Thursday, December 5, 2013

Generation Y or Generation Trophy?

Are you special?

Over at Huffpo "Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy" hit the blogosphere claiming that Generation Y GYPSYs (Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies) think they are "the main character of a very special story" and since they are the protagonist of their own story they are easily disappointed when everything doesn't go their way.

Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

Let's back up a minute here.  Who are these GYPSYs?  GYPSYs are "the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s . . [who are] also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y." So I guess that's most of today's traditional age college students.

GYPSY parents are part-Hippie, part-Yuppie.  Their grandparents are part of the Greatest Generation who grew up during the depression and then fought and won World War II - hence the "Pussies" comment from Gramps (btw, gramps says that about every succeeding generation).

GYPSY parents wanted good things for their kids, especially good things that came with less struggle than it did for them (again, hence the "Pussies").  They also were given another message growing up:  YOU ARE SPECIAL.  That's why I sometimes label GYPSYs, the "Trophy Generation."  Remember growing up and getting a trophy for being on the last place soccer team or the worst baseball player.  Remember getting a trophy for attending a science fair (even if you didn't enter anything).  Remember being told how wonderful you were by every cartoon character on television. Well, how did that work out for you?

Something else this article points out is that most of your parents didn't really know how their cohorts were doing, they were too busy raising you and going to work.  On the other hand, YOU know everything about all your cohorts due to social  media and since we only post good things about ourselves, we think all our "friends" are light years ahead of us.  Just keep this in mind - that "job" your "friend" got at CBS is really an unpaid internship where she spends most of her day picking up dry cleaning and getting donuts for the boss.

Don't you think when you hit the job market that all those special feelings you've been bombarded with as a kid will give you set of unrealistic expectations that could lead to disappointment? 

"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"

Yikes! This post is becoming depressing....

Here's some 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.
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.
Do you think that a childhood of praise is detrimental to an adult?  Do you think it could lead to unrealistic expectations?  Since most of this blog's readers are still in college, how do you think you'll cope with the "real" world?