living wage for the work they did, which allowed them to raise a family, to send their children to college, and to establish funds for retirement. The affluent generation that preceded the gypsies were nicknamed the “Me Me Me Generation” in the 1980s, and were frequently called terrible by “The Greatest Generation” for their self-involvement. Members of Gen Y are expected to work for no money for years after graduating college — for careers that will vanish before they ever earn Gen Y a paycheck … I don’t think the problem is just with “delusional specialness” so much as it is people loving to complain about young folks…

    • Anonymous

      Um, wrong. I’m an early Gen X’er (born in the late 1960’s) and my parents were not Baby Boomers, they were pre-Baby Boomers, sometimes called “Depression babies” (i.e. babies born during the Great Depression). They were part of a forgotten generation smooshed between the WWII generation and the Baby Boomers, just as Gen X was smooshed between the Baby Boom and Gen Y.

      In contrast to Gen Y, the message “don’t you dare think you’re special!” was drilled into the heads of Gen X by our parents, who spent their childhoods in a time of deprivation and fear (the Depression followed by WWII). Based on my experience and that of many of my peers, our parents expected life to be hard. They were terrified that because our childhoods were easy by their standards, we’d grow up useless and helpless leeches on society. My parents were very big on forcing me and my siblings to be independent, to a fault, really, in ways that would be shocking to parents now.

    • Anonymous

      That rang really true to me. My mother was concerned that I wouldn’t learn the lessons that I needed to learn because scarcity was not an issue for us. My parents were also pre-boomers, born in the midst of WWII to parents who had married during the depression, or just before the war began. I remember as a young person, the emphasis being on practical education and being “ready to launch” when the reality of adulthood arrived (which for me was the end of my scholarship-paid-for college attendance.) I never even considered coming home to mom and dad an option.

    • Anonymous

      Adore this post and this particular thread – especially this part about the GenX comparison. I actually just started a site for we GenX women (TueNight.com) because we’re so freaking confused about these huge generations that surround us (Boomers and Y or Milennials). Yes, GenX parents were the depression babies, The Greatest (or G.I.) Generation. My mom actually slept in a dresser drawer as a baby. Her mom/ my grandmother painted makeup on her legs to look like nylons since they were in short supply. So I can totally relate to the comments about scarcity – I always got the “starving children” comments and to be a member of the “Clean Plate Club”. We were raised to be independent, latch-key kids, running around on our own and working our asses off. We still do and we’re successful as hell.

    • Anonymous

      “Gen Y are expected to work for no money for years after graduating college”

      Sigh…the whole point of this post was to tell you to set your own expectations. Can’t you see the disconnect here?

    • Anonymous

      Working for years for no money after graduation isn’t an expectation we set for ourselves, it’s the reality that’s being forced upon us. Honestly, the whole reason the entire system is broken is largely due to the allowance of interns as unpaid workers.

    • Anonymous

      This thread contains a great disproof of the theory used in the article! I really really like the assumption by Gen X that they would somehow miss criticism for not being mentioned. If you look at the demographics, i.e. socioeconomic mobility for a generation or things like charity work, generation is THE MOST SELFISH overprivileged generation in American history. The great thing is the second most overprivlidged generation in American history is the lost generation. What people in this thread think they are saying: We were raised right because our underprivileged parents raised our tiny underprivileged generation right. What they are really: We the most overprivlidged generation in history raised by the second most overprivlidged generation in history made to feel extra special by our small size our so oblivious to our position in history that we feel extra special for not feeling special even though we are special! Tough luck you already got your nickname as “The Wall Street Generation” or the “Greed is Good Generation.” Soon maybe you will earn the title of “Moral and Social Value Decay Generation” or the “remember that generation filled with absolutely oblivious libertarian assholes, I am glad we ate them in that famine they really helped cause” generation.

      Its one thing that generation 7 and baby-boomers are fighting here. They have both shown that they want to change society for the better, unlike the greed is good fuck everyone but me generation xers.

    • Anonymous

      Um, baby boomers birthed a lot of Gen X AND Gen Y. It depends on how early they started and how many children they had “spacing”. There are always overlaps. I’m early Gen Y born to baby boomers.

    • Anonymous

      Good discussion here. I consider myself Gen Y or X-Y at 36 years of age. My parents were born right before the war. I don’t have really much connection to Baby Boomers, but most of my friends are Millennials and have Boomer parents.

      A few things have happened in post-Nixon America that have caused these expectation gaps. The layoff/downsizing trend of the 1980s was a real shock to people in my parent’s generation who were in their 40s and looking towards retirement. The recession of the early 1990s compounded it. Then we had the crash of 2000 that was a big shock to people like me who had just graduated and had very high expectations after the Clinton boom period. Then we had a second blow in 2008 that has been even harder on the inexperienced Millennials.

      Life is tough because of this expectations game in 21st century America. A lot of us are looking for happiness at the bottom of a bottle or on a ski slope, rather than with family and a picket fence.

  6. Anonymous

    So you briefly touch on the baby boomers going through their “insufferable hippy” phase before getting established in their nice career minded setting. Isn’t it possible, and probably likely, that the GYPSYs you mark as “I’m special” are going through their version of the “insufferable hippy” phase? The baby boomers have had time to settle into their lives while the youngest of GYPSY’s are still sorting their lives out. I feel you comparing a fine, aged brandy to a freshly made brandy and expecting them to be the same in nature. I would challenge you to look into the future to judge this generation on their accomplishments rather than how you see them through the tinted lenses of the accomplishments of the baby boomer generation. Although its not possible to judge a generation ahead of its future so why are you?

    • Couldn’t agree more.

      I am one of these so-called GYPSYs, and am fully aware of the entitlement that exists. Your post does a great job of articulation the “why”. But at the same time, why not also look at the positives that may come from a generation that dreams bigger than punching a time card at a 9-5 every day. I’ve been so inspired by my peers that are starting their own businesses, developing new apps, inventing their own products and dreaming bigger than the “just get a job and work hard and suck it up” mentality of generations past. Sure entitlement is a challenge, but let’s not also overlook the entrepreneurialism that this “dreamer” generation has to offer, and how much better our world may be once we get past our own “hippy” phase. Give us another decade. Not all Lucys are just spoiled, entitled victims of this perfect storm. Some Lucys are dreamers too.

    • Anonymous

      The difference being that the “insufferable hippies” were mostly enjoying themselves at the time, and I’ve met very few ex-hippies who regret that phase of their life even if it did set their career back a few years. One of the central themes of that lifestyle is adjusting your desires to fit comfortably within your means, usually while simultaneously reducing those means well below what they would otherwise be.

      The “GYPSY”s being portrayed on the other hand sound rather miserable, in which case a bit of a wake up call like this, drawing attention to the fact that their misery is entirely self-created, will hopefully do some good.

  7. Thank you last two posts! Let me guess… the author of this article lives in one of the cities mentioned above, and is basing his judgment of Gen Y on few people he/she knows or has seen, plus the mass bitch-fest that is the internet. The checklist of “You might be a GYPSY if…” is extremely judgmental. Guess what? I have an iPhone, I think Olive Garden is trash and I would prefer a hot dog stand. I have a blog, I’m an entrepreneur and I regularly talk about writing (which is my passion). So this makes me some kind of new breed yuppie? Take the blinders off, every generation has angst, even the greatest one (go read Bukowski). We just have a medium to express it (internet). I think you are taking a limited demographic and extrapolating it to apply to the entire generation. I don’t know you, but this article sounds like a slightly more thought-out version of Holden Caulfield ranting about all the phonies.

    • Anonymous

      If the oldest boomers got pregnant at age 18 or so, they would have some Gen X kids, but those in the middle and tail end, have Gen Y kids.

      I am on the old side of Gen X,(old enough to have my own Gen Y kids if I started early on) and I saw the later Boomers start the helicopter parenting in the 90s, making their children and their own child-bearing seem almost sacred, and all the other special, don’t ever hurt someone’s feelings no matter what stuff, let’s sue the teachers and school, coaches, for every problem our kid has, and I’m like….well, that ain’t gonna end well, now is it?

      I can think of a ton of people who fit the description in the article. You can blame the boomers if you want, it may even be true, but adults I know/knew took the shitty McD’s jobs, bartended or waitressed at night, chugged along, moved out of the parental home even on that crappy money, and did the best they could to act grown-up, and live on their own 2 feet. I wish I could say the same for any of my friends’ adult children, who definitely don’t do that in any shape or form as they approach 30+. Yet, they still have their European vacation every year because, damn, they deserve it and…you only live once, ya know.

    • Anonymous

      Amen! I call it the “blessed child” syndrome. My parents never took us out when we were little either…why, because they didn’t want to impose my yet to be developed social skills on everyone around them. And I couldn’t wait to move out. My parents told me, “I don’t care if you are 30 and still living here, my house, my rules. You are an adult who deserves respect when you can support yourself.”

    • Anonymous

      Congratulations on missing the point entirely. The blogger wasn’t trying to create a negative connotation to “yuppie” or even imply there is something inherently wrong with meeting the criteria of the list, but rather explain a link between these characteristics and dissatisfaction. There’s no need to get so indignant for some anonymous blogger on the internet not recognizing you for the special little snowflake that you are. If you are happy there is very little reason to be upset at anything in this blog. If you are not, adjusting your expectations for what you think you SHOULD have at whatever point in life you are in is not terrible advice.

      Previous comment, are you really going to credit yourselves with how YOUR PARENTS raised you? its not like you had any say in the matter or that it happened as a result of any sage wisdom on your part.

    • Anonymous

      I belong to Gen Y and I take tons of vacations. Too bad you decided to have kids way too young destroying your chance at a life. I work, I save 20-40% of my income AND I go on multiple vacations a year. WHY? becuase Gen Y has the belief that life is more than just working 40+hours and going home to mow the lawn and eat hamburger helper for dinner.

    • Anonymous

      Yes! I am early GenY and I find this generation extrapolation disturbing. I find that most of the “I am special” complexes that I run into are a function of wealth as opposed to generation. For example, see GenX’ers who think that they became successful because they are “special” and that those who struggle are lazy, welfare bums. But yes, I also know people who fit the description in the post who all thought they were going to be making 6 figures and working at Goldman Sachs when we graduated college. I myself graduated college with a small home worth of debt, started work as an entry-level secretary and after a decade of malnutrition and bill-juggling find I can afford cable for the first time in my life. So I’m feeling quite good about where I am in life. To my fellow younger gen-Y’ers: Hold on. It will get better some day.

    • Anonymous

      This is partially a consequence of the self-esteem movement and “everybody gets a sticker” mentality in schools. We have a whole generation who were bombarded with the message that they are special snowflakes who can do no wrong. Who, when given their first real world job evaluation, get upset that they were not given perfect marks in every category. Who have never encountered constructive criticism. Who have no concept of competing for a privilege, and want that promotion handed to them three weeks into their employment.

      Parents of young children: Please, please, please don’t let another Special Snowflake generation happen. When your kids do sub-par work, call them on it even if their teachers won’t. Don’t lead them to believe in a pot of gold waiting at the end of their very own personal rainbow. Teach them that the pot of gold may be out there, but they have to work for it. And sometimes that means a career that is not what you love to do.

    • Anonymous: I am a GenYer, according to this post (born in ’81) and I do not know anyone who fits your description. And I went to a fancy, expensive school so I should. I knew some spoiled brats but they were uber-wealthy and I am sure were more a product of that wealth than of their generation.

    • Anonymous

      Nicole…This generation is not the first to graduate with student loan debt. I am 46 and graduated with a student loan debt. Was it as much as the current generation? Probably not but when adjusted to inflation, it’s probably along the same lines. Debt is debt. My $30,000 debt, when compared to starting salaries 25 years ago was just as difficult to manage as those who have a student loan now.

      Also, I certainly hope you are not mocking the generation that went off and saved the world from tyranny. Sheesh, if they didn’t go and fight the Nazis, et al then no one would be in college right now.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I was born in 83, and I dont know of anyone who expects to be treated like a special snowflake. You’re thinking the milennials, maybe?

    • Anonymous

      Sorry Anon. You’re wrong.

      Tuition costs have grow and least three times the rate of inflation since I graduated college in the early 2000s. That excludes additional costs like room board and books. With a little google-fu you would quickly learn that a student today is paying way more for less education than they did when you went to school.

  8. Yes, well, that may all be true. But the other really REALLY relevant thing about Gen Y vs. Boomers vs. the Greatest Gen is the job market, and the economy, and the price of education.

    Let’s say Lucy decides she’ll try a lawn without flowers in someplace like Cleveland and see where it gets her. Okay.

    Back when her parents and grandparents were growing up, you could go to a public college for the equivalent of $3000-$5000 in 2013 dollars per year, and get a degree and be more or less guaranteed a white-collar job with health insurance. If you couldn’t cut college, well, a lot of people could still find a blue collar job in a strong manufacturing industry like steel or automobiles. Cleveland had lots of steel and automobile jobs, great! And labor unions were pretty strong in those industries, so you still had health insurance, and in fact, you probably made the equivalent of $50,000 or $60,000 in 2013 dollars annually.

    … and really, do I have to go any farther with this? A college education for $10,000-$20,000 total. Not per year. Not per semester. TOTAL. A blue-collar job in heavy industry that brings home $50,000 annually, and has health insurance and retirement. That was 1985. Do I really have to spell out how that’s different from 2013, and how that could be impacting Lucy’s current happiness quotient, regardless of her expectations or upbringing?

    • Anonymous

      No one’s making any claims about which generation is smarter or better. This is just an explanation of why we’re unhappy and how to resolve it on a realistic, individual level.

    • Anonymous

      This is true. Good for you for noticing. Why is everyone taking it a little too personally? If it isn’t true, you wouldn’t be offended by it….right? Especially with all the high self-esteem that has been acquired all these years.

    • Anonymous

      “If it isn’t true, you wouldn’t be offended by it….right?”

      Ridiculous logic. By the same token, you could argue that calling a random person in the street an idiot or a Nazi or a paedophile isn’t offensive, because it’s not true. And people are taking it personally because it’s generalising an entire generation of people as delusional, mollycoddled, naive brats with an entitlement complex.

    • Anonymous

      This article is mostly bull-pucky and your post highlights the key reason why. Thank you for pointing this out. Add to this the fact that wages have stagnated, work hours and productivity have ballooned, and vacation time has dwindled. Young people are working harder for less money and they are getting less time off than the generations before them. Add to this the frustration of knowing that they will be supporting the aging Baby Boomers while they grow old. These are are the same Boomers who benefited from a period of relative income equality in our nation’s history. The rising tide no longer lifts all boats and it’s the same selfish Boomers who are fighting tooth and nail to keep taxes at historically low levels so they don’t have to pay their prosperity forward to the younger generations. These same selfish Boomers dare to criticize the younger generations for their lack of work ethic and claim they are unhappy because of unrealistic expectations? What a load of nonsense.

  9. Anonymous

    You know why I love this blog? Because the rainbow word has been used twice: to describe Lucy’s view of her own special career, and in a previous post, to describe the eternity of time before the Big Bang and life’s utter meaninglessness. And both uses were perfect!

  10. Anonymous

    AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE BOOMERS TO THEIR CHILDREN: In closing, kids, our entire adult lives have been guided by a simple philosophy: we got ours, so fuck you. It’s hard to watch you struggle while we live off of all of the things we took away from you in the name of “fiscal responsibility.” Some people might call that greed, but we are the greatest, most special generation of people who ever lived. I think we earned it. Maybe rather that whining and blogging and drinking Pabst you should earn some of these things too. I mean, you have a Master’s Degree and you’re working as a temp! With that kind of lack of ambition, how do you expect to accomplish as much as we have?

    Everyone born between 1945 and 1960


  11. Anonymous

    Thanks for the read! The Gypsy in me needed to be reminded how un-special I probably am and that I actually have quite a good situation with my ok-job and the good, non-work-related things in my life.
    This isn’t only true for the US, here in France, we’re the same ;)

  12. Anonymous

    So glad to be Gen X. Low expectations, healthy skepticism, fierce independence, tenacious resourcefulness, and we have an awareness of our true inherent value rather than harboring any delusions about being more special than others (we know what Mr. Rogers really meant). We work adequately when we have to and passionately when we’re lucky enough to do something we’re either interested in or has a greater good.

    Recession schmecession. Gen X is always going to be fine. Somehow.

    • Janis

      :-) And to think, we were the generation that was made fun of for having crappy music and neon legwarmers.

      We were made fun of by the people whose “music” — and I use the term lightly — consisted of setting perfectly good guitars on fire (whoo, impress me again) and immersing oneself in patchouli.

    • Anonymous

      Funny how this blog entry, with its admittedly engaging voice, completely ignores the existence of Gen X. All we are is the generation that’s actually keeping the friggin’ world together right now.

    • Anonymous

      There is a book called Generations by William Strauss and Neil Howe that talks about a cycle of generational “profiles” that keeps repeating in US history. Their theory is more than a little overworked, but some of it does seem to ring true. The place of us “Gen Xers” in the cycle is basically as the pragmatic “clean up crew” sandwiched in between larger and more visible (loud?) generations. By Strauss & Howe’s figuring, the Gen Yers will actually *be* the next “greatest generation”. Just as we retire exhausted, relatively poor (and still unnoticed), Gen Y will be emerging into their 40s and 50s with everything in much better shape and themselves filled with a (special!) purpose to build a better tomorrow today (or something like that…)

    • Here’s something. I was spanked only a handful of times…but even I knew I deserved it, and tried really hard to not let a repeat happen. I was raised by parents who were in the Depression, and who taught me about actual LIFE. By the time I had my first job at 13 (lied about my age just so I could work), I already had a healthy handle on what is right and wrong. What I should or shouldn’t expect from others, and why I had to do things I might not want to, in order to get what I wanted. ( get your minds out of the gutter, I was referring to doing things like chores for my 50 cent allowance a week, etc. Admittedly though, I would have thought the same thing..lol) I was made to; eat what was in front of me, wear the clothes that were bought for me, to use my IMAGINATION (oh, the horror!), be creative, think outside the box, to know and accept responsibilities, to apologize when I was wrong, to respect my elders (swearing at my parents would never have occurred to me in a million years!), to be nice, to share and be considerate of others…I could go on forever. The most important part however, is that I was ALLOWED to make my own mistakes, screw up royally, learn things the hard way, and be as stubborn as I pleased until I saw where it got me…nowhere fast. My folks let me fall down without rushing to my side before I had a chance to hit the ground. Know what? I got myself up, and dusted myself off. How better to learn to be a productive, well adjusted member of society? continued on next post….

    • When Gen Y’ers were never allowed to get dirty, ride a bike without a helmet, climb a tree, never forced to “stay outside until the streetlights come on” etc, and instead, babysat by the computer and/or TV, and given all of the simpering attention, material things and zero accountability rules, well then, is it any wonder why their attitudes are “I deserve to have everything handed to me on a plate and paid for. Why? Because I just do.”? That is where many of my fellow Gen X-er’s, and older failed at parenting. Nothing wrong with wanting your kid to “have a better life” than you did. But, when that ideal goes so far in such a wrong direction, and never abates, well then, you’ve managed to ruin the kid’s life by giving them such an inflated sense of worth, entitlement, and expectations instead of enhancing it. Once they got old enough to know better, and maybe even sense that they should perhaps experience the real world for themselves instead of the pretty picture of laziness and protection for life…well, it was too late for them to see things any differently. Other than that, the major issue is that we have become a nation of pussies, and are causing more damage than good by doing so. We don’t stand up for our own rights, keep electing idiots into office, and much worse. “We” are afraid to offend ANYONE, or say certain words, or make harmless jokes in case someone gets pissed, and just HAD to institute that whole “everyone gets a trophy” bullshit. Why? When did we start thinking that all of a sudden, children are born without skin, and must be treated that way? So you got bullied in school. So what. So did I. You whine that you had to do something to get something. Boo fucking hoo. Education not paid for? Mine either. Bills up the yang? Me too. Job market crappy? Look harder and be less snotty about what you can bring yourself to do for work. You’re shocked when a guaranteed happy life isn’t presented to you in a shiny box with sparkles, bows and see-thru tape. Know what? Tough titty, kitty. If you wind up living with your parents until you marry (or longer) because life is “just too hard”, and because your parents are still the enablers they’ve always been, well, you can ask them to re-read your bedtime stories of amazing success without work, intellect without studying, reaping rewards for no reason, and being hand-fed the best of everything by the Success Fairy. Your choice. Stay in bed, or get up, get out, and do something for someone other than yourself. Don’t expect people to kow tow as you walk by them on your proverbial water. Time to give life a hand up, instead of expecting a hand out. Welcome to reality kiddos, and watch out for the slap on the ass as you pass by it. Love, a very non-special, non-entitled, barely “making it” but very HAPPY Gen X’er. PS, Your “music” sucks.

