This morning, my millennial daughter and I walked across the street to vote. She looked ready to do combat yoga in her leggings, tie-dye shirt and low slung black boots. I already knew she’d be voting for the grumpy man with the bad hair. And in fact, I read in this morning’s paper that many of her generation, who are also grumpy, will be heading to the polls today.
I’m constantly having to remind her to check her sources. She gets her media from the small screen I tend to distrust. But she is far more aware of politics than I was at eighteen. I was eighteen in the eighties. We could be described as the manic generation, living in an era of economic plenty, brightly colored clothes, big hair and clubbing. We did not worry about our major in college because even an English major could get a job in the eighties.
These days, middle schoolers are coerced into deciding on and preparing for a career. The competition to get into colleges that few can afford is brutal. In the eighties, we applied to one or two schools. Youth today apply to 10-20 schools, and are also having to write scholarship essays and grant applications.
The eighties saw the end of the beginning of the end of the Cold War. This generation is plagued by terrorism and mass shootings. And if our daughters do make it into the college of their choice, chances are pretty good the will fall prey to sexual assault on campus.
This decade seems to have a lot of similarities to the 1960’s. But today’s disgruntled youth don’t have the luxury of growing their armpit hair or doing LSD. They are far too busy preening for the social media and taking their daily dose of Wellbutrin. No wonder they’re so grumpy!