"The type of young person that magazine writers come across most frequently are magazine interns. Because the media industry is high-status, but, at least early on, very low pay in a very expensive city, it attracts a lot of rich kids. Entitled, arrogant, spoiled, preening — those are the alleged signature traits of Millennials, as diagnosed by countless magazine writers. Those traits curiously align perfectly with the signature traits of a rich kid. Have you seen your intern on Rich Kids of Instagram? If so, he or she is probably not the best guide to crafting the composite personality of a generation that fought three wars for you."
Every Every Every Generation Has Been the Me Me Me Generation - Elspeth Reeve - The Atlantic Wire (via sc0rnflakess)
I liked this piece on the whole, but as someone who has spent the past three years supervising (paid) media interns (and was one, not too long before that), the generalization bugs me in the same way the Time article did. Look, I’ve had interns like that — who just seem to be marking time while their parents pay their bills and they continue to believe that their inherent specialness will result in job offers, fortune, and fame. Sure.
But I’ve had at least as many interns who were balancing the gig with school, extracurricular activities, and additional jobs that did more to pay their bills — not to mention anticipating massive college debt. These were not entitled people at all! They knew that, in our shit economy, they had to work really hard to succeed in such an imperiled industry with so few jobs to offer. And so they pushed themselves.
To me, this speaks to a truth we rarely hear articulated about the Millennial Generation: terrible economic circumstances have forced a kind of polarization. There are the ones that are trying much, much harder — and, I think, are much more independent — than previous generations, just to get the same opportunities their parents had. And then there are the ones who find the reality too terrifying to address and have just sort of given up. Of course, you can only afford to give up in any major way when there’s someone around to feed, house, and clothe you. So, is there entitlement in some subsets of this generation? Sure. But elsewhere, there’s a whole lot of pragmatism, hard work, and ingenuity, too. Weird how that story always gets told as an anomaly (“look at this 18-year-old genius entrepreneur!”) rather than a generational trend.
What she said.