    • Anonymous

      So glad to be Gen X. Low expectations, healthy skepticism, fierce independence, tenacious resourcefulness, and we have an awareness of our true inherent value rather than harboring any delusions about being more special than others (we know what Mr. Rogers really meant). We work adequately when we have to and passionately when we’re lucky enough to do something we’re either interested in or has a greater good.

      Recession schmecession. Gen X is always going to be fine. Somehow.

      What, as opposed to the wildly avaricious, needlessly self congratulatory, riding the crest of the Boomer’s economic wave whilst shitting on the Y’ers from a professional height, desperately self centred and self regarding, smug, insular Gen X-ers I’ve had to do with? The reason you’re always going to be fine is cos someone else gave you a good economic start and you have no shame about exploiting others.

      Now why don’t you just send your unpaid mid 20s intern off to fetch you a soy latte then remind him/her how good they have it?

  13. Anonymous

    I get so sick of the elderly telling me how I need to work harder for declining wages and that it’s all my fault for thinking I’m entitled to living indoors and eating food.
    I’m sure it’s not the terrible economy or the degree inflation or the staggering cost of said degrees or the cost of living even in places like Cleveland. I’m sure it’s just because everyone expects to fart rainbows.
    Working hard does not equal job security. It doesn’t equal increased wages. It just means suffering and early death because health insurance is for the upper middle class people over 50.
    And of course, when people post anything positive on social media, it’s “image crafting,” but when they post anything real, they’re accused of being downers and told to be more positive.
    So, what I got out of this is it’s good to be old and social media is useless.

    • Anonymous

      While I found this post to be spot on describing “special snowflake syndrome”, this post is missing the glaringly obvious other half of why Gen Y + GYPSYs are so unhappy.
      Personal fulfilment and the ability to sustainably take care of ourselves/comfortably move on to the next phases of our adulthood.

      College degrees, hard work, or staying with one job a long time won’t pan out for promotions like it did even 10 or 20 years ago. Not with layoffs, working poor wages, lack of healthcare, and swelling student loan debts. If you graduated high school pre 2008, it was hammered by society success equals going to college.
      The College Conspiracy documentary was a hard truth shock when I watched it – described why am I not moving up that ladder as fast as my parents or even on my own rainbow barfing unicorn grassy lawn ideal?
      Back in the 70’s you could work part time all year or full time for a summer and have enough to pay for a year of college, a car, and a place to live. Now it’s barely 1 of those 3. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/college-conspiracy/
      So yes I get ticked off at older people telling me “when I was your age blah blah blah…” when upward mobility isn’t like that currently if ever in the near future.

      I also get ticked off when people say, “You should have gotten a degree or field that pays.” Well not everyone is talented in those respective fields like engineering, or has passion for medical specialist, law, or finance, etc. even if they wanted to go into those fields. What about social work or education? That pays sh!t but if your heart is for helping kids… by that logic then noone should become social workers, or personal care aides. Right.

      And I live in Cleveland. HA!

    • Anonymous

      Working hard doesn’t get you shit.

      Working smart and applying the proper amount of effort, intuition, and people skills while doing away with self-entitlement will get you very far.

      You do not deserve a roof and food. You do not deserve health care or entertainment. You are living an illusion if you think you deserve these things. The rich have worked for all these things and then more, but you only see the “more.”

      Earn your keep, no one else will do it for you.

    • Anonymous

      Oh wow, what a rugged individualist you are. I wish I had half of your independent, pioneering spirit. Then maybe I, too, could contribute to an anarcho-capitalist system that allows soulless pigs to spit on others less fortunate than themselves and take everything for themselves. You’re a true American. I’m proud to have countrymen like you.

    • Anonymous

      http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ article 25.
      (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
      (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
      just saying… the reason the world is remotely like it is today is because of compassion and not an attitude of ” You do not deserve a roof and food “

    • Anonymous

      “The rich have worked for all these things and then more, but you only see the “more.”” this is the mind set that keeps the “middle class” in america poor. most rich people haven’t really worked for the things they have, they were born into rich families, went to private schools, had powerful connections, and are therefore much more likely to become wealthy then someone who is poor, has no powerful connections, can’t afford to go to an ivy league school, and graduates with $50,000 in student loan debt.

      if you live in america, the most wealthiest country in the world, and you work for a million dollar company, have a masters degree, you do deserve a nice place to live, health care, and entertainment. but many people don’t, they make about $50,000 a year for example, while ceos pay themselves millions. because there is no check on the wealthy, and there is more people looking for work then there is jobs, most of the power goes to the employers. adam smith, who is credited with inventing modern capitalism if you don’t know who he is, saw this and believed there needed to be “checks and balances” in capitalism. this darwinist capitalism in the usa that came about around the 1980s is sick and isn’t rooted in any morals or intellectualism. it’s just greed.

    • Anonymous

      The only reason I’m wealthy is because my parents are wealthy. I haven’t worked for the roof over my head and I’d gladly admit that someone who works 50 hrs a week is way more deserving of the luxuries I get than I am. That commenter is full of shit. Our economic structure is put in place to keep the rich rich and the poor poor so the rich can reap the fruits of their labor. It’s just a fact.

  14. Anonymous

    This is pretty cool… except I am special. Call me a gypsy, but I studied a real major in college, went on to get my masters, had a 4.0 throughout, got my dream job, earn great money, have a smokin’ hot wife, a big house, nice car, a muscular physique and am smarter than most people I have ever known or met.

  15. Anonymous

    One qualification you forgot to include on your GYPSY checklist:

    You write contrite judgmental blog posts sharing your self-proclaimed enlightenment with the rest of the world.

  16. Anonymous

    As a graduate student who worked full-time for three years in between undergrad and grad school, I definitely LOVE this article, and agree with the theory overall. The only problem is that one significant point is missing (as others have mentioned)- the job market. The key to the Baby Boomer ideology of “hard work = nice lawn,” was that the Baby Boomers were the beneficiaries of the “boom,” while we’re trying to pick up the pieces of the “bust.” I think that fact combined with our “unrealistic” expectations is the actual problem. I feel just as taunted by those in their mid-to-late 40s & 50s who brag about slacking off in college and still getting 5 job offers with their piss-poor grades as I do by my peers. Even an honor student with two degrees has a hard time getting his or her foot into the door of career-long job these days. You go fight for super competitive, unpaid internships, and see how lovely you feel…

    (But, even with all that said, I still find value in the article. Please just remember that our struggle is complex.)

  17. As a GYPSY I found this article a little too long to read, but the pictures were pretty.
    KIDDING – This was really insightful and exceptionally true. Although I found the characteristics of a GYPSY a little narrow (there are many things I would never say) I’m well aware of the expectations our generation has and the expectations I have. Luckily my parents also told me to work hard. So I worked all through University, and continue to work hard, I put away money for retirement etc. I know I’m just like everyone else, but I also know I’ll become the president of Canada (we don’t have a president yet – I’ll be the first…)

    Elizabeth | The Undomesticated

  18. Anonymous

    What is especially damaging to a Gypsy’s psyche is when they genuinely have talent, work hard to succeed, and believe they are deserving of standard respect and payment, and then everybody gets a trophy. Really kills the motivation.

  19. Janis

    Not sure this is because of when they were born or because they are just STILL VERY YOUNG and haven’t yet learned what we all need to learn over time: there is no endpoint to life where you achieve what you said you would, and then you hit the finish tape and there’s a bit party. As a child, you usually know EXACTLY whether you’ve succeeded or not. “Get an A” = “success.”

    As an adult, you have no clear markers that tell you that you’re smart or worthy. The goalposts might even shift on you, and illogically. Adjusting to that reality — “But how do I know if I’m successful or not?” — takes pretty much ALL of one’s 20s and a chunk of one’s 30s, for pretty much all generations.

    They’ll get their heads out of their asses eventually. Everyone does, eventually. Well okay, NOT everyone but most do even if it does take a few decades.

    • The problem here is “Get an A = ‘success'” doesn’t work anymore. Not when it is government mandated that everyone gets an A. As a child of this generation who was completely baffled by this notion, and more than baffled, angered. It did not make sense to me (as an 8 year old or as a college grad now) why no child could be left behind. That’s what grades are for. I told myself. If you do well you get a good grade. If you don’t do well you get a bad grade. If you get enough bad grades you have to go back and relearn things until we deem you have satisfactory understanding of the topic evidenced by a certain amount of good grades. Now, that isn’t the case. Now teachers can’t give students less than a 60 on anything if they turn it in. WHAT?! It completely nullifies our education system. And thus our way of teaching children how to value their work and themselves. Yes I agree that a lot of what people complain about my complaining generation is due to the fact that we’re still young and figuring out what to do with ourselves, just as every generation has done before us and just as every previous generation has complained about them. However, I worry that our generation might not break out of it, at least not in time. And if we don’t pull our heads out of our asses in time, the only thing coming after us to take over is no better than we are (in most cases worse, except with technology, there they’ve got us beat). So prepare yourself baby boomers, you may complain about us, but we’re the ones who will control your Alzheimer’s meds in a few years and that scares me just as much as it scares you. Make friends with Gen Xers. They’re the safer bet now.

  20. Anonymous

    I’m late GenX, but do take issue with how “hard work” = getting what you want of the Baby Boomers. My dad worked hard. He rarely missed work, was always on time, and made enough money to take care of our family.

    However, it was also guaranteed that he left home at 7am and arrived home at 5pm. He didn’t work weekends and there wasn’t a need for him to be available 24/7. There were no cell phones, so he wasn’t getting called while sitting on boat fishing on the weekends.

    I also remember how he belittled me for quitting a job that I hated when I was 18. He thought I was lazy because of it. 20 years later, many of them working 2x as many hours as my dad, I realize I was actually sane at that moment. I hated the job, and wasn’t going to be out on the street if I quit, so I did. It’s a very logical thing to do.

    I’m also torn about GenY. I was in the same situation as many of them. Graduated college, had a pile of debt, and then had to take a job that paid less than the pizza delivery jobs I took during college. My saving grace was my dad passed away, my mom remarried, and because of that my mom paid off my college. So even though I was barely making money, I did the one thing I learned in college which was saving money early in life. That money saved, might let me retire at 65, if I am lucky.

    With GenY the complaint about the tough job market is annoying. However, with the amount of debt they are saddled with, they are screwed unless they get, well creative. A GenY co-worker of mine lived out of his car for more than a year so he could pay off some of his student loan. As a rule they will start saving late, and thus will have less for retirement than they need.

  21. Anonymous

    I agree there have been ideas imposed on me (I was born in ’84) that I am special and I can do anything I set my mind to… but come to think of it, this idealistic hopefulness actually did get me somewhere, as I decided early on that I would make it happen somehow. I worked several crappy jobs along the way, learned a lot from all of them, went to school for what I wanted (music), rather than what “guaranteed” success, and now I have my dream job, playing music for a very sustainable living. Maybe I’m a dreamer but I think if you do truly work hard and keep your eye on the prize and stay humble, you can truly do what you enjoy in life. And sometimes that means “bending” your high expectations… if I can’t always play music, I’ll teach it. I think we are all meant to be happy and do what we feel passionate about, even if that means some hardship along the way. Make avenues to make it work for you.

  22. Anonymous

    Thing is, we can either choose to complain and wish the world was a better and easier place, or we can accept that we’ve got to work with what we’ve got. Life can be a mofo but owning our problems is the only way forward.

  23. Anonymous

    Actually, none of you or your children or your friends are “Gypsys”. You’re all a bunch of entitled twats using a racial slur to insinuate that other people are entitled twats.
    Love, an actual Rromani person.
    (Who has every right to be offended by your racist acronym)

  24. Hello I am an ethnic Romani Gypsy and wanted to alert you to the fact that you may be unaware that this language is offensive. While in the USA we are a relatively invisible ethnicity and culture, associated with many stereotypes and even believed by many people to be figures of fantasy, fiction and folklore, we are actually real people with a real language, culture, etc. There are about 20 million of us world wide. We are Europe’s largest ethnic minority and subjected to horrible human rights abuses, historically 550 years of slavery, 80 percent exterminated in Holocaust occupied territories and more atrocities. This is an opportunity to learn about a wonderful people, many of whom live in the United States and around the world so thanks for that opportunity.

    • I thought the word “Gypsy” is considered a slur, perhaps along the lines of me saying, “Hello I am an ethnic White Cracker and wanted to alert…” Other people who have posted here claiming to be Romani are offended by the word, so why are you not? Why do you self-identify that way when others don’t? Tell me more.

    • Anonymous

      Shock Value appears to identify as Romani and offended just as the others have, but also appears to be smarter in presentation of the outward disapproval of the offensive slur (certainly smarter than I would have been had I allowed myself to be properly drawn into stating my opinion on a blatantly provocative slur). Shock Value simply had the common sense to not simply state on the internet that, “I am offended.” As we know saying that is worth less to most people than offering to wipe their ass with a cactus (see Matthew Limbago’s comment and the anonymous discussion that follows). Instead Shock Value offered valuable points as to why people might find such things offensive in an attempt to educate readers who have made it this far in the comments. Will it work? Of course not… even were people to read the comments this far a plea for decency has rarely changed human a history of racism (after all… you can polish a turd all you want but it will still be shit). None the less, I anonymously support Shock Value (in that while I believe it a hopeless goal… treating other people with dignity and respect is something that would be lovely to have around before I die).

    • Anonymous

      I still cannot find the “offensive” part of the acronym GYPSY. As a white person having lived (and currently living) in predominantly black cultures, all I hear is “whitie” or “white girl.” At least they’re simply calling me as I am: white. GYPSY is merely an acronym and was never intended to bring down any one people group. They are not even identifying the people group they’re describing with the actual Romani or non-Romani Gypsies. If the author had used “CALI” or “EURO,” would Californians or Europeans find it offensive? Please help me understand how using a simple word in a non-derragatory way is offensive.

      • Anonymous

        “As a white person” <— translated "as someone who has literally no base with which to comment on this issue other than my perceptions as a white person"

    • Anonymous

      You Romani idiots actually believe you are true gypsys? Give me a break. Why don’t you come to Europe and see what a true gypsy life is like. Hint: it’s not owning a home in the south and starting fights at expensive sweet sixteen parties.

  25. Anonymous

    I feel this article was written out of spite. I fall into the “Gen Y” age group and exhibit none of these yuppie expectation issues.

  26. The “greatest generation” was a bunch of ner-do well partiers coming off of the 20s with a blown up economy who were slapped by reality. Boomers sailed into a rising tide. Tide went out on Gen Y because republicans don’t believe in economic policy so those who do ate our lunch and sold it back to us. No one’s real fault, circumstances and bad theory.

    Add value with what you do, don’t expect much, don’t expect little, just carry on. Invest in friends, they correlate strongly to happiness. Memorize Albert Ellis “A new guide to rational living” and live by it.

  27. Anonymous

    Is the ‘I’m so special, better than everyone else’ entitlement thing U.S specific? Speaking as a kid born smack in the mid 80’S, there weren’t any ‘participation awards’ and medals to make you think you were extra-exceptional when I grew up in Australia. The idea that an entire generation can be deluded about thier skills, self worth and abilities is very reductive and an easy excuse. Gen Y kids are suffering from economic failures and faults of older generations who let the GFC crisis happen in the first place. It is the Gen Y willingness to open their own businesses and adapt to modern careers and circumstances that is helping recovery. I find this whole unicorns and grass and cliche’s thing extremely patronising and ill-informed about the reality of being young in today’s workplace. And yes, I have a job, I work hard, I earn rubbish money and have a tonne of debt. Nothing special about that these days.

    • Anonymous

      I’m also not American (I’m from Ireland) – thank you for pointing this out. Most of my friends and I are struggling with the hopes vs. economy thing but we’re not so deluded that we can’t adjust our expectations – I’m seeing people going a lot of creative ways to find a life that keeps a roof over their head *and* makes them happy. I can’t imagine many people found the keys to happiness in their early 20s in any generation, to be honest. Working out the right attitude to have to the world in order to be both happy and to have realistic expectations of yourself and your circumstances is a process of learning in and of itself – it takes time. Those who feel disappointed are just those who have not yet completed it. If they really want happiness, they’ll get there in the end.

      I’m lucky that in Ireland, our parents tend not to think we’re ‘entitled’ but rather that we delayed the gratification of a job and a house of our own (i.e. made a sacrifice) in order to study (i.e work) and hopefully do better for ourselves and found that, through no fault of our own, we stepped out into a crumbling economy. And I’m also lucky in that I’m not tied down by a millstone of debt.

    • I’m also an Australian born in the 80s and I think we were simply behind the US in the ‘you are special’ message. Rather than being a Gen Y thing, this started coming through with kids born in the 90s. I have younger siblings born in the early 90s and started seeing this kind of message bandied around when they were at school, and I understand it has gotten far worse – sports competitions where there are no winners or losers, teachers not allowed to use red pens to mark homework (it has negative connotations), etc. I certainly don’t know anyone my age who thinks they are entitled to be as successful as their parents by the time they hit 30 (let alone 25!). I know my parents made a point of telling us through out life that we should not expect our first house to be as big as the one we grew up in, should not expect our first car to be flash, our teachers warned us we would not get great-paying jobs straight out of uni, etc. Our teachers also asked us what we *wanted* to be when we left school, then helped us pick more realistic, secure careers as ‘back up’, or launching pads. If anything, I think the adults in my youth could have afforded to be a bit *more* ‘follow your dreams’-ish.

  28. I was amused to read the Open Letter by Anonymous, above. It seems that Anonymous is a GYPSY.

    Us Baby Boomers have made some mistakes. Firstly, when we (some of us) said “You’re special,” we meant: “You’re special to me; you’re not just another statistic in this crowded world!” We did not mean: “You are truly superior in every way.” There were a few lame-brains among us, and when they saw their neighbors tell their kids “You’re special,” they probably hurried to tell their own kids the same, meaning something quite different.

    I wish I could meet the idiot who invented self-esteem, so that I can kick his balls.

  29. Sarah M

    Oh my gosh, this is absolutely hilarious! Thank you for taking the time to write this! And the pictures are truly amazing :) haha. I have been in Lucy’s shoes one too many times, and have peers who are in her shoes too. Love it!

  30. Anonymous

    Meh. Gen Y has very little to do with this article. The real target audience for this is baby boomers, who despite having the majority of the wealth, power, and prosperity in the United States, still need to be buttered up and told that they are special snowflakes.

