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  • Writer's pictureJacob Skorka

Easy as Change

Here, have a beer, and let's talk about how much of a millennial I am.

We have all heard it before. Chances are we have all said it before. If you're over the age of 45 then you have definitely said it, and if you're younger than 38 you have heard it. If you're in your twenties you probably hear it more than twice a week. More than likely, it has been said directly to your face by someone much older, and wealthier, than you with no regard to your character or modus operandi.

It is some version of "millennials are lazy and entitled."

If I'm being honest with myself, I'm guilty of feeling and acting entitled sometimes. I've written about that before - the idea that I was unfulfilled at work because I was too good for, too talented for, too organized for, too {insert positive adjective here} for this job and I deserve more. If you're new here, you can read that expletive-laced piece here.

Entitlement is a funny concept. I think it has taken on its own personality because of the narrative created by old people. It's almost like millennials have accepted our fate of being entitled because it's too exhausting to explain to old folks that millennials have done nothing but make their life easier. I'm speaking directly to the development and evolution of tech when I say that, but it could be said in many contexts. For a lot of us younger folks, it has presented itself as motivation to further develop and progress. For others, it has been embedded into their mental in an unhealthy and toxic way, creating an excuse to not develop and progress. For me, it has done both.

I'm going to tell you a story that, I believe, is the root of my cyclical entitlement. I'll keep the story short - I went to 5 different colleges, transferring 6 times, in 7 years. I now have a journalism degree and am 4 credit hours away from an English degree and 3 credit hours away from a general business degree. I am not going back to school to complete those hours, but the thought of having a 7-credit hour semester with the end goal of 3 degrees is cool to think about. My intention in sharing that is not to brag, but rather to make you aware that I was able to leave whenever I wanted with really no consequence. The only "consequence" was added time to an undergraduate degree. It was easy for me to change schools and justify it by saying it was a better option, better opportunity, better whatever I wanted to say that time. In reality, full transparency here, when something got hard, I ran. In this sense, sure, I am an entitled millennial who didn't have to stick it out.

If you have been inside a church building in the last ten years, then chances are you've heard someone preaching about chasing the next best thing. I am an example of chasing the next best thing played out in very real life. At the time, there were no consequences - other than student debt and being made fun of for taking so long to graduate. Because I am so passionate about being the best version of myself, I would take transferring a step further and change my major every time I changed schools. Mainly because I thought this major was better than that major and I was bored of those classes. Even more, when I graduated, I took the same approach to my professional life and held 3 positions in 3 different industries within 10 months of graduation. All with the mindset that the next thing was the best thing, and it was going to change my life forever. Sure, I'm an entitled millennial.

Well, now the consequences are sneaking into my life.

Surprise, surprise. How does that science saying go? For every action, there is an equal and opposite consequence, whether it happens immediately or not. Right? Something like that.

These consequences are subtle, and not apparent in my everyday real life. They are more of a mental state than a tangible obstacle that I have to maneuver around. The consequences are the same as the action - because it was always so easy to change, I now believe that it's easy to change. Because I was always able to run from things when it got hard, my knee-jerk reaction now is to run when it gets hard.

*An important distinction to make is that I only think this way in certain spaces. Relationships are not one of those spaces -- Joslin, don't worry, I'm not going to run when marriage gets hard.*

I think that because this cycle was created during school, which is something that I did because, in many ways, I was told that I had to, it is mostly my mindset towards work which is also something that I do because I am told that I have to. So, here I am. Learning how to fight through the urge to run and discerning what it means to stick it out. I am learning that a hasty decision to change is now impacting more than one life and has more impact than I think on my own life. I am seeing that a hasty decision to change is a weak move and I am trying to be a strong person. I am figuring out that my instincts are sometimes wrong, and that I should get beat up every once in a while.

Maybe old people have a point when they say that millennials are lazy and entitled, but maybe they've been saying it for so long that they've used it as an excuse to not teach or help us kids. Thus, making old people lazy and entitled. Suck on that, boomer!

Raise your glass with me. Cheers to us, for trying.


Modus Operandi is also known as one's M.O. It's how you operate.

If you're wondering, the schools that I went to are:

Univ. of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (fall 2011)

Luna Community College (2012-2013)

New Mexico State University (2013-2014)

Univ. of Texas at Dallas (fall 2015)

New Mexico State University (Spring 2016)

Univ. of New Mexico (2016-Fall 2017)

The jobs I had the year after graduating were:

Young Life Staff Associate

Account Manager Intern (advertising agency)

Superintendent (home builder)

*If you're a millennial and you feel you have been personally attacked by an old person for calling you lazy, you may be entitled to financial compensation and years of therapy to spend it on.

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