Whenever I read a news article bashing my generation, one thing that I always see older people saying is that people my age ”Have no shame” and I think they are absolutely right. People my age are becoming more transparent about a lot of things, including struggling to get a job, struggling to make ends meet in London which is a city where letting agencies think it’s acceptable to charge you a £400 ”admin fee” (In other words printing out your tenancy agreement) Whereas previous generations were all about keeping up appearances, my generation is much more open and readily admits things which before were borderline taboo:
- ”I got wild with Netflix on Friday night”
Friday nights used to be the nights we all drank copious amounts of alcohol and fell down the rabbit hole and woke up face down in our pillow with numerous missed calls and texts saying ”Where are you?” Staying in on a Friday night used to feel like social suicide. Saturday mornings were like church for the bar dwellers and club fiends as we repented for our sins by untagging unflattering photos on Facebook, bitterly cursing that tequila shot that pushed us over the edge before giving thanks to the holy trinity: water, berocca and Mcdonald’s breakfast menu.
Now, Friday nights feel tired. Most likely because we are tired. Old age brings two-day hangovers, and weekends can no longer be spent basking in a hangover as these are the two precious days we get to attend to life admin like food shopping, food prepping and washing our clothes. Now, Friday nights entail me rushing home to get changed….into my pyjamas, making myself a nice big drink of….hot chocolate and tumbling into bed with…Netflix. As 18-year-olds it was all about bingeing on alcohol and passing out whilst clutching a dirty kebab, now it’s about bingeing on documentaries before passing with a half empty bag of Doritos. After all, we have to make our Saturday morning pilates class and all the cool kids know that Thursday is the new Friday anyway.
2) ”I can’t afford it”
The UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in. Although, Brexit has caused the pound to tumble means it has fallen down the list significantly. However, it is still an expensive place to live. The average rent in London for a single room in a house share is around £800. Depending on the zone, most people will spend around £150 a month on travel. So most Londoners are spending close to £1,000 a month on rent and travel alone. The problem in the UK is that despite having relatively high wages compared to other countries in Europe, they are mostly stagnant whilst the price of living keeps rising. A chocolate Freddo now costs 30p, if that doesn’t tell you inflation is out of control then I don’t know what will.
Thanks to the 2008 economic crisis and the austerity measures put in place by the Tory government, my generation is feeling the pinch. Being able to afford to buy a house seems more impossible than ever before, we are saddled with student debt that is in the tens of thousands of pounds and the value of our currency is depleting by the day. To add insult to injury, we are told that if we sacrifice our breakfast of avocado on toast then we’d be able to buy a house, like us being unable to buy a house is because of our penchant for a green fruit and not the destruction of the economy by the previous generation.
Ultimately, something has to give and it is no longer unacceptable to say ”I’d love to go out for drinks tonight, but I know things will escalate and I cannot afford to wake up the next morning to discover I have spent so much money on alcohol I’m now a stakeholder of a pub in Peckham”or ”Yes, I really like those shoes but I am also saving for a flight to somewhere in South East Asia where I can live like a baller on a third of my salary for three weeks”.
3) ”No, I’m not in a relationship or dating anyone, I’m single”
Remember when being single used to be uncool? If you didn’t have someone who was obliged to have sex with you on a regular basis or dating at least one person then you were kind of looked at in pity. Now, the tables have turned. As you get older, you see so many people who are in relationships simply because they wanted to settle down and you question how happy they really are. There’s a sense of freedom and adventure now associated with singledom, which wasn’t there before. You relocate at the drop of a hat without a second thought about anyone else, every house party has the potential to turn into a great story for the girls over cocktails and most importantly, as a broke millennial it means you are saving money which would otherwise be going on dates, presents and double the number of avocados.
4) ”Can I have fries with that? Oh, and can I see the dessert menu?”
This is a female centric point, but when I was growing up there was a huge pressure on girls to be skinny. You felt greedy if you ordered fries and you felt like you should be harpooned if you even contemplated dessert. However, I think the internet has helped change that. On social media, there’s a much greater emphasis on women being strong as opposed to skinny and the body positivity movement has helped women embrace their natural shape. Whether it is women with abs that could help me make a sandwich by grating cheese or plus sized women working out and showing that just because they are bigger it doesn’t mean they do not exercise or care about their health, the internet has helped women reclaim ownership of their bodies. Yes, despite being 5”7 I have the shortest and stockiest legs known to man, but as my friend said to me you can’t have a big bum without the scaffolding (legs) to hold it up.
Now, you best believe that I am going to order a side order of fries and probably buy something from the dessert menu. It is the same with most of my friends, we unashamedly love food and we always save room for dessert. It’s fine, we’re just trying to pack cushion for the pushin’ because big bums are in now and we’ll balance it out with a few spin classes.