    Now instead of self-aggrandizing statements about being *so* much more open-minded and morally superior to the parents raising them during the 60s and 70s, they’ve graduated to self-aggrandizing statements about being *so* much more hardworking and morally superior to the children that they raised in the 80s and 90s.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure about this, because some of these Gen Y kids are a product of THEIR parenting and their discipline ideals, so I’m not sure if this article should make them feel good. In a way, it should reveal some of their mistakes, in 20/20 hindsight of course.

    • Anonymous

      *Applause* Got it in one. This article is an apology on behalf of those who are currently cashing out on the mountain of debt that they are handing to their children.

      The holier than thou attitude the the self satified smirk of the parents that stole our retirement.

  31. Anonymous

    The writers argument although at the surface looks easy to concede with, but inside has some reflexive issues. It says that when there is a mismatch between reality and expectations, it causes conflict and pain. But this is how learning occurs in the brain. It can be a sources of changes, where to meet the high self expectations, the changes could be self oriented (e.g. i believe I can fly, but then I really can;’t lets buy a wing suit!), or they can be external changes that change the environment. Alternatively, learning can change the prediction or expectation and accept reality. If we stick with the prediction though, the updating/learning/changing could change the reality, a person might change himself to become someone special or may even change the world. So why denigrate high self expectations, and call them delusions, when they could be an important mechanism for learning in young people to become the best they can? The concept of a happy life overlaps with the yuppy dream of the baby boomers (nice backyard, shiny car) and the american dream was itself a delusion. In fact, reality checks that aren’t a cause for change could bargain with integration with the status quo. What the newer generations have rejected was a delusion and is exploring its potential with high self expectations, i think they should be guided not discouraged.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for pointing out that the hopes vs reality thing is a learning process. I don’t think it’s some deficiency unique to the 80s-born.

  32. Anonymous

    Say hi to Lucy. Lucy is a member of the “G.I. Generation.” That is a term for people born generally between the early 1900s and the mid-1920s. Lucy is also a member of the white middle class, an important group in her generation. Lucy is bright and well-read.

    Lucy’s career options are as follows: secretary, schoolteacher, nurse, housewife. Fortunately for Lucy, she has been told since her youth that she can expect nothing more than this. She might read books about heroic men but figured out early that those stories don’t apply to her. So when her intellect gets used for scraping diapers or typing up letters, she’s happy! The magazines she reads about beautiful homes and perfect wives are in no way a distorted ideal that she wrongfully compares herself to. She is lucky she was born when she was and not given lots of false hopes about being “special.”

  33. Anonymous

    Try growing up poor, being raised by a single mother and living in various projects and moving from place to place as a child. I’m Gen Y but I sure don’t have any sense of entitlement! Living within my means, and sometimes just below my means has afforded me a Computer Engineering degree, a house, two cars, and all the gadgets my little heart desires. But let me tell you, I put myself through college, lived at home(mom and step-dad’s) to keep expenses down, rode the bus to save on gas/parking/wear and tear, ate frugally, etc. Guess growing up poor and never wanting to live in any sort of apartment gave me the drive I needed to fight against the grain. The more I think about this, the more I realize many of my friends who struggled had much more provided for them growing up. I’ve worked consistently since being of legal age to, and had a paper route before that. Ironically, thanks to this article, I’m starting to see how “special” I must be for someone in my generation! Haha! I am too practical to have any “flowers” or “unicorns” in my expectations though.

    • Anonymous

      Good for you, here’s a cookie (pats on head) you’re special and so much better than all the other snowflakes, specially since you’re black.

    • Anonymous

      Here’s a cookie? STFU you racist d-bag. Someone works themselves into the middle class from being born poor and you insult them for doing so?

    • Anonymous

      I think you proved the OP right. LOL nice one you racist shit. (Also, note the entitlement “Stop talking about your childhood that does not represent my white, middle class view ow who will think of the cracker??? ;____;) The entitlement of ALL generations was baffling at one point, yet we blame the youngest each time- but that is questioned. Being racists, sexists and classists? NOT QUESTIONED AT ALL. Class, race and gender factors in peoples lives?

      OF COURSE NOT says the white, middle-aged and middle-class baby boomer couple, whilst they drink Sauvignon Blanc in deck chairs and sit beside their camper, watching the clear blue water brush the sand. The elderly woman turns to her husband “do you remember when we had to work as frycooks? It was only for six months but its was so shithouse.” Her husband, eyes half-lidded in relaxation, turns to her and replies “Oh yes, but we must remember the good times too. Remember when we started working for Dad? Those where twenty years well spent.” They sit on the beach, oblivious to how much the world has changed since then.

  34. Anonymous

    I do agree with most of this (and can see myself in some of it); you are unhappy when your expectations are higher than reality; no one can argue against that; even when you make dinner if you’re really excited about it and then it turns out different from what you imagined you like it less even if it isn’t bad. But why shouldn’t expectations be high? Shouldn’t we be trying to be the best that we can be? I mean, maybe you don’t want high expectations that everything is going to be amazing right away but I doubt even the “greatest generation” was happy immediately with their careers and their lives. They are happy now that they have reached their expectations but I’m sure there were a lot of years where their reality was not at their expectations and they were thus, unhappy. A lot of college graduates right now, the Generation Y’ers, are in entry-level jobs or internships where they are completely replaceable. I know this is because they are inexperienced and I’m not saying it’s wrong, if someone can do the job better it should go to that person, but wouldn’t an environment like that make anyone unhappy? Wouldn’t feeling completely worthless make anyone unhappy? I find worth in things that aren’t my career because I know not to expect it at this stage in my life. I know I don’t deserve it because I haven’t worked long enough for it but you can’t expect me to be happy when I know that tomorrow I could be replaced by another person, or more likely, a computer. I would argue that my reality did exceed my expectations when I graduated college because I expected nothing. Maybe that is the actual moral; maybe everyone should just have no expectations because by this logic that would make everyone happy.

    • Happiness = reality – expectations
      joy = dHapinness / dt

      FACT A
      You should control your expectations, is much easier than reality where you compete with 5 billon people.

      FACT B
      Control your reality to not exceed expectation for much if it is not sustainable, otherwise, when the inevitable correction appears, you’ll suffer and past joy does not compensate present suffer.

  35. Anonymous

    I’ve read through most of these comments and one thing I’d like to add, because it seems to have not been mentioned, is that the mentality of getting an economical job, the derision of academic pursuits in the humanities, the self righteous promotion of “hard work” (Ill defined but seems to mean however much work the person banging on about it did)as a virtue, ALL contribute to the growing stagnation and even decay of western culture and intellectualism.

    This article is boring and repetitive, however the arrogance on display in the comments is incredible and fascinating. The lack of curiosity, the general ignorance, the masturbatory moralizing (!) is horrific. And this pattern can be seen time and again wherever commoners gather to share their opinion.

    Surely today is the worst day in 200 years to be an artist, and tomorrow will be worse still!

  36. Anonymous

    Good article. However, I think everyone probably deservedly is the special protagonist in their own story. I mean, why would Obama be my story’s protagonist?

    I’m the most special person to myself :-)

  37. Anonymous

    I want to go on the record as saying this op-ed is nonsense. It sounds like anyone in their 20s in any generation in many ways, with anecdotal internet-ness to make it sound insightful. First, the term GYPSYs will never not mean gypsies…but it’s a perfect analogy for this whole article…trying to shove meaning into something while ignoring all context. Like any generation, Yers have their own hurdles for happiness, but in fact most I know work hard, are entrepreneurial, dream because they’re young and their dreams are still within possibility, and are very aware of the fact that they won’t be handed success beyond our expectations due to larger global economic trends that were the result of sacrifice from a prior generation. We know demographics are against us, we know that ‘work hard and you’ll succeed’ is a delusion that is supported by larger economic trends. I sincerely hope this article was an attempt to sort out your own unhappiness and inadequacies and is not how you hold a whole generation of people in your POV. To tell people to reduce their expectations is to either attempt to convince them they deserve less so you can have more, or is your own inability to match their ability and vision, in which case you will indeed receive less. Every younger generation is told this nonsense.

  38. Anonymous

    Even if all this Gen Y entitlement phenomena were true (and as many people have pointed out already, it isn’t) — why does this piece fault “Lucy” for holding an ideology that a generation of Baby Boomers taught her?

  39. Anonymous

    Like most, I wasn’t exactly born with a silver spoon in my mouth and yeah, it sucks we are trying to get ahead in this day when it feels like everyone has more of everything than I do. But, you CAN get ahead and make progress if you are willing to commit to it and by that I mean all in. Can’t pay for FT college? Go PT and work or do your under grad at a community college and transfer. Get trained in a field you like and that is a career….a Communication major might be fun, but doesn’t offer much in terms of marketable skills. After college…start at the bottom. Get roomates, work 2 jobs and eat Top Ramen…stop buying expensive cocktails, new shoes and attending weekend long music festivals and Pilates class. Show up for work everyday and make yourself invaluable. If you aren’t moving up in your company after that, get the resume out and start looking. Don’t count on anyone but yourself and don’t expect help from others. Stop blaming your parents/boss/ex-boyfriend for your own shortcomings. And last: If you really hate that job and want to go out on the road to find yourself….go! You have my blessing. Just don’t expect me to pay for it.

  40. Anonymous

    I think the problem is generally with humility (not the religious kind) and hyper-individualism. GenY believe success is something individual – that not being successful means the world didn’t give them what they owed; however if that same person is successful, they erroneously believe it’s because ‘they did it on their own’.

    Unfortunately GenY has been taught, as the article states, that “it’s all up to me!” “I’m special” “I need to be fulfilled” “I deserve this” “me me me” – GenY are super-individualistic. There’s nothing wrong with individualism if there is no huge ego attached. Individualism is excellent with a solid sense of self and what one can and cannot accomplish; and what one is willing to learn or not learn; akin to confidence. Besides, the world, and success, is not individual – its teams, communities, workplaces, where interactions between people of varying degrees of talent interact to greatly affect outcomes. Even the Olympic athlete is successful because of his/her team.

    “If I have seen far, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants,” said Einstein. The world doesn’t work because ‘you’ rule; it works because ‘we’ rule.

    If GenY’s stopped competing with the proverbial Jones’ and started cultivating self-awareness, really listening to what others ask, developing some humility about their talents, were more flexible with ideas and built partnerships to solve problems at work; I think they might be a bit happier.

  41. The main problem with this is that it is focused too much on careers.
    I’m not saying you are completely incorrect, but I am saying that I believe there is a larger percentage of Gen Y, compared to the Baby Boomers and those before, that put Life BEFORE Work. Work-life Balance. < -- Thing Thing, it's kind of important to more of us than previous generations. And more important at a younger age as well.

    So, I wish more people would focus on that part of life too, as it can make you way way way happier. Careers are good, but we focus on them way too much. We as a country need to focus on personal goals way more!

    Hope this makes sense, I just wish work-life balance was more common! Discuss!

    • Anonymous

      Guess what Anonymous, the USA isn’t the only country on earth! There are some 20 million Roma people on the planet today, and the “g-word” is a hateful slur used against them. They are still the victims of systematic discrimination in employment, housing, and education, and enjoy the lowest standard of living of any group in Europe. So yeah, it passes. It passes with flying colors.
      Good thing you didn’t live outside your bubble.

    • Anonymous

      That is their style of life. Some do not accept it and want to change it, but the true gypsies do not so dont get all bitter about it.

  42. Anonymous

    Hey Gen Y, most of you voted for what is happening. Even though unemployment has been almost double what is should be for his entire term you voted for the current President again. Maybe you should get a political clue and quit voting for this.


    Gen X

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s funny that so many people assume that the alternative would have put us in a better place. For all we know, we could have ended up in an even worse situation if McCain or Romney had been elected. It’s impossible to know for sure. Fixing our country is not an easy task…I’m not even sure if any of our current politicians are capable of fixing it should they become president. But that’s complete speculation on my part. I’m not pretending to know what I’m talking about, like so many (not all) people on here. Just sharing my opinion. :-)

    • Anonymous

      Dear Gen x,

      Last time I checked the financial meltdown happened under Bush. Last time I checked I turned 18 in 2006 not 2004.

      You will be happy to know that one thing Gen Y and Baby Boomers are lock step on is that you are from the worst generation in history. You are from the most spoiled generation in history and are the most selfish generation in history.

      Please please for the love of god take yourself and the rest of your abortion of a generation and throw yourself into the sea.

      The Rest Of Human History

    • Anonymous

      I can’t wait until the blamers have kids that grow up and put the same X#$% on their parents. This will go on forever you know.

  43. Expand the equation of Happiness to make it easier for some to understand this article:

    Expectations = (parenting ego inflation + misperception of peers’ success), thus

    Happiness = Reality – (parenting ego inflation + misperception of peers’ success)

  44. 1. Both my grandmother on my mothers side and my grandfather on my father’s side told me basically the same thing on their (respective) deathbeds. Paraphrasing: “I wish I hadn’t spent so much time working at the office/ car dealership and spent more time painting/playing with the kids/grandkids/making music.”

    2. No matter how much you do or don’t want to work to achieve your dream career/life, there’s no reason to live in Cleveland.

    3. Maybe today’s webcomic should be about this blog.

  45. Anonymous

    In my opinion, this is merely explaining a concept about the way our brains work… applied to a current and relevant situation. It is always the case that if our experience exceeds our expectations, we are happy and vice versa, regardless of generation, upbringing, etc. It’s an interesting phenomenon and can partially explain why a group of people feels/thinks the way that they do (in this case, Gen Y). We are all victims of circumstance. Our experiences shape who we are, and each generation, (which, mind you, is called a generational cohort because we went through similar experiences at similar times in our lives) has specific and personal consequences on attitude, beliefs, values, etc. We may have all gone through similar experiences, but perceived it differently because of our idea of what reality is.

  46. Smug, Self indulgent and childish writing. The only good piece is the last 6 sentences, the rest is a waste of time.
    The problem is people writing shite like this and Gen Y being a lazy bunch of emotional shitbags.
    If you want to be happy in life, set goals, work your ass off, don’t sweat the small stuff and work your ass off.
    Happiness = Hardwork

    • Anonymous

      Tell that to sweat shop workers, or people who don’t succeed in spite of working as hard as they possibly can, or people who live the life of Riley because of the wealthy exploitative family they were born into.

      You’re delusional and living in a fantasy world conjured by those who want to exploit you for money.

  47. Anonymous

    “-you’ve been to a therapist without any severe mental illness.”

    People like that make me want to bleed on my dog and listen as my dog turns my blood into ideas.

    Then when my deeds are done I will retire to the Olive Garden, where humanity checks its disdain at the door, and I will there break bread and revel in the neverendingness. amen.

  48. Anonymous

    Oh boy, this is gonna be fun.

    “•you went to sleep-away summer camp during your youth.”

    So, basically everyone, including Gen X and the Boomers? I’m sure most people did something like this at least once in their childhood. TIL the Boy Scouts, YMCA, church groups, youth sports trips, etc make one a “yuppy.”

    “•you’ve won a number of meaningless awards.”

    I guess I don’t totally disagree with this, but it’s vague and the meaning of the award kind of depends on what it is.

    “•you studied abroad during college.”

    Yeah, I did that. It may shock you to know that specializing in fields like international relations, international business, a foreign language or another related field might benefit from such an experience, and in fact, might require one in order to graduate. But still, “yuppy.”

    “•you, after graduating college, considered (or will consider) big, famous cities like New York, San Francisco, LA, or DC, or small, fancy cities like Boulder or Santa Barbara as the only acceptable places to move (i.e. you feel like too special of a person to move to somewhere like Cleveland).”

    Or maybe, you know, there aren’t that many jobs in places like Cleveland, particularly at the entry level and in certain fields (like the ones I mentioned above, for example). Maybe those jobs, to the extent they exist, are more likely to be found in larger cities like LA, New York, San Francisco, DC and so on where those industries are located. But hey, if you’re not willing to move cross-country to accept a job as a commissioned telemarketer with no benefits in Scranton, PA in order to start your career as an economic analyst, then “yuppy.”

    “•you have disdain for a restaurant like The Olive Garden or Red Lobster.”

    So not liking mediocre, mass-produced food is bad now? Most of my family doesn’t like these places either…because they suck. I’ll stick with Chipotle, In-N-Out and the delis and pizza shops around my work and apartment when I need to go out, because they taste good and fulfill my needs. But anyway, apparently this meaningless distinction = “yuppie.”

    “•you need to have an iPhone and wouldn’t consider an Android phone.”

    Okay, this one is actually kind of funny. But the overall point we often hear about smartphones is stupid. They are new tech that people are going to adopt, just like the landline and radio back in the day. Even my parents just recently got their first smartphones (Windows). It’s the future; deal with it.

    “•foodie is a word you’ve ever called yourself or anyone else.”

    I haven’t, and don’t think I know anyone who has. Also doesn’t mean squat.

    “•you’ve been to a therapist without any severe mental illness.”

    I haven’t personally. For me, Bad Religion and reading helps me when I’m feeling down about my situation. But I’m not sure how people going to professionals because they feel like they might need help, then finding out they’re fine is a bad thing. In fact, that kind of seems like the point of the system, no?

    “•you have started your own business or have plans to do so.”

    What is this I don’t even…

    “•you regularly talk or think about your passions.”


    “•you’ve ever had a blog. Shit.”

    Well, at least we both agree that everything we just went through was pointless.

    The middle sections of the article are just the same crap we’ve heard over. And over. And over again. We’re all spoiled and like Facebook too much. Thanks, grandpa.


  49. Anonymous


    On to the “advice”:

    “1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it’ll work itself out—just dive in somewhere.”

    But don’t try to start your own business and don’t focus your search in locations and industries where you can utilize the training you’re essentially making a car payment or second rent on for the next 20 or so years. Remember, “yuppie.”

    “2) Stop thinking that you’re special. The fact is, right now, you’re not special. You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.”

    Right, but don’t complain about the lack of accessible entry-level positions that will allow you to build that experience through hard work and achieve the objective mentioned in point 1 and payoff the debts associated with it. Remember, “yuppie.”

    “3) Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.”

    No shit. A good place to start would probably be with the author of this blog post.

    Jesus Christ.

    • Anonymous

      Woah there angry guy. The post isn’t saying it’s *bad* to be a GYPSY, just pointing out the typical characteristics. That’s why the advice at the end makes perfect sense. It’s saying, “Take those GYPSY qualities of yours and make the best of them.” Nowhere is it saying starting a business is a bad thing.

    • Anonymous

      Except those aren’t “typical characteristics.” They’re cliches or personal anecdotes at best presented as humor in the hopes they’ll be accepted as fact. They’re tiresome and help nobody but the author.

    • Anonymous

      Typical gypsy reply.

      I got my college degree, couldn’t find a white collar job or entry level position but I didn’t hesitate to take up any job that came my way be it manual labor or otherwise.

      I dabbled in construction and automotive got my hands really dirty. I didn’t think I was special or too good for a on the hand job. I just followed the labor market and their demands.

      Now I’ve got a well paying job that I’ve always wanted but I’ve had to stick my hands in the mud to pay my bills.

    • Anonymous

      “Typical gypsy reply…I got my college degree, couldn’t find a white collar job or entry level position but I didn’t hesitate to take up any job that came my way be it manual labor or otherwise.”

      Typical smug, holier-than-thou reply. You have no idea what I do or have done since getting my degree. Hint: It’s not sitting at mom and dad’s house blogging until I get a 6-figure job.

  50. Anonymous

    wow. fucking racist bullshit. thats a terrible term. lets make the n word an acronym and apply it to some idiotic bullshit. give me a break. choose a new bullshit term and leave my culture out of this.

