Millennials still feel pressure to live up to their parents’ and grandparents’ norms, even if those expectations really aren’t relevant anymore. They were born into a very different world than the one their parents knew, and navigate it in a very different way:
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From the moment we are born, we are ready to learn. We pick up the language around us and learn the rules of our society, what behaviour is allowed, what’s considered good or bad. We’re absolutely built that way: to learn norms and to comply with them.
Understanding where these expectations come from, and how they differ from the reality we live in now, is important for making personal milestones that are meaningful, instead of clinging to outdated expectations.
As it turns out, these all-important deadlines are often arbitrary, and the pressure to achieve them sometimes comes from amorphous, unidentifiable places. They also aren’t as set in stone as they may seem.
From generation to generation, changes in technology and the economy, advances in science and even the political climate can turn what once seemed like a social necessity into an antiquated expectation.
The one story we tell ourselves about homeownership is it is a path to a more stable, equitable future. The idea is that it is a responsible decision that requires commitment and hope. It is centered around bright futures, long lives, children, grandchildren, and hard-earned success.
The second story is about the horror of being trapped, especially for the members of the cash-poor, dream-rich millennial generation.
What separates Baby Boomers from Gen X and Y, and what distinguish Gen Y from X? And hey Gen Z, welcome to the party! What’s the cutoff? How old is each generation? Are they really that different?
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