There’s a reason we’re told to respect the elderly — older generations have been through things that us millennials will never understand, and they’ve supposedly seen it all. But so much has changed between then and now that not everything coming out of a wise older person’s mouth can be taken seriously anymore. Things are just different today than they were have a century ago, and some age old advice just doesn’t apply anymore.
- If you go to college, you’ll get a good job. This one makes me laugh. It’s hilarious how our grandparents still value a college education and think that just because you got a degree, you’re guaranteed an awesome job with great benefits. We’re lucky if we can get a job, period. And even the crappiest benefits are better than no benefits at all.
- When you have children, you’ll realize what your parents went through to raise you. Uh, I’m realizing that already by just moving out and trying to survive life on my own. I’m already like my very own child – I need to feed me, clothe me, take myself to the doctor when I’m sick, go to work just to keep the lights on, etc. I get it – my parents were badasses. Also, please stop saying “when” and start using the word “if.” “If I have kids” makes me feel a lot better about inevitably disappointing my family.
- One day you’ll meet the right person, fall in love, get married, and you’ll be happy. What’s with everyone thinking marriage is the answer to everything? They make it sound like it’s the end goal for life. Also, I think they’re missing a few steps, like exactly how many goddamn days you’ll have to walk the Earth until you find the right person, win them over, convince them that yes, some millennials are still tying the knot, and then the most important step of all – divorce – which goes right in between getting married and finally being happy.
- Spend your money now because you can’t take it with you. Take it with me where? To my retirement home? Good luck with that, and also with retiring in general. By the looks of it, we’ll probably all be working much, much longer than our grandparents had to before we’re allowed to retire, and much like our younger selves now, we’ll probably not have any money either, just because that seems to be the trend. So no, don’t take this advice and instead, hoard as much money as you can, because you’re going to need it.
- Be yourself. We hear this one all the time, and people like to use it for the answer to almost everything. “How can I get this boy to like me?” “What do I do on my resume to stand out from everyone else?” It’s frankly useless, but people are still saying it. If it was that easy to be yourself, we’d all be doing it, but clearly there’s something preventing us from really saying or doing what we would do if we were alone and shielded from judgment (hello social stigma).
- Follow your passion. This should be revised to read, “Follow your passion, but only if it’s useful.” Today, everyone is an “artist.” Everyone has a YouTube channel, a Yelp account. Everyone is a food photographer. It would be wonderful if we could all do what we loved and were interested in and still survive and make money off it, but sadly, it’s pretty impossible now, especially because everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Also, this kind of advice leads us to study poetry, art, and music, and then we graduate with a useless degree and end up working a crap 9-5 job in some office. Thanks, Mom and Dad. Why didn’t you tell me I wouldn’t get anywhere in life with a degree in German Language and Literature?