  51. Anonymous

    Not mentioned (I believe) is that Generation Y has something against trade skills. It seems that they don’t want to get dirty or are above manual labor. There is a shortage of skilled trade workers right now. Kids who attend High School and take things like Auto mechanics, Welding, and Machinist type jobs are walking out of High School after graduation right into $20.00 + an hour jobs. I am seating here with 4 aircraft mechanic jobs paying $28.00 an hour and no responses to the positions. It took six months to fill a machinist job here. I am just thinking this might be related to that “I am special” attitude.

    • Anonymous

      You said it. I can place almost any number of electricians, if you’re smart enough in 5 years your looking at $50 and hour about $20 to start out of high school. Go up to Dakota for a couple of years and you’ll be making 6 figures now. But if you want to sit in a nice office in NY or DC well, enjoy the basement.

      The other trades are the same, we can’t hire anybody that’ll show up the second day. For that matter there’s a hell of a lot of truck driving jobs going empty, railroad the same, most of the above if you make it through your probation have pretty good benefit too.

    • Anonymous

      I’m writing from a New Zealand perspective so I don’t know if this applies elsewhere, but we have the same problem here with a lack of skilled tradespeople. I can only say this: if Gen Ys think they are too “special” to do trade/manual jobs it’s only because that is what they have been taught! I would be willing to bet a lot that any negative views of trades are almost entirely a learned attitude from their Baby Boomer parents and teachers.

      I was born in the early ’80s and my teachers, parents and career advisors never presented practical trades as a good career path while I was in my teens. Trade skills were what you did if you didn’t do well at school and certainly not to be considered if you were at all “academic” – oh no, you were destined for far greater success in life by going to university! So because I was “academic” I dutifully got my law degree and now work as a solicitor… which my parents’ generation think must mean I earn an above-average living and am “doing well”. They are all unaware that entry-level salaries for legal graduates have not increased here at all in the last 10 years!

      Meanwhile my friend who was never very “academic” is on double my salary as a builder – without having 12% of his income deducted to repay a student loan (which is compulsory here) and with 5 more years earning fulltime in the workforce than I have had due to studying. Another friend is a motorbike mechanic, has had a career working around the world and recently returned able to buy both a home and a rental property – a position I can only dream about being in.

      I don’t think I am any more special or entitled to success than they are – and we have all worked very hard as everyone constantly told us to – but we were led to have very different expectations about how successful we would be career-wise. And the so-called yuppies like me are the ones left feeling frustrated & disappointed because it feels like the advice we got was a load of b-shit… no one ever told me or my “academic” friends we might be a whole lot better off financially by gaining trade qualifications.

      So for all those preaching to university graduates (who were told they were doing the right thing to be successful but are now suddenly expected to feel incredibly grateful if they can get any kind of job at all!) that they should have done something “useful”… consider that what is deemed useful or the path to success seems to have changed virtually overnight on us, or more accurately if you didn’t graduate pre-2008!

    • Anonymous

      No one wants to train for these jobs in the US because most of them already have been shipped overseas by Generation X and earlier, and this will only continue. Though the coming collapse of the USD might make establishing a manufacturing base in the US viable again.

  52. This is what happens when you spend 30 years giving people trophies for being born.

    That said, the “angry white man with nothing to be angry about” generation really needs to end. It was amusing at first, now it’s dominating pop culture and is freaking sad to watch.

  53. Anonymous

    Buck up and get on with it kiddos… you got nothing on the G.I. generation and their parents. And yes, we (Boomers) know that we are “holding all the cards” and not retiring to Florida as you wish. Stay focused on making ends meet a few more years, we will die off and you will inherit the wind.

  54. Anonymous

    I believe Facebook and social media is a huge part of the problem… Seems these days that many people (of all generations, but mostly the one that was born into the internet and know no other reality) think that, truly, they are so important and special, that everyone needs to know every minute of their day, what they’re thinking, the traffic they’re in, what they just ate, what their cat did, and the list goes on. In fact, many people seem to have no clarity about where reality ends and the elevated reality of their online social life begins. This does make it easy to compare your own life progress with those people from high school you haven’t seen in ___ years… and I think it’s an excellent point to make that it’s all for show and it really needn’t apply.

    While I agree that there are definitely those who have everything handed to them and don’t know the value of hard work or realistic expectations of their career path, just like all generations before us, they’ll eventually learn the hard way that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that happiness comes from doing something worthwhile. I do not think this applies to an entire generation, however, maybe just the part of life this generation happens to be in. Or maybe it’s just the author’s personal situation.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, that’s not the point at all. The point is that Lucy’s will never be happy, regardless of her success, so long as her expectations remain unrealistic.

  55. Anonymous

    Yes, and anyone who believes Facebook is the answer will obviously spend their free time posting articles like this…how unhappy is the author with their life..send me a pic.. you are definitely not overweight.

  56. my husband is Roma (ethnic Gypsy) and I find this acronym highly offensive. You wouldn’t make an acronym to JEW or ASIAN. The same applies here. The Gypsy people are an ethnic grouping not some silly acronym to describe lazy Gen Y’ers.

    • Seems like the problem is yours and not your husbands. I doubt you would have found the acronym so “highly offensive” if it had been JEW or ASIAN. Btw what’s wrong with Asian? That is not an ethnical slur. Wasn’t that the point
      (to some extent) of your argument?

      People, grow thicker skin and stop with this race bs anyways (it’s never attractive wether you’re boasting it or doing the opposite). We are one species. Stop whining, stop fighting and too many of you stop thinking. It’s making the world worse.

  57. These responses are hilarious! This article seems like a deliberate trolling.

    Look it’s obvious that wealth disparity between the top 1% and the rest of us plays a big factor in the decline of “comfortable sustainability”, but we live in a capitalist society. The benefit of that is we earn based on what we’re worth. If you feel like you’re not being paid enough, forge a path in the industry that you’re targeting. Be a trailblazer. Use that sense of entitlement to motivate you to burn the competition. That’s how you fight for better pay. Sometimes you have to plan and plan and plan, but once you gain the confidence to execute, you can make conditions better. Let’s F**king Do This People!

    • Anonymous

      The unfortunate reality is that most people DON’T earn based off what they’re worth because capitalism is a convenient shield for those most benefiting from the income disparity you yourself conceded exists–otherwise CEOs would make significantly less and the average worker’s wage would have remained commensurate with cost of living and their increases in productivity.
      What the author of this incredibly short-sighted blog post is neglecting to analyze however, is the reason that so many ‘Gen-Y’ers want to start their own companies is for a lack of other options. Adding insult to injury, the truly disheartening reality is that while many want to start businesses, the weak economy only exacerbates the general lack of necessary start-up capital for young people to do so barring most from “blazing their own trails” (due to high levels of debt caused by student loans, lack of collateral/professional experience, etc.).
      Furthermore, “forging paths” in one’s respective field is increasingly a delusion in our modern society because as specialization has increased over generations so too has increased bureaucracy and the need for professional credentials to have even a basic level of autonomy within almost any industry. The age-old problem of the “catch-22″ resurfaces once again in that one can only obtain access to professional autonomy in most careers by having already obtained those increasingly elusive “entry level” positions and preliminary years of experience (that ‘Gen-Y’ers are apparently too “special” for according to the author even though every recent college grad would beg to differ).
      In my experience “entry level” for most companies actually means at least three years directly-applicable, prior, professional experience these days. Being highly trained (even with a master’s/professional degree) but then being simultaneously told that you possess no value to the real world until you are somebody with a prior resume of ever-more unrealistic professional experience (despite possessing a wealth of up-to-date knowledge which alludes most experienced workers) is depressing.
      Having our professional potential disregarded while prior generations (which already got their start–some easier than others) bitch about the stagnant economy and degrade us for not accomplishing anything or putting off “starting our lives”—THAT above all else is fundamentally why Generation Y is listless and victim to a general sense of hopelessness not because we were told we were great as children.

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous here has it on the money. And I may be chronologically Gen Y, but I’m not a yuppie/hipster. The author of the post, lumping us all in as yuppies because he himself is one, actually makes things a lot harder for those of us who had nothing, were good, went to college and/or grad school, and then can’t, as Anonymous here says, get the entry-level positions so we can shut up as everyone allegedly so deeply wants us to do.

      Believe me, when I make an okay living I won’t be complaining. Until then, though, I don’t think it’s entitlement to complain about having to work something totally unrelated to my skillset — which, to add insult to injury, doesn’t allow the stability to save, spend, or retire.

      If Gen Y is at all “entitled” at this point in time, it’s because we know we got the short end of the stick and will have to work til we die– every social safety net has been dismantled, or is in the process of being dismantled now, and we’re doing the best we can with far less than even the Gen Xs (who they themselves had not much to work with either). If it seems like every subsequent generation ‘has it worse,’ that’s because we still continue to concentrate wealth, power, resources, and opportunities at the top, rewarding those who already have it pretty well while the rest of us compete for the remains. That’s why “entry-level” jobs require so much “experience” and yet pay so little. And have the actual job duties and expectations of mid-level (or managerial) positions.

    • Anonymous

      As a baby boomer and the parent of three Gen Yers, I thought I would jump in here and offer another perspective on “specialness.” The first is that my children were brought up to believe that everyone is special in some way. (You can thank Dr. Spock, Mr. Rogers, and Barney for that.) That makes them appreciate diversity in the world and to treat people as individuals with unique attributes. The effect of that is that they have a more natural sense that, whatever intelligence or marketable skills someone many have, they are entitled to a basic amount of dignity and freedom to be whoever they want to be. Therefore, same sex marriage and interracial relationships are not the big deal that they were in the 30’s or 50’s. President Obama makes that case by his own success. So I love that aspect of Gen Y.
      The second observation, which is skewed by several of my children’s friends and the fact that two of my kids live in San Francisco, is that some Gen Y folks think that the rules don’t apply to them. In some ways, every generation rebels against the rules of the generation that raised them. But the hipsters seems to take it to another level. Not unlike the hippies in the 60’s and 70’s, the hipsters seems to believe they just invented freedom and self-expression regardless of out-moded social conventions like tying your shoes or regular work hours. I don’t know if that comes from feeling special or something more like the observation above; that is, that the conventions and stereotypes are just stupid for everyone and therefore have no moral force.
      Anyway, go Gen Y! I love you guys.

    • I love this discussion. It is so funny to see the difference. I do think kids expect protection from Mom and Dad longer now than ever. I had a mom call me at work once to talk about her sons job performance.

  58. Anonymous

    The only thing more pathetic than the Gen Yers who fit this description and are truly delusional about their abilities, and there are a lot of them, granted, are the pretentions Gen Xers who rode the wave of an economy artificially inflated by things like derivatives and bundled subprime mortgages just to the point that they’re fairly secure now while the Gen Yers struggle to break into to a world economy in the midst of painful corrections and think they’re doing better because they’re harder working with more realistic expectations, i.e. they’re better people. That’s fucking delusional. Get over yourselves Gen Xers. And honestly, Gen Xers who have time to comment on articles like this, or hell, write articles/op-eds like this (I don’t know who wrote this but I’ve seen a lot of Gen Xers give “tough love advice” to their lazier younger counterparts in recent years) must not have anything better to do and are engaging in a little image crafting themselves.

    • Anonymous

      im a gen xer and i just like to smoke pot and jerk off still–so i guess I’m somewhere in there i guess wherever. but whatever. at least i still havent gotten it up the butt hole like the most of you: woooop wooooop!

      i guess.

  59. Anonymous

    I find it hard to feel sorry for all these GYSPYs when I chose a college major that required me to put in extra work every week. I’m about to be compensated for the extra work with a $70,000 starting salary at the age of 23. Not to mention my soon-to-be wife, who will bring in a similar amount.

    I know I’m smarter than most people (not being a GYPSY, IQ tests and stuff…) but in my experience if someone not as smart as me wanted to pursue the same major, they could. They’d just have to put in more work. It’s just hard to feel sorry for someone who majors in ‘business’, and can drink 4 nights a week in school, yet cant find a job upon graduation. I think the article is spot on. If people thought more about whats best for their future instead of following their “passion” they’d be a lot better off.

    • Anonymous

      thanks smarty pants.
      I got a 51 percent in last year highschool Math. I stayed after class every day to learn from my teacher. I have had an A average going into University. However, I never understood Math. Yet, I can recite Shakespeare in front of 300 students.
      Just because we don’t have the skills in “Math/School” as you did.
      Doesn’t mean we don’t work.
      Please, don’t get off topic here.
      It’s not about being lazy. It’s about our affect of Society via our upbringing.

    • Anonymous

      This guy is spot on. I attended a state school and pursued a major with economic value. I’m all for pursuing a degree based solely on intrinsic value, however you must be able to provide for yourself and your family. If your “dream degree” is in alignment with one that is perceived as valuable in the market – awesome and you’re lucky. You should not do what you love to do, but do what you like to do that affords you the opportunity to provide for yourself. You create your own happiness (google it for a good TED talk about it) – so that degree that you started to get that adds economic value that was so-so, turns out that it’s actually pretty awesome. Moreover, it gets better when you get out and already have a job lined up while others are squandering their time away “finding themselves” and then moving back in with Mom and Dad.

      To those who blame student loan debt, there is no reason in attending top dollar (not necessarily name) schools if you do not possess the economic mobility to afford one. You don’t need to move out of Mom and Dad’s house to go to college. Find an affordable school within commuting distance – it might not be ideal, but you can save a significant amount of money by not paying high rent, electric, food that your roommates eat, etc.. And commuting distance can be pretty far. This will prepare you for the real world when you have to do things that you do not want to do but the end goal is greater than the current opportunity cost. For example, commuting to that new high paying job you just landed out of school.

      Being fortunate enough to earn a comfortable living right out of college and having many friends years later still trying to land that first job to start their career we had very different college experiences. Those who are still trying to get started traveled abroad, frequented college football games and bars. Their college experiences are something that I admire and envy to a degree. Who doesn’t want to travel Europe? My college years were spent in the library pulling my hair out as I tried to learn how to understand a new programming language or complex logic. If you have the capacity to do both, awesome. While we had very different college experiences, theirs better than mine, we are having very different life experiences post college and graduate school. I’m planning for trips abroad – not just 1, starting a family, and a comfortable retirement. I’d give up 3 years of a good times for 40 years, Christ even when they do figure it out, 10 years of a more stable future.

      It’s still a race that none of us win, but I’d rather be comfortable while participating.

    • Anonymous

      Very well said. In fact I’d go so far as to say that you SHOULDN’T make “what you love” your day job. You know why? Because that is without question to the fastest way to suck all the joy out of the thing that you love most in this world. Having to depend on something to put food on the table is a great way to make that something mundane and stressful.

      Don’t get me wrong, if you love baseball and get signed to a multi-million dollar MLB contract, go for it! If you toil in obscurity for years and finally publish that novel of yours and it becomes a bestseller AND it allows you to support yourself and/or your family, go for it!

      But the hard truth about life, the most bitter pill that we all have to swallow (and the pill that for some reason Gen Y keeps spitting out) is that this rarely happens.

      For the most part we work to live, then take whatever “disposable” income we can muster and spend it on the things we love (fishing trips, building a ship in a bottle, woodworking…really it doesn’t f*cking matter).

      If everyone could fund themselves via their “dream job” then the entire world would be filled with nothing but astronauts and ballerinas.

      The unfortunate truth is that we need far too many accountants and customer service reps and dental hygenists and cops and flight attendants and crossing guards etc etc for that fantasy world to be even remotely attainable.

      And so…we all wind up doing the most sensible thing that we’re pretty good at that brings in the most reasonable income.

      Deal with it people, work frequently sucks. That’s why they call it WORK. Get it?

    • Anonymous

      There are many of us who majored in ‘business’ and worked 70 hours a week running our own marketing departments in order to put ourselves through school. Get over yourself. Your smugness will not serve you well in the future. YOU are not special because you majored in computer science.

    • Anonymous

      Excuse me, EVERY major has economic value in a society where EVERY PERSON is valued.

      Not all of us have mathematic aptitude, so, actually, you, who society is in this wave of affairs blessing you for having chosen a “practical,” moneymaking, degree, should be thanking those of us who are bad at math who didn’t clog up your life with our ineptitude…more competition for you.

      My major was valued–before everyone decided they were a writer and that writers didn’t need to be paid…

      Folks, not everyone is a writer and words do not write themselves. Composing and editing are actually still verbs and do not pour out of machines. I am being a bit pointed here, I know, but only because in my daily life I am told by people who know they can’t write how wonderful it is that I am a writer… except that they have jobs and I’m barely surviving. And no, I’m not about to drop everything and enter medical school. Maybe if medical school didn’t require calculus and physics, which no doctor uses in practice anyway…otherwise I’d actually be an extraordinary doctor, knowing quite a lot about real applied medicine (all self-taught, of course…many, many hours a week–but apparently worthless without some external validation of that).

  60. Anonymous

    I understand what everyone is saying…

    The fact is, this economy since 2008 has suffered.
    We’ve been through war and recession for a while now, and our job force has suffered. We’ve all been through this before…we will get through it again. We go through decades of prosperity and depression. It’s a balance.
    What we need to do is change. Make new businesses, vote and speak out during elections.
    It’s not the people (we are not special) It’s our human nature and Society that fluctuates.
    What can we do? What all want more than we need.

  61. Anonymous

    Around midnight tonight, I stumbled upon this article. I then spent the next 3 hours reading every post on this blog, and this is honestly the best blog I’ve ever read. Whoever is writing this, please please don’t stop!

  62. Anonymous

    A part of me hopes this phenomenon actually exists in the USA. Not because I want the generation about to take over the running of society to be as naive and self-entitled as this article suggests – please no. A part of me wants this to be a phenomenon because, otherwise, what we have here is a group of people (I’m including the supporting commentators) who feel justified (read: ‘special’ and ‘entitled’) in ‘correcting’ and slandering an entire generation whose reality they’ve, apparently, completely failed to understand. But who is this group? Members of Generation Y who’ve failed to understand their peers, or baby boomers bemoaning the attitude of their children? Either way it’s not good. In reality, of course, I don’t want this to be true anywhere in the world; it’s certainly not true here.

    Incidentally, most of the people I know who’re obsessed with material possessions and any implied sense of worth they imbue – people who’ve built their lives around the acquisition of certain types of houses, cars, TVs, and holiday packages – are all baby boomers. Their children develop a taste for ‘stuff’ after having being spoiled with gifts during childhood. In my experience, people today (by and large) get bored with having access to endless material things in their mid-twenties – that is, once other priorities take over. Is this really very different from the idealism of youth and transition into adulthood present in any other generation? I don’t have any data to support this; I’m using the same conjectural approach taken by the article’s author. I’d be intrigued to see some data, though.

    This article is very funny and nicely written. But the message at its heart is confused, poorly researched, unbelievably hypocritical, and comes across as bitter and resentful. It’s all a bit sad.

    I don’t usually comment on articles like this. But I’m curious… how many people are now going to try and unpick my life, my motivations, and my ideals, offering advice and sweeping statements to suit?* If anything THAT is the problem with society today.

    *Before anyone accuses me of doing the same thing note that I’ve been candid about my opinion, which I’ve published alongside the material I’m reacting to allowing for direct comparison. I’m also not offering ‘worldly advice'; I’m not that condescending and self-important. What I’ve written here is just my opinion, whatever that’s worth.

  63. Anonymous

    Wow, splitting birth years into generations arbitrarily is a really good idea to create blame groups. It’s just what we need on top of all the other isms we already have, now the generationism! Sarcasm aside, one hopes all generations learn to be fair, respect others, and criticise when valid arguments and points exist, not for social media ‘populism’.

  64. Anonymous

    To the author: Hey, nice read – spot on in my opinion.

    Question: why are Gen Y parents all persuaded that their respective kids are “special”?? Because along with that comes a completely different discussion: the expectations from the parents, that they never admit to have.

  65. Anonymous

    As a proud member of Gen Jones (Google it, bitches) I have to agree that as a general rule it’s NOT in our collective best interest to bash other generations.


    The reason this article was written is because it desperately NEEDED to be written. While I personally appreciate many of Gen Y’s accomplishments–bringing “artisanal” back into vogue, fomenting the “slow company” movement, emo/folky/psyche revival music, etc–to their discredit they have been the most ageist generation since the older Boomers and their megalomaniacal‎ 60’s mantra to “never trust anyone over 30″.

    To Gen Y, everyone older than them sucks…HARD. They have ZERO interest in listening to anyone from anywhere that has anything has to say about anything. Except themselves of course.

    Mind you, they are not the first generation to behave this way. However, they might be the last.

    Unless we can all get together as one big dysfunctional global family and fight for economic equality and the environment TOGETHER, REGARDLESS OF AGE, we’ll all be dead before there will be a Gen Z, or whatever super cool, “ironic”, trendy, pithy, “made in Brooklyn” name you ascribe to your kids’ generation.


    • Anonymous

      I love older people (Gen Y here)…what I don’t love is when they give me impracticable, unrealistic advice. Here’s one example on my mind: my family is abusive. So? I hear often. “Just get roommates”– when wages are so low that’s why I can’t move out to begin with (aha, a lot of people assumed I don’t have a job. I do). A rented room in NYC is –on the lower end–*at least* $600 a month (anyone who says they can get something for less than that is signing you up to live in a place full of crime/ or some kind of shady sex-housework situation/or 2 hours away from anywhere). And now even those $600 rooms are in the so-called “bad” places. That’s more for a room than a lot of places in the US charge for an apartment.

      “So then leave New York.” Uh, older folk, I’m not cognitively challenged. I have no family and no license, or I’d be out of here and not complaining.

      So I’m all for intergenerational unity. My beef is I don’t think older generations really understand how hard it is to do basic things that *in actuality* WERE INDEED EASIER back then: * renting a room, * getting a job, * applying to school, etc. Everything now *is* harder, *is* more competitive, *is* more of a big deal. When not everything needs a credit check, background check, deposits, references, mission statements, statements of purpose, test scores, etc. etc. etc…

      those rented rooms? Yeah, they want security deposits now. For a *room.*

      When my parents were able to move out from their parent’s at 18, they didn’t have to save for a deposit on a rented room.

      It’s a rented room. Not an apartment.
      At some point there must be some blowback from this ridiculousness.

      Cui bono from making every roommate pay a security deposit? How is it that generations managed to survive without doing it, but now it’s becoming another hoop to jump through? A hoop to jump through that we’ll consent to and force on later generations with “I had to go through it, suck it up.”

      Things don’t have to be this hard. We humans make things far harder on eachother than they have to be.

      You don’t need a security deposit on a tiny little room. And you don’t need $600+ a month for it. New York needs to get over itself, but the rest of the country’s getting just as bad.

      You can’t take it with you, so I don’t understand this desire to screw others over so that “I get mine.” Because when basic things are this hard, saying “well, I did it, why can’t you” is screwing others over. Not everyone has the boundless energy to jump through every hoop and hurdle just to survive. What happened to things like housing, food, healthcare being human rights? “I was miserable, so you have to be too” has never won me over as an effective social organizing mechanism. We need another paradigm. It could be as simple as not giving people such a hard time to do stuff.

    • Anonymous

      You do have to wonder if that’s only because “Gen Y” were effectively lied to by their parents, teachers, and so on, about the world they were likely to join and have a productive and wonderful life in?

      The expectations Gen Y were endowed with by the previous generation are going to be a massive point of contention in any debate of this nature, especially when the previous generation is the primary culprit in regards to the change in the social and economic climate.
      Gen Y have to sort out their delusions of grandeur, most of them are old enough, and hopefully intelligent enough to realise that they were betrayed by their fore-bearers, and deal with it.

  66. There’s a lot of accuracy in this article, but I don’t think it’s productive to take such a judgemental, condescending tone with those in this generation group. Dissatisfaction and status anxiety can be so intense, and can be so heightened by social media and the constructed lives of peers, that people suffer great mental stress to the point of suicide. It’s not always about greed and desire on the part of the dissatisfied party, but about a hammered-home message that is as real as the advertising with which people are bullied every day. And right now, thanks to an economy ruined by despicably wealthy pre-GenY bankers, younger people are being exploited for free labour and denied fulfilling work options (I do not mean high salaries).

    I’d also like to pick up on the ludicrous checklist idea. So spending a year abroad as part of your studies is to be disdained as much as being snooty about restaurants and slavishly loyal to the Apple brand? To me it suggests bravery, curiosity and a healthy interest in the rest of the world. Further down the page, you suggest learning a language is a positive thing. Perhaps if more people spent time abroad in structured visits, we would be able to better explore alternative ways of finding satisfaction.

    You also seem to equate calling yourself a foodie with going to “a therapist without any severe mental illness.”

    Define ‘severe’, please. One in four Brits experiences mental health problems, and since the recession kicked in, this has risen steeply. Men, who are under far more pressure to attain status and wealth than women, are three times as likely to commit suicide, and far less likely to talk about it or seek help. Belittling mental illness in any form is lethal.

    • Anonymous

      Right on, Kirsten. And therapy needs to be mandatory in every society, actually.

      We are in a very sick society because of people without compassion with the implicit “why can’t you just suck it up” attitude toward people who do question the way things are.

      The sickest people in our society, those who consume and rob the planet of its resources and take us to the ecological brink, are the ones who are seen as “mentally healthy,” because they feed the capitalist machine.

      Clearly the author of the post has never been to therapy or knows what therapy is– if he did, he wouldn’t belittle it. Very often those who belittle therapy are the ones who need it the most. Therapy is not about ‘curing’ some pathology. It’s to (in part) heal oneself to live a better life and to learn how to not inadvertently hurt someone else through your own unresolved pain. The author’s unresolved pain at the people he’s encountered in his own generation he think entitles him to make broad, snarky, glib generalizations… and, then, if anyone calls him on it, he can say it’s “humor.”

      True humor -including parody, satire, and social observation–doesn’t need to take anyone down to make a joke.

  67. Anonymous

    Most of these comments present an “either/or” choice: either the article is right and GYPSY’s are entitled, or it’s wrong and crushing student debt and lack of jobs is the problem. Actually both are right. There is a huge feeling of entitlement among the GenY’ers I work with, and also there’s a really tough job market right now. A bad coincidence.

  68. Anonymous

    nice! i figuered out i#m not a gypsy of the type youre talking about here, on the second line of your criteria classification judgemental content BS. thanks for laughing though. i’ll continue reading when i have time

  69. Anonymous

    Way to assume that anyone who wants and strives for their dream job early in their life is a Gen Y Yuppie.

    Stop generalizing people who have high aspirations and work hard and diligently towards them while pushing the status quo into this bucket of entitled assholes. I am a Gen Y, 30 years old, working in a job that I truly believe is below my capability level, but I push hard every day to get to the point where I want to be. That includes pushing on previous generations to continually improve themselves as they expect out of every individual of younger generations. There were plenty of assholes and “GYPSY” type people back in the 60’s and 70’s too. The biggest difference is that they didn’t have to take on a crushing student loan debt and a generation of people before them trying to hold them back because they are only looking out for themselves. For every “GYPSY” you find, there is a really good chance you find a young person who works hard and helps others to be able to achieve what they want out of life. Entitlement is not a generational thing, it is a personality trait. I know plenty of Generation Xers that come off as entitled because they’ve “…put in my time, and until you do, you don’t deserve anything…”. Entitlement isn’t generational, it comes to people who refuse to understand that good things and success come to those who work hard for it, and there are plenty of Gen Y folks who know and exemplify that trait.

    • Anonymous

      There are also plenty of Gen Y folks who have learned that working hard DOESN’T mean success. I’m a 32-year-old lawyer and I most definitely worked my ass off to get where I am. I went to a top 5 school because I had the grades for it (working hard!!), and I put in my 80-hour weeks like a good little grunt, giving away most of my 20s to a profession that didn’t deserve it. What do I have to show for it now? A middling law job where I’m making less than my non-degreed roommate makes providing customer service for a do-nothing tech startup because that’s where investors throw money nowadays, regardless of results. Funny thing is, I’ve applied for countless better jobs. I can’t get them because (1) competent, hard-working 20- and 30-somethings are a dime a dozen in my industry (HOW ABOUT THAT, TONS OF GEN Y’ERS WHO WORK HARD) and (2) the economic crash (thanks Boomers!) got me laid off and fucked up my resume, making me a “risk” in the eyes of hiring managers who don’t have to take risks.

      Any asshole who dares suggest to me that Gen Y hasn’t learned the value of hard work and we only fail because we’re lazy better be ready for a fight.

    • Anonymous

      Well said. And the yuppies of prior generations didn’t have to endure the fishbowl of constant, immediate scathing judgment that we pour on eachother for really no reason. If someone made a mistake in the past, it didn’t get instantly archived and be available for blackmail fodder for eternity. It didn’t get made into a viral meme and in front of everyone’s face.

      It’s not as easy to start over now as prior generations think. Between the unforgiving way we deploy technology now and the debt we all face, Gen Ys work hard but get blamed for not being able to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps out of our holding pattern. And lord help us if we make ‘the wrong’ ‘career’ choice…can’t just make an honest living with a job anymore. It had better fit into some kind of ‘career’ picture or else your existence is not legitimate, because food, shelter, and healthcare aren’t rights. When does this get ridiculous? There needs to be more entitlement, in a certain way– the entitlement to stand up and say, “You know what, this doesn’t have to be so hard. You don’t lose from my winning. I don’t win if you lose. We can all have a piece of the pie. There’s more to life than work, and I’m going to claim my life before I won’t have time to live it.”

      If that’s “entitlement,” guess what, I’m “entitled.” Funny that something that possibly threatens endless wasteful consumption is seen as a negative thing!

    • Anonymous

      Well said. And the yuppies of prior generations didn’t have to endure the fishbowl of constant, immediate scathing judgment that we pour on eachother for really no reason. If someone made a mistake in the past, it didn’t get instantly archived and be available for blackmail fodder for eternity. It didn’t get made into a viral meme and in front of everyone’s face.

      It’s not as easy to start over now as prior generations think. Between the unforgiving way we deploy technology now and the debt we all face, Gen Ys work hard but get blamed for not being able to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps out of our holding pattern. And lord help us if we make ‘the wrong’ ‘career’ choice…can’t just make an honest living with a job anymore. It had better fit into some kind of ‘career’ picture or else your existence is not legitimate, because food, shelter, and healthcare aren’t rights. When does this get ridiculous? There needs to be more entitlement, in a certain way– the entitlement to stand up and say, “You know what, this doesn’t have to be so hard. You don’t lose from my winning. I don’t win if you lose. We can all have a piece of the pie. There’s more to life than work, and I’m going to claim my life before I won’t have time to live it.”

      If that’s “entitlement,” guess what, I’m “entitled.” Funny that something that possibly threatens endless wasteful consumption is seen as a negative thing!

    • Anonymous

      Well said. And the yuppies of prior generations didn’t have to endure the fishbowl of constant, immediate scathing judgment that we pour on eachother for really no reason. If someone made a mistake in the past, it didn’t get instantly archived and be available for blackmail fodder for eternity. It didn’t get made into a viral meme and in front of everyone’s face.

      It’s not as easy to start over now as prior generations think. Between the unforgiving way we deploy technology now and the debt we all face, Gen Ys work hard but get blamed for not being able to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps out of our holding pattern. And lord help us if we make ‘the wrong’ ‘career’ choice…can’t just make an honest living with a job anymore. It had better fit into some kind of ‘career’ picture or else your existence is not legitimate, because food, shelter, and healthcare aren’t rights. When does this get ridiculous? There needs to be more entitlement, in a certain way– the entitlement to stand up and say, “You know what, this doesn’t have to be so hard. You don’t lose from my winning. I don’t win if you lose. We can all have a piece of the pie. There’s more to life than work, and I’m going to claim my life before I won’t have time to live it.”

      If that’s “entitlement,” guess what, I’m “entitled.” Funny that something that possibly threatens endless wasteful consumption is seen as a negative thing!

  70. Anonymous

    This whole post is pretty much reductive, knee-jerk bullshit. Gen-Y is unhappy not because they think they are special and refuse to work hard. They are unhappy because since they were born (early 1980s) the institutions that had held this country together for the previous 50 years have been systematically dismantled. The boomer (and now X) generations ‘worked hard’ by enriching themselves and chasing speculative bubbles for the past 25 years, squandering the what had been the most prosperous era in the history of the world. And they continue to do so through entitlement programs that will be broke by the time we qualify. Wealth inequality is the biggest it’s been since the gilded age and economic mobility (especially for young people) is worse than any other western democracy. And you think it comes down to ‘feelings?’

    Well, at least you got to use that picture of a unicorn vomiting a rainbow so I guess this post isn’t a total waste.

    • Anonymous

      What an absolutely PERFECT GYPSY response. Couldn’t have written a better one if I tried.

      You see, you’re “special” because, um, all those damn Boomers and Gen-Xers “dismantled” all those things that would have been rightfully yours if only they hadn’t f*cked you over blah blah blah. GET OVER IT.

      Every generation has had its own unique brand of bullshit to deal with, whether it was the dotcom meltdown, Desert Storm, the dawning of the AIDS era, Reagan, Vietnam, McCarthyism, Korea, WWII, The Great Depression…the list goes on and on. The fact that you think it’s somehow different now, that YOUR circumstances are somehow uniquely conspiring to thwart your boundless, amazing awesomeness only serves to prove the author’s point.

      Well done. Consider this reply to be your trophy.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, not to mention the generation before had the chance to succeed. If they lost their job they could find another on the walk home. We have to pay for our education, we enter the work force (if we are lucky) with debt, then have to face a housing market that has been ridiculous inflated by the very people wondering why we are still living in their home paying off our debts and wishing we had our own independence.

      Not to add they screwed the planet and expect us to pay their retirement.

      The graph would be more realistic if that unicorn was covered in the shit of the last generation.

    • Anonymous

      Among “those things” that the Gen X-ers and Boomers dismantled is “a well functioning economy.”

      That’s kind of a big deal.

  71. What about GYPSYs with boomer parents born in the 1940’s from other countries, who saw their parents struggle and never meet their expectations? I don’t connect at all with this analysis. Every year my social class has grown, and it has really taken off since my late 20’s. I’m far better off than I or my parents have ever been, and I know it will only get better for me. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones, after having grown up with so much worry about money?

  72. Anonymous

    Funny — as I was reading this I was struck by how much it sounded like my narcissistic Boomer father trying to manipulate me, yet again, into feeling guilty for daring to question why things seem unfair. The guilt is his, of course; how was I supposed to figure out as a *child* that his generation was collectively destroying my generation’s opportunities? Do you know why Gen Y has such a hard time dealing with criticism? Because so many of us had narcissistic Boomer parents who were more interested in using us to fulfill THEIR unfollowed dreams, and who were quick to quell any threat of emerging independent identity that conflicted with those dreams. Criticism cuts to our core because that’s how our Boomer parents controlled us. We only seem entitled because our parents felt entitled to succeed *through* us, and we don’t know how to fail because our parents taught us that failure was unacceptable for THEIR child.

  73. Anonymous

    The baby boomers fell blindly into appreciating property values which allowed most of the to supplement their income while treating their homes as an ATM machine. When this behavior collapsed our housing market who was left with the aftermath? Of yes, gen Y.

    This article also fails to mention the undermining of trust between corporation and employee due to large scale outsourcing, lay-offs, and shit to only thinking about profitability. As gen Y I saw what corporate America did to my Dad, why would I want to participate?

    • Anonymous

      You’re dumb, read the article. It’s not BLAMING anyone, it’s simply pointing out why Gen Y’s might be unhappy. Because their reality doesn’t meet their expectations.

    • Anonymous

      The article is kind of blaming because implicitly it’s like “and if you are this person, unless you ‘adjust’ (lower) your expectations, you WILL be unhappy, and if you know this and still do it, you must WANT to be unhappy,” (bringing in someone’s comment above that if Lucy doesn’t change she’ll *never* be happy),

      when the fact of the matter is 1) people’s happiness does have a little something to do with the larger society they’re in (i.e., the parts of life lived in sunlight, not in front of a screen) and 2) people are unhappy when they are sold on this “work hard and you’ll be successful” trip and that success via hard work, in reality, turns out to be the exception rather than the rule. People are, oddly, unhappy when they know they’re being shafted. That’s why education is often under attack: “keep them smart enough to work the machines, but too dumb to know they’re being screwed”–paraphrase of the late, great George Carlin.

    • Anonymous

      “I’m not BLAMING anyone! I’m just pointing out that I think a lot of people who have lots of valid reasons to be upset with the state of the world for themselves and their peer groups are GIANT CRYBABIES.”

  74. Warren Cass

    author misses a few key points. GenY’s expectations gap isn’t just “I feel more special than I’m treated.” The world has become a harder place to get by than we were brought up to believe it would be. Boomers brought up GenY to expect job/economic conditions like they had enjoyed. Instead, GenY is in process of inheriting a hobbled economy from Boomers who spent everything, deregulated financial markets and took enormous risks to turn paper profits, lost everything, and now won’t vacate top jobs. They get to pay the growing cost of paying for healthcare/pensions/etc. that Boomers bestowed upon themselves but never adequately funded. They get to compete for work against an exploding world population (where outsourcing hasn’t already sent the jobs abroad). And so on and so forth.

  75. Anonymous

    Dear Gen Y,

    Want a job and/or credibility? You can start by taking this simple test:

    1. demonstrate that you know the difference between there, they’re and their

    2. demonstrate that you know the difference between you’re and your

    3. demonstrate that you know the difference between to, too and two

    4. demonstrate that you know the difference between loose and lose

    5. demonstrate that you know the difference between then and than

    Then we’ll talk.

    Those Asshole Boomers And Gen-Xers Who Took Shit Seriously And Didn’t Blame Others For Their Shortcomings

    • Anonymous

      This is quite typical behavior from self-righteous elitists who believe that they are somehow removed from the current society. Over-generalization of every person into a stereotypical norm, and the idea that everyone has to qualify themselves to you personally. This is what is annoying about “non Gen Y”. The judgy judginess. The idea that self-discipline and personal responsibility is about being able to do the same things that you did in “your generation”, that young people now should follow your footsteps and then they too would understand what it means to be “credible”.

      Retirement age has gone up, production jobs have decreased, and young people entering the work force do need to find new and creative ways to stand out. That’s just a fact. Just as you can point to our worst of the worst, we can also point to the worst of the previous generations. Warmongers, war profiteers, wall street corruption, racial segregation, AIDS discrimination and of course all that self-righteous bull crap.

      There are shortcomings in every generation, but for this one the desire for the establishment of a unique personal identity and to think differently is not one of them. You’re better off attacking us for overconsumption and paying too little attention to politics and social policy in favour of pop culture, than attacking us for not bothering to read a dictionary which is a frivolous complaint at best.

  76. Taqasim

    There are a number of annoying things about this article, but most annoying is co-opting the word “Gypsy.” Gypsy has a variety of meanings in the English language, some derogatory, others not so (depending on context), but none even remotely close to what this article is about. And before I get too much heat from sticklers out there, there are many Romani people who self-identify as Gypsy for convenience without considering it a slur. A person with a fair amount of ignorance would have to come up with this acronym, so let’s not throw the word “entitlement” around too much, Pot.


    • Anonymous

      Oh for f@#$’s sake.

      Really? You’re going with the “gypsy as slur” angle?

      I have no doubt that my European great-grandparents would have considered this a slur a hundred years ago, but you’re going to make that claim today? In 2013?

      Acronym Construction for Ironic Dissent (ACID) is a field that frequently requires tweaking language in such a way that the resulting acronym fits an existing word, regardless of that word’s connotations. So to read anything more into GYPSY is a colossal waste of time IMO.

      For example, I’m sure the acronym of a group called Christians Understanding Nothing Technical would raise the ire of many on this thread, as would a group called Forensics Advocating Geomancy.


  77. Anonymous

    The only reason GenY hasn’t plundered the economy’s coffers yet is because they haven’t been given the opportunity. YET. But once they have, they will. You can count on it. #potcallingthekettleblack

  78. Anonymous

    “God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

  79. There’s some article floating around about GYPSIES or some other such shifty group of foreigners. Apparently, these wandering nomads demand proper deference to our sensible elders and for once, I agree. The self described “most important generation in US history” and the “Greatest Generation” take umbrage with our exceptionalism and really, they have a point. They consider our ambition undeserved and would like us to focus on more realistic goals.

    Fair enough. I propose the creation of a new organization along the lines of AA. In fact, it will share the same appellation. We’ll call it Aspirations Anonymous and I propose to be the president; this being a sacrifice on my part to relieve my fellow members of the burden of hoping to lead. Such ambitions would obviously be against the goals of the group.

    We’ll gather weekly to review our nonprogess towards nothing really special. Any person attempting to rise above their current station will be singled out and savaged mercilessly like a rat in a pack of terriers.

    As those older than 35 have obviously earned their elite economic and social status, we’ll have no need to bother such illustrious people. After all, their drug fueled shenanigans and reckless real estate speculation are hallmarks of the kind of excellence we’ll never achieve. No half sober risk, no gain or loss or whatever was achieved by our elders.

    So why bother really? That’s our motto at the new, less ambitious AA. Used car dealer is good enough for someone, so it ought to be good enough for everyone.

  80. First, this “generation theory” comes from a badly used study in the area of History. The authors wanted to show that economic cycles (4 specific types) repeat them selves and youth´s expectations in these cycles are quite similar.

    This study used somewhat 200 years of American history to validate its theory. So, both the theory and its “sample” are limited to a US perspective. Also, it´s used wrongly as a determination of generations rather than a cause-effect relation of economic perspective and expectations.

  81. Anonymous

    I usually have zero expectations. So what does that mean for me?

    If reality is actually negative and sucky, then the only way to be happy is to have extremely negative expectations?

    • Carl

      This article is quite funny and does include many interesting observations. However, thinking that in one page you could summarize three generations is obviously more than a long-shot. For example, this article doesn’t deal at all with plain cynical ass-holes, among other things.

  82. Anonymous

    This is a very good description of “Relative Deprivation”, which was first recognized by sociologists in the 1940’s, but has probably been part of the human condition throughout the history of mankind.

  83. Anonymous

    it’s not just our expectations of ourselves, it’s also the expectations society seems to have of us Gen Ys. Because we all grew up pretty comfortably and probably went to college/uni whatever, all the older generations expect us to do better and have better success. Little do they take into account the high standard of living also expected of us. Like, we’re expected to own a house and have a family by our 30s. but housing prices are so out of reach these days (in my country at least) no one can afford one without getting a massive mortgage that we’ll be paying off for the next 20-30 years. having a family is hard because to achieve any sort of substantial career, a decent amount of hours have to be spent at work, and getting maternity leave is getting harder and harder. so the expectations is not just what WE want, but what everyone else expects us to want.

  84. When I was teaching an advertising class at a public university a decade ago, I had a student who was determined to become a graphic designer. Trouble was, he was LEGALLY BLIND. I kid you not. I could not convince him – nor could I convince his parents – that a graphic designer needed to be able to see rather well in order to work. His mother cried and wondered why I didn’t like her son (I did – which was why I was trying to make him see the problems of his career choice). His father said that they had always taught their son that he could do anything, and who was I to spoil his dream? Some people!

  85. I’m a GYPSY. However, here is the interesting part: I’m 28 years old and I’m rich (100% self made – no family wealth). When my friends were leaving for college, I decided they were fools for doing so, and I started my own business instead. After doing sales for a few years, I began investing heavily in real estate (buy-and-hold apartment buildings, not this “fix and flip” garbage that seems to be so popular). Before I knew it, I owned a million dollars in real estate. From there, it just kept growing. I have a $120,000 limousine while many of my peers can’t even afford a car.

    I’m smug. I post pictures of my $700 shoes on Instagram. Why, you ask? Because I knew I was better than my peers, and I was right.

    • Anonymous

      Good for you. But realize that nobody cares. The point of the freedom that previous generations fought for us is that we can do whatever we like as long as we strive for what we believe in. I think we all forget that sometimes.

    • Anonymous

      “Better” than them? And you’re a smug real estate investor who doesn’t produce anything tangible and wastes money on shoes and limousines that could actually be used to improve the world and transform the lives of peoples less fortunate than yourself?

      No wonder you didn’t go to college. You think that a pair of shoes can be worth $700. You think that being conned out of enough money to sustain you for ten years for a stupid car makes you better than your peers. You’re pathetic.

    • Anonymous

      How sad that this is what is important to you! Don’t you ever stop and think about what might be important about your sad little life on this earth?

    • Anonymous

      lol i don’t believe you. and if you’re telling the truth, honestly there’s luck involved too and statistically people with college degrees make many more times the money then someone without a college degree. even if you got to be wealthy, you still turned out to be a fucking piece of shit, stupid, arrogant, and you lack humility.

    • Anonymous

      Having more money does not equal being better. Arrogance will cost you more than you can make up for in money. Your attitude will change or you will die bitter and lonely (and don’t say you have a nice family, they will either leave you or walk the same bitter road).

  86. Anonymous

    This is pretty funny and makes some decent points, but it leaves out that whole part about how Boomers systematically dismantled the social safety nets they directly benefited from, deregulated and privatized almost everything, plundered the economy and drove it into the ground, demonized pensions in favor of 401(k)s, deflated wages while driving cost of living through the roof, overspent rather than saved, drove up college tuition costs while increasing demand for degrees by outsourcing manufacturing jobs, etc.

    Feeling special and entitled is the narrative Boomers would have us believe that we believe about ourselves (I’m right on the cusp of X and Y, so I guess I’ll include myself here) when it actually seems more true of them. Classic case of projection. And, sure, “building a career takes time,” patience is a virtue and all the rest, but the trend now is that, in this economy, it is increasingly impractical to stick with one career for the course of a lifetime.

  87. Anonymous

    Sounds like the author (male or female) was turned down by Lucy (male or female) and this is the longest sour grapes rant to date. Total fatuous nonsense. The gross generalization of previous generations and the pseudo-anthropology of these statistics are staggering. As if the “Greatest Generation” and Baby Boomers weren’t unhappy. Christ, doesn’t anyone read anything by the Lost Generation any more? This article is so cynical. Let Lucy dream a little. I think someone pissed in our author’s cornflakes . . . it was Lucy.

  88. Anonymous

    Excellent post. I have two quick comments for those complaining about the job market and student loan debt. Herein lies part of the problem, as previous generations would have been happy to be able to afford the bare basics, Millennials consider themselves poor, unfairly poor, if they do not have every luxury of an affluent 50 year old.

    Also, if you have a mountain of student loan debt, you probably aren’t the main target of this article. There are plenty of Millennials whose parents paid their way through college and they are still complaining.

    I’m a late Gen-Xer who was raised with the “don’t you dare think you are special” attitude, and I know many Millennials who fit this exact stereotype. It’s sad because there are loads of people only 5 years younger than myself whom I can’t stand because of this fundamental difference in attitude.

    • Anonymous

      “Millennials consider themselves poor, unfairly poor, if they do not have every luxury of an affluent 50 year old.”

      GROSS generalization.

  89. Anonymous

    I guess I am part of Gen X (very beginning). You guys can argue all you want about this stuff. I would be happy to dump my lazy wife for a hottie Gen Y gal. She can do what she wants for work as long as she lives within “our” means. I am happy to do the same.

  90. There is a good point in this article. I was told by my mother that I was special. My teachers told me I was special. Until one year in late university I ‘failed (got a B-) and thus couldn’t get into Masters even though I worked just as hard as I always had. Realized how high my expectations had been. Realized how many people were better at me in various areas and was extremely unhappy. I do wish I didn’t have this “you are the best person in the world” mantra put on me by family and teachers. Though I still did Post Grad and got a high enough mark to finally get into my masters in Science, my expectations are lower, (i.e any entry level science job versus nobel prize) and I am much happier

    • Anonymous

      Well a Nobel prize isn’t exactly a legitimate goal. Not because it’s too big, but because it is too vague. People don’t win the Nobel prize for simply being awesome, they win it for doing very specific awesome things.

      Good on you for adapting to your situation, but if no one aimed to be the very best (even if that is misguided), society would be full of unfulfilled potential.

  91. Anonymous

    I love how this whole post totally ignores all the economic factors that make the modern career system the way it is after the recession.

  92. Anonymous

    Fuck, Lesean, did you not notice that this generation who’s so unhappy is out to make less money than their parents doing the same jobs? That they’ve lost superpower status? That sex isn’t safe for them? That their college degrees don’t mean shit? That their country gave away thousands and thousands of their lives to meaningless wars longer than Vietnam?

  93. Anonymous

    Great and true article. Envy is certainly a bizarre thing, and I see career envy on a regular basis. When folks ask me how to get my job my reply is always, “Work 100 hours a week, don’t complain, don’t ask for raises, smile, and every time someone asks how you’re doing tell them that life is wonderful.” For some reason that advice is pretty similar to someone telling me, “if you’d like to lose that extra 20lbs, just run and eat a better diet.” Yep, that’s what I need to do… noted. I sometimes think that those of us who grew up with loving parents who had to worry about things like, “Do we have enough money to pay bills and eat this month?” are lucky. When you’re a kid, lower middle class and upper middle class is the difference between Payless shoes and Nike… basically no difference at all. Yep, I knew we didn’t have a ton of money, but that really helped me to be poor during the most important times to be poor in life, college and early career. I was practiced enough at being poor that when my boss finally said, “Look at that guy, we should pay him more so he doesn’t leave to work for a competitor” that I didn’t take the time to adjust to a new income. Bills were paid, and my $26k of student loans finally went away. Other posters have a point though, that $26k was instate, working full time, with scholarships and grants. Paying one’s way through college is not an option for everyone these days, and unless you’re heading into engineering, applied math or planning to pickup a graduate degree… basically folks should be counseling HS seniors to really consider all options. I say that as a hypocrite with a social science degree. Want success as a social science degree holder? Follow my above advice. Want success as an engineer? Study, maintain good grades, reap reward as you are both well paid and have free time. I feel quite fortunate to have had parents who both encouraged me to go to college, but also cautioned me by letting me know I would be paying for it and that college was expensive. People like to treat college like it’s the only thing in the world one shouldn’t have a budget for… yeah right. If your rich aunt Elma isn’t paying for school, then take a long hard look at what school is going to cost you.

  94. This is exceptional.

    If you are a Millennial and want to understand Gen X (a subset of the 13th generation) and why they are screwed up by their Silent generation parents and in conflict with the Baby Boomers, go find a book from the early ’90s called “13th Gen.” It’ll really open your mind regarding generational conflicts.

  95. Anonymous

    I think that it’s understandable to be unhappy when you have a Master’s degree and a good resume, yet applying incessantly to dozens of full-time jobs (including entry level, minimum wage) has yielded no results because of decisions made in the labor market by the people who came before you, and you end up barely able to pay your bills (atrocious student loans, food, gas, cheap cell phone, and rent to parents) on your part-time salary at a grocery store. I’d think moving out of your parents’ house by the time you’re 23 is an understandable expectation. I think it’s more than fair to be disappointed that I, nor most of my equally hard-working friends, can catch enough of a break even to do THAT.

    Some 20-somethings are unhappy because they’re entitled and spoiled and they think they could’ve been Mark Zuckerberg if life had dealt them a better hand. Some are depressed because all they want to do is be autonomous adults, and no matter how hard they truly DO work, it isn’t happening.

    One more thing. “Working through college” in 2013 isn’t the same as “working through college” in 1995. Working through college used to mean that you attended school part-time and worked full-time, and struggled to pay your tuition. Working through college now means that you attend school part-time and work full-time, and struggle to pay what’s left after all the loans and scholarships… and the loans, and the loans, and the loans. Show me the generation Xer who had to “work off” $100,000+ when they were in their 20s. And that’s being generous.

  96. Anonymous

    Anyone who doesn’t realize that this is how advertising works really needs to sit down and think hard about what they are doing with their lives. People who need more validation consume more.

    Its a model, an economic model.

  97. I’ll sum up the difference from generation Y vs. others. The internet.

    The internet has opened the WHOLE world to us, to find more opportunity much easier, and for us to create something out of small investments…starting with the internet, now mobile.

    I grew up in this transition period. As a kid, I had no internet. Eventually dial-up came around and I did very little browsing. Now with high-speed, accessible internet, I now can find jobs, network, and create projects online. I can basically start a career over the internet if I really push for it.

    Back then, the means to finding a job was much more difficult. A college education is necessary, it shows that you’re educated. Now, you can literally educate yourself through the internet and life experiences. Content is king, and it’s everywhere online.

    Internet. That’s all this is, this is why our confidence is at an all-time high. We have access to the entire world. We know what’s going on, all the time, we know how companies are doing, all the time.


  98. Anonymous

    Seems to me our problems run much deeper. There are so many factors that play into the healthy and happy development of an adult. Not just education and employment. More than ever in our life we face trials and tribulations and from what I’ve seen of the world in my little time people do not deal with their problems. A good example is this conversation, out of all the paragraphs written virtually none offer any solutions. Just a bunch of finger pointing and assumptions. These sort of problem solving skills demonstrated by politicians, parents and role models are passed down.The problem grows and grows until one day the bubble bursts. I believe one solution to our problems is raising our kids and training ourselves to find constructive and proactive approaches to facing our problems.

    As for the article I do not accept it nor dismiss it until I’ve done some research. But feel a lot like when you read a horoscope. Picking traits, feeling and characteristics that almost every human being shares.

  99. Anonymous

    All I can say is Holy Cow! Not related to any one comment above, but… Sensitive much?
    The point of the blog was totally missed by so many focusing on what Gen they think they belong to and why or why not life is hard or not hard for them. If you were offended by it, you should probably read it again after you take a break. If you really think about it, everyone can see themselves in this article. My point is: What can you learn from this about yourself? What value can you glean from it? See yourself in a new light if only for a moment.

    • Anonymous

      I am offended because this article comes from a typically uninformed “adult” who believes that to be happy, all young people need to do is to do their jobs, lower their expectations and keep their heads down. Be ambitious but don’t set your goals too high – how are we supposed to know whether we can fly if all you ever let us do is jump? That’s not what anyone ever did, and we shouldn’t have to do the same, just because that’s what the previous generation thinks they did.

    • Anonymous

      No, the article says the opposite. It says “Stay wildly ambitious”—i.e. don’t settle for jumping, try to fly. But it also says, “Don’t expect to be able to fly right away because it’s not realistic and not how flying works.”

  100. E Fish

    Is there really any value in designating particular generations? By reading this blog post, I’ve been informed for the first time that I’m part of this Generation Y. What does that even mean? Currenly, I’m underemployed (and I admit that I chose the wrong field for grad school, but it was a good field before 2008), living with my parents because I don’t make enough money to both pay rent and eat food. It’s disappointing, but all I was ever told by my parents growing up was that I needed to find a job that would allow me to support myself. I wasn’t told I was special or deserving. Does that make me Gen Y? I certainly don’t feel that I fit with the supposed characteristics of any “generation”. Sure, there probably are people who fit the characteristics, but there are also people whose only relation to a generation is the year they were born.

    So…really, what’s the point of Gen X, Gen Y, Gen…whatever is next. I don’t even know. Does a blanket description of an entire group of people born in the same span of time really do any good?

  101. Anonymous

    Next up: How to have 2.2 kids, buy a gym membership and stay at a plump BMI of 29 (healthy of course, i could slim down but i don’t want to and a lot of it is just maternal weight), and do nothing interesting with the only life that you have but be perfectly content being boring instead of stepping out of the safe, warm box.

    please stop using google because the people you hate invented it.

    • Anonymous


      The author is simply saying they’re unhappy and inflated expectations and impatience might be the reason why.

    • Anonymous

      Neither did the person you replied to. The poster is trying to flesh out the attitude that this article takes – there is a right way to live and a wrong one, which is the very attitude we attempted to dispel when previous generations fought their wars and drove out laws derived from unfair discrimination.

  102. Anonymous

    Very well done, however one Minor Detail forgotten – the growing impact of climate change, which we are doing very little to address – it may or may not be in time, but what we all need to get ‘wildly excited’ about is moving asap from fossil fuels to clean energy, and saving our water, air, environment and animals – and if it’s not in time (SEE increasing toll of drought, wildfires, flooding, famine, bee colony collapse, ubiquitous toxins, extinct species, etc.), the universal career will be Survival –
    Good idea right now to focus on learning how to grow and cook and preserve food; build,sew and mend things; and live well in community.

  103. Anonymous

    I wonder if this doesn’t tell the whole story, though. For example, perhaps a “Secure Career” has gone out of style precisely because “Secure Careers”, as we once knew them, are no longer available. That doesn’t mean Gen Y doesn’t work hard, only that they do so with different expectations than their parents did. As for fulfillment, well–early-career options for Gen Y and Millenials are very different than those available to people just 5 or 10 years older. No one anticipated beginning a career in a climate this economically stagnant, and plenty of Boomers felt plenty unfulfilled as they, too, faced unemployment, foreclosures, and salary cuts. It’s been tough on all of us. To demonize Gen Y because they are struggling through unpaid or underpaid internships, much lower relative salaries than their parents had, temp jobs, and skyrocketing rents is to forget this truth–the Boomers had their struggles, too. To forget about Vietnam and the social unrest that went with it, the growing pains of the civil rights era, and the “Me” generation is to paint the same sorts of rainbows and unicorns outlined in this piece. Every generation has its struggles, and has easier and harder times, and every generation pans the one that comes after it–this is just the newest version of a long-standing pattern. In my experience, Gen Y is ambitious and motivated, hardworking, socially and ecologically aware, and doing the best they can despite some very hard times. The happiness will come, just like it came for those before them. Love, Gen X.

  104. Anonymous

    Poignant post. This reminds me of a poem (untitled) I wrote a couple years ago. I’d like to share it – perhaps some readers who identify with this post will also identify with the poem.

    I was raised as a glorious story
    the only future I know is the kind
    down in history
    they taught me to need
    an easy yet profound
    shining speed
    like the next pearl on humanity
    so I leaned on their words
    that classified me
    as the best
    this dressed me empty
    and I was left
    “we deserve” – that’s all I ever heard
    “we can do anything”
    “you are everything”
    “nothing halts your iron-clad sad destiny”
    never me

    and now I see
    that the stories
    weren’t for me
    a parent’s glory
    vicarious extraordinary
    “don’t you dare fail me”

    seems to me
    my dream
    is eye-to-eye

  105. Anonymous

    I’m also part of Generation Y, and while I recognize that these are difficult economic times, there are solutions for some of the complaints about not being able to find a job immediately after graduating. I’m a full-time student in my fourth year in a psychology PhD program and have been working about 30 hours per week while also completing my coursework and doing research throughout the time I’ve been in school. I have three part-time jobs in addition to an (unpaid) degree-related practicum, and am still maintaining a 3.9 GPA. While I agree that it’s difficult to have to work so much without much merit or pay, the combined experience that I’ve gotten from all my part-time jobs and practicums completed while in school, will total to about 10 years of clinical, degree-related experience by the time I’ve graduated from my program. Someone who graduates from a similar PhD program with little to no experience, I suspect, would be immediately passed up for someone like me who has chosen to work while in school. I can’t afford to wait for someone to hand me a job because I’m “special” or even because I have earned my PhD. As much of an accomplishment as that will be, I do not think that alone necessarily entitles me to any job. For those who complain about not even being able to get the part-time job, I encountered this while in my bachelor’s program and chose to volunteer with developmentally challenged adults, teaching art classes, for 10 hours per week while also working at the school catering company and working at the school library (getting paid $5.50/hour when I first started). When I couldn’t find a job teaching at a community college after earning a master’s degree (at University of Chicago, yes, a prestigious school, but not enough to guarantee job placement), I started teaching part-time SAT prep classes before moving up to a job teaching online and then moving up to teaching live classes at the university level, each of these while also working full-time as a social worker. I can’t say this system applies to recent graduates in all fields (my friends with art-related degrees really struggle), but instead of lamenting about how other generations had it so much easier, just learn to get by within our current structure. As you waste time complaining, people like me are whizzing by trying to gain experience wherever we can, with much higher chances of getting hired directly out of school. I am grateful to be able to “follow my passion” but at the same time have managed to be practical about it.

    • Anonymous

      I do not see how having a car is relevant to this, but yes, a car that I bought five years ago, and paid the down payment on, using money that took me two years to save while working two jobs (50-60 hrs/week). And actually payments that I continue to make using money from the 3 part-time jobs I work while studying full-time in a PhD program. I was raised in a household well below the poverty line by immigrant parents who do not speak English. I went to a public school in a large city, where fewer than 50% of the students went to community college, let alone university. College was paid for using merit-based scholarships or student loans that so far have added up to $200,000, and are now insurmountable. I have as many reasons to complain as others do, but I’ve chosen to make the best of my situation and do what I can to make things work.

      Needless to say, I have no pedigree whatsoever, and based on my history, was much more likely to end up as a low-wage worker than where I currently am. I would say the only open door I’ve had is being born in this country.

  106. Anonymous

    I think the generations need to be straightened out for this conversation to be understood. The “Greatest” generation were those adults who fought in WWII. The generation that were children during WWII are called the “Silent” generation. Greatest gen came back from he war and had the Boomers. Silent gen grew up and had Generation Jones, what some here call tail end Boomers or early Gen X. Gen Jones were too young to fight in Vietnam so their growing up was vastly different from the Boomers. Boomers had Gen X and Gen Jones had Gen Y and some Millennials. Gen X had some Gen Y and some Millennials depending on how early they had kids.

    Silents raised their Gen Jones kids with huge expectations because Silents had that “good jobs, good medical benefits, good retirements from companies” lives where you could raise a family on ONE income. Their kids, Gen Jones came of age during the tail end of the gas shortage 70’s and the de-regulation, pink-slipping, downsizing of Reagan’s 80’s. Gen Jones thought that if they worked hard they would succeed but instead they found themselves competing with 500 other people for service jobs while all the steady, white collar and blue collar jobs went outside the country (de-regulation allowed that) or to immigrants (like from Arabia or India) because Gen Jones’ parents didn’t prepare them for the new “a bachelor’s degree is the same as a high school diploma” ideology. Boomers raised Gen X with that “you are special” crap because Boomers thought of themselves as special. The truth is, if you subtract Gen Jones from Boomers, Gen Jones is 27% of the population and Boomers are 23% Gen Jones was quieter because as they came of age, they were the assassination generation; they grew up as kids living in the time of the Kennedy brothers assassinations, MLK assassination and Malcolm X assassination. Gen Jones learned that being in front and out loud in any protest or group for change gets you killed. They grew up under Watergate and came of age during the Iran hostage and Iran Contra issues.

    Gen Jones is protective of Gen Y and teaches them not to be loyal to companies or bosses because Gen Jones lived through the 80’s when companies were not loyal anymore to their employees at all. So yes, schools taught Gen X and Y kids that they are all “special” but Gen Jones taught their Gen Y and Millennial kids that money isn’t as important as being happy with your family and your life so they don’t go to jobs thinking they are special; they go to jobs thinking “how happy am I? Better to live with less but be happy than to sell out and be miserable when the downsizing comes.”

    My Gen Y and Millennial kids have no illusions about being special or getting the flowery unicorn grass. They and their peers KNOW their lives are F***ed and that they will not get social security or any social safety net. They know there’s no employer loyalty, that government in America is bought and paid for by the 1%, and that they will have it even worse than their unrealized expectations Gen Jones parents did. Trust me, Gen X and Y and Millennials are not all the pampered, lazy, entitled people the self-centered Boomers and Silents think they are. They are realists and they know they have been sh*t on by the Silents and Boomers who got theirs but who were not willing to make sure their kids and grand kids had a chance. Silents led the way with the Me, me, me BS and it has gone down hill form there.

    Let’s also remember that the Silents were the ones making school policies when Gen X and Y were in school; they set that self-esteem crap and Boomer parents ate it up. After all, Boomers see themselves as important so their kids are by extension.

    I hope this helps put some perspective on it all.

  107. Anonymous

    Hello, internet. My name is “Tara” (not really but let’s just pretend). After reading this article and all these comments I felt compelled to respond. I am 23 years old, I graduated with a MA in public relations and an BA in journalism (I know, nothing “worthwhile” or in demand, but I did it because it is what I like to do ((and really, I always just wanted to be a famous actress))).

    I was raised as an only child in an upper-middle class family. I realize I am privileged in that aspect, but my father earned his wealth by starting his own business later in life without any family funds (his dad was a coal miner). Because of this, I was instilled with a work ethic and started working at a fast food restaurant at 14 and haven’t stopped working since. Yes, my parents paid for my college and car when I was still under their wing, but I am not so lucky anymore and I felt very touched by this article.

    I am extremely unhappy, and I can totally relate to this article. I don’t think I feel entitled at all, but – thanks to Facebook – I feel like a failure. I have a job making 39k with benefits but I can’t help looking and thinking that everyone is happier than I am. My best friend who is an analyst is making 60 plus working in a big city that paid for her relocation but then here’s me working in a marketing department in a small town that I hate. I have sent out 100 plus applications in NYC but I have only gotten one call back. They didn’t want to hear it because I wasn’t local.

    Why can’t I be unhappy? The life that was sold to me isn’t possible until “I am older”. So what I have to stick around in a town I hate, single and alone until I have enough experience to get hired in the city I want to live in? B.S.

    I realize that I have more than other people but I am unhappy. Basically, after that long rant, I wish I had more interest in something more “useful” to society.

  108. Anonymous

    Why are we allowing for the premise “Gen Y is unhappy” at all? How is this a good argument when the author spends the whole article dumping on an entire generation, providing no data to support this, and overgeneralizes across cultures and individuals, and even generations. This article just does the same old blame game that’s always been going on – “it’s the liberal society’s fault for coddling these young people” “it’s all this social media and peer pressure that makes these kids behave badly” “kids today don’t believe in hard work and results”. Yawn.

    Notice that the Y axes in this argument are not real numbers. It could go the opposite direction for all we know. If it were that easy to quantify happiness or frustration, we wouldn’t need an entire field of positive psychology to deal with it. And you are so carefully vague about what “success” is, that it becomes meaningless.

    I always get extremely annoyed when people who have little training in psychology try to understand what people are thinking and feeling because they use non-scientific methods and tend to overgeneralize. And then make up words to further confuse people. Management is NOT psychology. They are very liberal in borrowing psychology terms which is nice, but forget to do their research which is not so great, and end up with something that sounds vaguely psychological but is lacking substance. For example, “sense of entitlement” is ridiculously anthropomorphic and any good psychologist would stay well clear of that word unless they clarify it very very carefully, that is without resorting to anthropomorphic explanations. Furthermore, this study was done on a management and business basis. People tend to derive happiness or frustration from things other than work. This is where your article falls short as a whole, and if you meant to imply that a successful career is tantamount to happiness, then this article reeks of the preachy, old-fashioned talk that we have had to endure throughout our entire lives.

    You know what though, maybe it’s just part of growing up. This has been written about over the centuries. Wild expectations, suffering setbacks, settling into a comfortable rhythm and figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life. It might just take a little longer in this generation because many people tend to go to university and also spend longer exploring before settling down or starting a family. It’s not a novel concept, and you are doing everyone a disservice when you suggest otherwise.

    • So I was born in 1978, and always thought I was in Gen X and my younger brother 1983 was in Gen Y?

      I really don’t care either way. I decided long ago not to listen to my parents and their ideas of how ppl should live and join the far race. I have long stepped out of the rat race and enjoy a simple life without the needs of Maya, or the illusions that surround us, such as s the concept of money.
      I don’t need to explain myself or say any more. I think this article was written to generalize a group of people as being disillusioned bc of social media being beamed into our faces dull of falsehoods and fake information thrown in with some truth, and in turn, social media has made the generation now being born into it very as elf xoncious and even vain due to how many photos are now so digitally easy to be taken by any electronic handheld device and cell phone and beamed directly to the Internet without having to be a computer science major or web programmer. Photos of people all over that are simple normal ppl as are creating photoshopped images and streaming video of their lives and it is hard to compare oneself to what the average person really is doing at this point in life.

      I don’t think any of this has anything to do with our parents or the Boomers. It has to do with the excelerated rate at which technology is being created, packaged, and served up to anyone of consumer age or gifted by all the new fads of electronics and media that is aimed to put each person the center of designing their own reality right now in front of themselves.

      How could the Boomers have seen it coming? The Internet didn’t exist in their days, nor Skype, video conferencing thru cell phones and tablet PCs… Now they have Internet connected video watches to wear on one’s wrist. It is hard to stay at the forefront of it all.

      Many Boomers did spoil their children with video games and cell phones but they never could see just how advanced and time consuming these advancements would become to each participant, particularly when the Net was invented and created to become a reality in addition to concrete reality. This forces Gen X/Y/Z to deal not with one life, but at least two and sometimes the ambitious lead three or more layers of lives thru exhausting their time on all the apps and plugins and design features and operating systems, all featuring direct connections to social media and blogging and generating new uploads of what we experience.

      The time on earth now is unlike any experienced by any other generation so cross comparison of the two or more are really moot points.

  109. Patrick Bateman

    Sorry, but there is no way Gen Y reaches back to the 1970s – otherwise according to you someone who is 43 today could be a member of Gen Y. A more conventional definition of Gen Y is people born in the early 1980s onwards.

  110. Anonymous

    My first job paid me $2000/year (not per month). While working at this job 40 hours per week, I went to college. I started off in a community college. When I got to university, it took every penny I made to pay my tuition and living expenses. I worked part time at a restaurant and the days I worked were the days I ate. I graduated from college and got a job that paid me $10,000 per year. I worked for a few years and then went back and got my master’s degree. I got a better job. I never worked only 40 hours/week. If you wanted to get ahead, you worked longer hours. I worked 50 to 60 hours per week. I was promoted and started making more money. By the time I was in my late forties, I was making six figures and working 60 to 70 hours per week. I got promoted to general manager and I was making lots more money and working 70 to 80 hours per week.

    I marvel at how entitlement and privilege are sweeping the country. GYPSYs spend more time complaining about how much other people are making and how little opportunity they have than they do working on getting better. They want healthcare paid by somebody else. They want to be paid more money than they are worth. They want their free time. You have to add value to an organization in order to be valued by that organization.

    There were lots of individuals who were more successful than I and many who were not as successful. The point is my generation did not spend their time worrying about how well somebody else was doing and worrying about how others had more opportunity or were richer or were better looking or any other excuse. We just worked at making our lives better. I will let you in on a little secret: “LIFE IS NOT FAIR.” School was less expensive when I went; however, minimum wage was $1.25 per hour and I was paid $1.00 per hour at the restaurant where I worked.

    Many GYPSYs are still idealistic and think a utopian world where everybody lives in peace and we all share everything can be achieved. I hate to burst your bubble, but that is exactly the same thought shared by baby boomers when they were young. If one actually takes the time to study Karl Marx and socialism, they will find it is untenable. There has always been and will always be a ruling class and everybody else. The advantage capitalism has is that one can actually move in the social class. History is full of examples: Carnegie, Rockefeller, Jobs, Gates, Bethos, Zuckerman. Each of these individuals became wildly successful at a time when no one thought it was possible. However, they had a great idea and implemented their idea. Success is always out there. To achieve success takes hard work. Nobody will hand you success.

    One last point about two spaces after a period. If you follow composition writing and the guidance standard (American Psychological Association) for scholarly writing, one would know that two spaces after a period in a sentence is standard. One space after a period is used in references.

  111. Anonymous

    The real problem isn’t a Gen Y vs Gen X etc which is a false debate. Rather, we have lost an important set of skills to live of the land. Instead, we get caught up in working for a wage through some arbitrary job that most of us don’t even enjoy performing in the first place. What I am calling for is an archaic revival of traditions and value systems that mimic those of small scale societies. The turning away from the alienation that one experiences in the city where everyone secretly despises the success of even their closest friends. What is required instead is the learning of practical skills that hunter-gatherer societies always were in possession of. Yes this may be a regression, but one is much needed.

  112. Alex

    I read hundreds of comments and all kinds of BS equations.

    Here’s a real equation for you.

    Success = your ability to provide value to OTHER people looking for solutions.

    The greater the value you can provide, to the more people, the more money you can make. None of your customers / clients / bosses gives a crap about what you want. They care about what you can do for them. So shift your focus. Start focusing on providing value, especially in a form that can be tapped by a large number of people, and you can make a lot of money, you can get promotions, etc. Anything you want. All this other stuff is just weird emotional nonsense. Leverage is the magic word in careers and you get some by your ability to provide massive value.
    There are tons of problems in the world that need solving, and you can make a ton of money solving them. Opportunity falling off trees for those with the right mindset. I kid you not.

  113. Anonymous

    I am not completely sure what to think about this article… I guess it raises some good points about feeling unhappy, which are very likely true.

    BUT I know that most of the people I know from my Generation Y, are far more reflecting , ambitious and visionary than my or their parents!

    While my parents Generation was working hard to get all the things that promised security for their individual lives, me, my friends and former classmates dream AND work hard to get in a position where they can make a difference for the society, country or even the whole world. We skip all this security things -houses,cars,having kids- to have more time and financial flexibility to do the things we think are necessary to boost our knowledge and skills. Among others this means also read and study in our free-time in the field we want to succeed, we travel to expand our knowledge and perspectives on cultures and political systems, we work on Sundays and late night to get a bit closer to what we think we want to become…and yes I think this is a very special thing compared to the generations before, because the incentives and goals are completely different!

    By the way from my own relatives I can tell, that all this security stuff did them not make happy either. Even though they have houses, cars, etc. they complain, divorce, get seriously ill and after realizing what really matters to them, nothing is left of their material prosperity.

    So I suggest we generation Y people just keep on going and try to compare a little less to everybody. Real happiness is and was never guaranteed and also baby boomers barely achieved it. I know too many sad family stories!

    BTW: I am PhD student from Europe, I was blessed with free University education, but to finance my life, I worked throughout my studies, I financed myself and my former partner a car, a rented house filled with expensive TV etc. out of this little income, but I was not happy! I felt I need to do something bigger and more important for the world. I broke up, moved to another country with 2 suitcases and restarted. And even though I am far from what I want achieve, and even though I can not afford to live in an apartment on my own and take the bike to save money from the non-used bus tickets, I am much happier than before!

  114. You never got into what makes people actually happy.You’re using a stereotypical point of view of society.How do you know what makes billions of people happy from a north american point of view.I wrote this article about pursuing what makes you happy.We’ve all seen Alan watts “what if money were no object”.All those baby boomers would have done the same thing as us if they had the freedom.So many people are jealous of the lifestyle I live, simple free and fun.Who wants to go from crib to cubicle?Not too many but it’s such a frequent occurence.


  115. Anonymous

    Nice try, Boomers, but “Americans don’t see them as an oppressed proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires” has been a thing in America for quite some time, and the way Boomers accept state intervention to help themselves get wealth but oppose taxation because HURF A DURF THAT’S THEFT is special snowflake syndrome of the worst kind.

  116. Jolla

    Have to agree with critics here. There i way more to this than feelings and expectations only. Lot of people have harder times getting their ends to meet. More stress and less love. As the capitalism does not care about people other than means to produce money for the upper class.

    Now if you pair the economic material analysis with with the points in the GYPSY analysis I think we might have a picture. So the GYPSY generation, full of expectations, dreams, hopes, self-esteem, thinking they matter, thinking they can change things, full of abilities, full of education. Now they meet western capitalism in decline (AKA “democracy”). Their dreams does not matter and their opinions does not matter and they have no power. So the worthless GYPSY becomes sad and dies.

  117. Angry Brit

    What a load of utter rubbish. I know this article is written for an about Americans – but this simply does not apply to vast majority of the rest of the world. I’m from Britain and this doesn’t work for me at all. My grandfather chose the rather radical path of art school – went into a good graduate job, prospered early, retired early and has been focused on getting his golf handicap down ever since. My grandmother (on the other side of the family) got a cushy admin position in her local pit, retired early and has been shopping and going on exotic cruises ever since. My parents were devout hippies – eschewing ‘stable’ and ‘prosperous’ careers, for ones that made a difference and were ‘fulfilling’. I am currently better off than my parents were at my age, but worse off than my grandparents.

    This article uses no actual evidence based on socio-economic research. Don’t even get me started on how it is PREPOSTEROUS to use this explanation when examining the career paths of women – the right to equal pay is only just being properly enforced in most western countries. How galling to assume the fictional ‘Lucy’ has no right to assume she should have a better career than her ‘baby boomer’ parents when her mother could legally have been forced from her job when she got pregnant with Lucy.

    I refuse to acknowledge that discontent in my generation is due to us wanting rainbow vomiting unicorn careers. I rather think it has something to do (in Britain) with rocketing costs of living, the biggest relative drop in average wages in 20 years, unemployment in under 25s rising every quarter despite falling for every other age group and the fact we are paying for baby boomers who ran our economy into the ground – and will continue to pay for it for the rest of our lives. How the last generation can go to Uni for free, earn enormous wages, benefit from cheap housing and abundant job opportunities and early retirement and tell us it’s OUR fault we are unhappy for wanting anything CLOSE to what they had, is morally reprehensible.

    They sold our futures to pay for a golden retirement – don’t try and sell me this crap as well.

  118. I’m a high school teacher and a boomer. I just got home from a school fundraiser (on a Sunday) in which everyone was nice, generous, and the kids worked hard. I sit down at the computer to read all these whining and BS comments. I grew up in a poor family and commuted to a state school to get through college. Despite graduating magna cum laude, I spent 15 years teaching lower level courses before I got to teach things like calculus. I still work 10-12 hours a day. Through all of this I was/am reasonably happy and appreciate what I have. This article is spot on, but leaves out one thing. These “special” young people were given this impression by their parents, which was the generation AFTER boombers. These parents were trying to make their kids happy and instead ended up making them just the opposite. Current parents are doing the same thing. I feel bad for these “unicorn” kids. Until they get over these unrealistic expectations they are going to continue to be miserable. Props to those parents who raise their kids with realistic expections.

  119. I disagree. I believe that every one of us should not only reach for a future with unicorns, but to achieve that. We need a million new innovative minds working in start-ups and out of their garages. We need an explosion of talent to push us into a new future where we can better equip the next generation to continue rising past us. Our education, healthcare, and transportation systems are all relics of a by-gone era established throughout the past few centuries. But now we have what could possibly be a revolution that could rival the industrial and agriculture combined. Technology is progressing ever faster, and it has opened so many doors that we must explore. We must reinvent ourselves to succeed in this new world, radicalizing the ways we do many things.

    I believe this is possible. I also believe we must. Mankind is doomed right now. We are already just one bad day for extinction from any number of comsic events, and that’s not to mention our own man-made graves. If we don’t start reaching for the unicorns, and grabbing those bastards, soon, their won’t be the green grass future to fall back on for anyone.

  120. Anonymous

    Yeah, I worked hard. I studied engineering while working in a poorly paid job at a grocery store. My studies went great and I graduated.

    My expectations were to get an internship at some company and start to work my way up to be able to buy a house some day. I just wanted the normal thing: house, family, safe income etc.

    I have failed at even getting an unpaid internship. I guess my expectations were way too high and I should just go back at working at a grocery store. I studied for nothing, only got a loan to pay.

    I guess I was stupid to think I was so damn special that education would give me a better job. How foolish of me. :(

    • Anonymous

      I also worked in a factory as a freelancer in production. It was better paid than the grocery store job and I would have been happy to just stay there when I didn’t get the internship in my own field. But they couldn’t extend freelancer contracts after some layoffs so there goes the safe and steady career.

      I will add that I’m not from the US.

  121. Anonymous

    A Gen-X’s Anecdotal Look at the Implications of the Causes of Gen-Y’s Unhappiness on Our Children and Our Future

    I am not a member of Generation Y, which is the subject of this article, and as a result I cannot speak about the accuracy of this articles assertions regarding the unhappiness felt by members of Gen-Y. I was born in the early 70’s which makes me a member of Generation-X but I too found this article fascinating. I am on the younger side of Gen-X so I could easily related to many of the ideas and conditions that are mentioned as contributing to the current malaise felt by many in Gen-Y which stems from according to the article their inability to meet their own expectations for their life. But, I guess I approach the world with a different attitude then Gen-Y simply because I am just those few years older and as a result a Gen-X. So, it is from position that I have been afforded solely because I have survived for a few extra years than a member of Gen-Y, that I now contemplate the impact on our youngest generation of the trends and ideas that serve as the focus of the article, “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy” which can be found on the blog Wait But Why, http://bit.ly/15Q8X5l .

    I was raised by parents that understood the value and importance of hard work which they learned from their parents that came into adulthood during the Roaring 20‘s and then started families during the Great Depression. However, my parents were still young enough to embrace the feelings and ideas that helped to transform the country during the 60‘s. Some of these are that everyone was special by which they meant a unique individual rather than a faceless and nameless stereotype. Also, the idea that everyone could accomplish anything if only you worked for it. This is best exemplified by the Race to the Moon. It is this dichotomy that probably helps explain what I interpret to be polar opposite parenting styles that are currently being used by the Gen-X and Gen-Y parents to the approximately 150 6th and 7th grade students that I teach each year.

  122. Anonymous

    Continued . . .

    One group of children come from adults who believe they should befriend (to become the friends of) their children. Webster defines a friend as a person who you like and enjoy being with or as a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity). Whereas, the other group of children are being raised by adults that are choosing to parent their children. Again, if you refer to Webster, you will first find that parent means simply one that begets or brings forth offspring and for an unfortunate many this is where their responsibility ends to the absolute detriment of the child. That is not the definition for parent that I believe qualifies as choosing to parent. Instead, it is Webster’s second definition for parent which is a person who brings up and cares for another person that is yielding children that feel success and recognition are not among the basic entitlements of life. Rather, success and recognition are for them things that stem from hard work and that these things are not guaranteed simply because an individual drew in their very first breath. These children also tend to be much more understanding the bell curve of life that not everyone is gifted in the exactly the same manner, one maybe the next Jordan or LeBron, another the next Einstein, another the next Renoir or Monet and that another maybe the next fry cook at McDonalds and this does not make any individual better just different. It is this understanding that translates into children who are more empathetic and sympathetic towards their peers who succeed or struggle and these children are also more prone to appreciative of their own hard earned successes.

    Unfortunately, I have observed that the opposite is true for those children that are “friends” with their parents. These children tend to believe that they are automatically entitled to rewards and adulation simply for breathing. These children are also much less willing to look for anything other than for what they deem to be the best for themselves. This translates into a prima donna in the classroom that should they choose to do anything more than breath while in class that I must celebrate their “extra effort” and give them the A to which they believe they are entitled. Unfortunately, these children fail to realize that what the deem to be “extra” is simply what I and in fact most teachers consider to be the basic requirements of a class. My hope is that these requirements will lead them to the understanding that no matter what you may believe you are entitled to there are certain basic requirements for life in our society. If they bother to bring in an assignment they believe they are entitled to an A no matter how far past the deadline that this happens to be. They feel the mere act of submitting the assignment has earned them this A and this regardless of the quality of their work which is more often than not shoddy, full of errors and omissions of required elements. Yet, each year these children will move on to the next grade regardless of if they have successfully mastered the basic requirements for their current grade.

  123. Anonymous

    Continued . . .

    Regardless, of your feelings about the current state or the intended endgame of our K-12 education system, which are both huge and hotly debated issues, I ask you to consider the following:

    How does it continue to make sense to socially promote students that have not mastered basic skills in their math, language arts, science, and social studies classes?

    Does it continue to make sense to push these students onwards with a singular goal of a college education for all?

    How can we continue to ignore the fact that colleges are being forced to water down curriculum and offer an ever increasing number of remedial classes caused by a desperate need to address the gaps and holes in the knowledge of the incoming freshman students that stem from our current policy of social promotion?

    This policy is impart based on the idea that everyone is entitled to everything regardless of merit or ability, which has come to include a college degree for all, is really what the world we want?

    Would you trust your life to a lawyer that only got a 50% on the bar exam, or a doctor who managed to muster all of a 50% on their boards, because right now that is all it takes to pass many of the high stakes tests that are used each year to assess our children’s learning?

    How did we get to a point where “entitled to” has replaced or has become synonymous with “equal opportunity to”?

    I guess that I should not be surprised then that I am seeing a growing number of people for whom there is only a sense of entitlement to and for everything and that these people then take offense to the idea that there should be logical and proportionate repercussions for not only a person’s actions but also for their inactions?

  124. Anonymous

    Conclusion . . .

    I know that in my own childhood I was thrilled to receive a small token of recognition for the time and hard work I given and the improvement I had made at the end of a long athletic season. I was truly appreciative of any time my effort was recognized given that the reality was I may not have achieved individual glory that season and that the team may have ended the season with a losing record. But, I never assumed that I was entitled to this recognition or that I was guaranteed anything other than a chance to compete IF and ONLY IF I was the best person for that spot on the team or in the lineup. I also understood from a very early age that there was only going to be this opportunity if I was able to pair my natural abilities with hard work during training. It is for this reason that I still cherish the memories of those moments when a trophy, certificate or some other memento came my way because I knew I had earned it through my own effort. This is then what saddens me about the behavior of many of my students who have grown up believing themselves entitled to everything they desire and that have become so used to getting certificates, medals, and ribbons for nearly every aspect of their life that when they receive the next round of accolades they simply discard them as worthless pieces of trash as they exit the building at the end of the day. Of course, if you earn something for every A, B, C or passing grade on a benchmark assessment and if those rewards are indistinguishable from one another for fear of offending someone, then how much value should I expect my students to draw from their instantly discarded rewards. Of course, this also sadly assumes that they even manage to locate and correctly use a trashcan because they believe that they are entitled to not clean up after themselves.

    Again, I appreciate that this article helps to explain to me “the how” and “the when” of this shift from when children had feelings of gratitude and appreciation to children that are now being raised with an overwhelming sense of entitlement. I am alarmed that a sizable and expanding segment of our population believe in this sense of entitlement. This sense of entitlement is often being instilled by individuals who have great intentions and want simply to help a child avoid some of the bumps and bruises of life but this does little to assuage my fear that we may be dooming many kids in the current generation to a life of even more disappointment than that felt by Gen-Y. They currently and I fear will continue to struggle to keep up with the ever increasing demands of their lives. Those mundane demands that each adult assumes simply by being an adult and that will seldom be celebrated let alone even recognized by anyone but by that person in the mirror each morning. I fear this will then force a shrinking segment of our society to struggle to pay for continuing our collective and self imposed burden of satisfying everyone’s sense of entitlement for everything and anything. Might it not be better to instead force us all to step up and be held to be accountable for our actions and inactions with rewards only coming from hard work rather than simply continuing to dole them out to the masses who having been deluded by their own sense of entitlement so that they now scream for someone else to provide everything and anything their heart desires.

  125. Anonymous

    Um…actually I’m one of the last ‘Baby Boomers’. I was born in 1963 and my parents were born in the 1930s. They were born after the Great Depression; too young to have fought in WWII, and too old to have experienced the 1960s from anything but an adult perspective. They worked hard, had pensions, and retired comfortably. The New Deal and Great Society were very much part of what helped to make their lives good. By the time I finished high school in 1981, the politics of the US had shifted to conservatism, and has continued in that direction for the past 30 years. Obama would not have been considered a Democrat when I was a kid, he would have been considered a conservative Republican; the idea that somehow Obama is a liberal shows how politically deluded this country has become. Americans have decided that it is not the governments role to create jobs, and have left the fate of their lives to corporations. Unfortunately, corporations no longer have to hire Americans to make money. Although I managed to get a PhD, I have not done nearly as well as my parents, who had Masters degrees. The notion that only people in their 20s and 30s are worse off than their parents is nonsense. This trend began in the late 70s with the supplanting of common sense economic policies with Reaganomics, and a shift in wealth and resources away from the middle class to the uber-rich. The major problem is the absolute refusal to allow the government to influence the economy via promotion of industry, R and D, and infrastructure development; something like ‘the stimulus’ of Obama’s first administration was literally a thousand, or even a million fold too little to do the job. If Obama had behaved like a traditional Democrat he would have nationalized the banks and taxed the rich to 70%. The money would have been used to promote industry vital for growth of the country in the 21st Century. This model has been continually rejected in favor of Reaganomics over the past 30 years, and the result is that a modern American elite makes money selling Chinese goods, while paying no taxes, controlling every aspect of politics, and creating zero jobs. Close to 50% of Americans thought that Mitt Romney, the poster child for what America has become, should have been elected President in 2012.

  126. Anonymous

    this has got to be one of the most inappropriate uses of the word “Gypsy” I have ever seen. it’s not enough that we endure racism, appropriation, oppression, abuse, and general misunderstanding on a daily basis, but then you come out with this…(expletive deleted) nonsense and set our scholars and activists work back 20 years. next time, check to make sure your acronym doesn’t insult an entire ethnic group by inappropriate misuse.

  127. Claire Bauer

    I’m part of Gen Y. I am successful small business owner. Many Baby Boomers have come up to my husband and I and told us how much they support our business – they say that they’re happy we are doing what they never could.

    Sure, there are some struggles that this generation has, as did all of you when you were this age. Who am I? What am I contributing to the world? What do I want to do with my life? It’s not a bad thing that these questions are being asked, and I don’t see what the big problem is if Gen Y takes time to figure it out. I took my time and I lived 100% on my own. These days you can make more money in a restaurant than you can sitting on your butt in front of a computer. So why the judgement?

    Also, do you know what comes of all of this? A different world. Maybe those of you who had to suck it up and start working for the man can’t see it – but Gen Y sure can. We want small, local economies, interesting neighborhoods, independent businesses. And we’re succeeding in creating them. It’s taking time, but we’re creating a makers economy – that includes organic foods, artisan products, handcrafted clothing. Maybe Gen Y just has different values than some of you. You know, that’s okay. We are making a difference in a completely different way than your generation did. This world works in cycles. I think we are swinging away from the big business cycle now – many value the small. We still care, but in a different way. Stop judging people that are different from you – it isn’t a bad thing, it creates more diversity. Maybe some Gen Yers will have to suck it up and work at an office job as a means to an end, while they get their small business going. But let us figure it out. You might be surprised at what comes of it.

    • Claire Bauer

      Also, forgot to say…”success” in this article refers to wealth. And this article equates wealth with happiness. There’s some serious delusion going on if that is the only way to measure success and happiness. There’s more to life than money. Gen Y knows this. I’m happy my peers are so down to earth, though I also want them to be able to support themselves. Don’t care how they do it though.

  128. Anonymous

    Well… I don’t know now, but something tells me that the main reason why “Gen. Y” feels unhappy, is due to the fact that by the time they’ve completed (or at least, were in the middle of) their education, the entire economic system has been sent down swanee with matches for a paddle.

  129. Anonymous

    I can’t help but wonder if this GYPSY theory holds up if looked at through a multicultural lens or the Gen Y-ers socioeconomic status/upbringing. From my personal experience, I have found that this phenomenon is one mostly prevalent in those of middle/upper class upbringing and the racial majority (Caucasian). I work with clients in this age range across a wide range of cultural backgrounds and living situations and have found that this theory does not hold up with most of the individuals I see who are living below the poverty line or in the racial/cultural minorities. Looking at whether or not Gen Y-ers parents attended college, were immigrants, etc are important factors to consider as well.

    I’m really eager to hear other thoughts about this.

  130. Anonymous

    Amazing… I thought this was a problem that only Stanford students of the early 2000’s suffered from. The “Entry level job? But I went to STANFORD!” problem. And I’m saying this as one of the few Stanford grads who’s been working my @$$ off for the past 10 years towards a major goal because I don’t ever feel entitled to anything like my classmates did.

    This chick I knew quit her job at a huge national newspaper (which she got as a minority scholar, even though she’s white) because she was sick of covering the beat after 6 months. Entitlement, entitlement. Threw away a job other people would kill for. Why? Well, aside from the fact it was handed to her, she wanted to be doing features a year out of college, acknowledging it was the most sought-after job in the newspaper business. She literally said “I mean, they want me to do an entry level job? But I went to STANFORD!” She has since been unemployed and profiting from her marriage to an employed person.

    This article really nails it.

  131. Anonymous

    I thought this was really irritating and insulting to my generation in general. Although this may be a problem for many people it didn’t take into account the fact that, for example, no one in “Gen Y” can stand out because we ALL are getting college degrees, whereas the “hard work” from earlier generations was getting higher education etc.

    Also, the jobs we have today have diversified exponentially because of technology. We GET to pick a fulfilling carrier and you’re an idiot if you don’t. Back in the day it was mostly industrial, and options were limited, so it was a matter of picking a reliable, good job.

    This was clearly written by someone who is a baby-boomer, or I suspect based on the condescending note, a great depression era writer who is looking at this issue from an outside perspective and has NO idea what it’s like to be on the inside of it.

  132. Anonymous

    It would be helpful if the baby boomers could hurry up and retire. I understand that the economic downturn ate into their 401K’s such that they may not be able to buy a second yacht they always dreamed about but they’re taking all of our jobs. Never before have Americans survived and worked as long as they have.

    That should count for something. Is it so unrealistic that we expected to have JOBS available after we were released into the real world??

  133. A few thoughts:

    There are additional factors at play – because Lucy’s parents didn’t have crippling education loans to deal with, and an economy that was on the rise, not stagnant or down. Even the same career paths that got her parents economic security are no longer secure. Screw the flowers, we’ll take the lawn – only now it’s been broken up into time share part time sod carpets, without benefits.

    Sure expectations need to be adjusted, but sometimes, it’s ok to be a bit unhappy about things. Just as long as you don’t let that define you.

    And – could we find a term other than GYPSY? As a romani man, I feel obligated to point out that this term has been thrown around as an ethnic slur for centuries – it is not at all hyperbolIc to state that many roma would equate this to writing an article with a group whose acronym spells out NIGGER. Regardless of whether the slur and the intent here are related, the use of the term, and chance it will be picked up and used elsewhere, is problematic.

  134. Anonymous

    This article was very well thought out! It has been a long time since someone reminded Americans how good and accurate gypsy is as a condescending term. Please in the next article talk about the J.E.W. as well then all my eastern European heritage will be covered!

  135. Being a Gen Y’er myself, AND having worked with many people who fit this mould, I can say that there are plenty of people out there that fit this mould. I love the advice you gave, you are right, we are not special (in context of our careers) until we have earned the credo, respect, and results that make us so. I loved this article, I think you’ve done a fabulous job at hitting the nail on the head! I look forward to helping more people tap into their passion, work hard, and stop making excuses for the state of their lives. Passion is fueled by the pain we experience in acknowledging our shortcomings and dysfunction! Thank you for your wisdom!

  136. The generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s.

    Where? XD
    In the world there are many countries with different culture and history.
    It is more than generalizations and stereotypes.
    It is a frustration ;)
    Why? ask yourself…

  137. I agree with everything but the “stop thinking you’re special” thing. On the one hand, it’s absolutely true and it’s really hard to take disappointment, psychologically. But it has been my experience that it is very hard to get the job in the first place if you display a run-of-the-mill attitude. I suppose my opinion of myself was fairly realistic when I went into the job market and I took my rejections (some of which were well and truly harsh, even unprofessionally cruel and insulting) pretty hard. But what I had to keep telling myself I was special and projecting that to potential employers because why the heck else would someone hire a recent IT grad with no industry experience just south of Silicon Valley when thye had a crop of folks who were fully capable knocking on their doors and entire teams from overseas on the phone, ready to work? I’m sorry, but an unrealistically rosy picture of one’s abilities may be hard on the ego when confronted with the fact that you actually know squat, but without it, you won’t ever get the opportunity to know any more than that.

  138. Anonymous

    Terrible, for (at least) two reasons:

    1) Absurd, racist, derogatory acronym. The Romani people do not need this acronym to add to all the shit they already have to deal with.

    2) Based on assumptions and limited experience — many Gen Yers are happier and more fulfilled than the Baby Boomers above them, who chose to work hard and make a lot of money instead of trying to be happy.

  139. Anonymous

    Why label people? Are we lab mice? Rats in a race? Some days we are happy/sad, other days those memories make us happy/sad.
    Hopefully us mice read this and feel more like people who make less assumptions and focus on living well for all selves in balance.

  140. Anonymous

    You could at least get your generations correct. Generation X is up until the mid 70s (so 1975, I guess). Generation Y starts in 1980; not “the late 70s”.

  141. Anonymous

    Just as we were trying to enter the workforce as teenagers, a recession hit. Unemployment rates never recovered.

    Then, as we were trying to enter it again as young adults, another financial crisis hit.

    As generation X was entering the workforce, wage rates were INCREASING. When we were entering the workforce, they were DECREASING. And unemployment was rising. There are definitely some spoiled Gen-Yers, but Generation X just won’t admit how effed over we were by political decisions over which we had no control. ANY economist will back me up. Yes, some of us tend to be “poor me” about it… but you can’t argue that we were dealt a bum hand when it comes to becoming an autonomous adult. And more than depressing, that is scary.

    Gen Y won’t stay spoiled. If anything, Generation Y will pick itself up by its boostraps and stare life down with that same “when life gives you lemons” outlook of “The Greatest Generation.” We will work hard, harder than Generation X ever had to. And eventually, we’ll earn our spot next to the older generations which think us so terribly spoiled.

    • Anonymous

      Also, I’m not talking about Gen Yers who are mad that they can’t get a $40,000 salary right of college. I’m talking about Gen Yers who can’t get a job at fucking McDonald’s, even though (or maybe BECAUSE) they have a Master’s degree. Depending on where you live in the U.S., that is the case right now. And don’t you dare not have a car… it’s even worse. Most of my Gen Y friends in this area (people with college degrees, by the way) ended up working full-time in factories and warehouses, and I’m jealous, because I would be working there to if I could fucking GET there.

  142. Anonymous

    Awwww. you took down the condescending, inflammatory list of GYPSY “qualifications”?!!?! I call shenanigans! I was just coming back to see who else (besides myself) I could assign shame & blame to.