Kalamazoo, MI
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Millennials Fighting Against the System

I was sitting next to a friend during this year’s Summer Common Reading event held by the author of the book, as she reminded the audience that millennials are the laziest generation yet. I looked over and watched my friend get incredibly red in the face with frustration, and for good reason.

We have been told that because we are so dependent on technology that we aren’t doing anything for ourselves. However, college students like us have particular insight into the plights of our generation.

For starters, we are paying tuition that is quadrupled since our parents were in college. According to College Simply, a website dedicated to reporting tuition information for colleges, Kalamazoo College tuition was $10,686 in 1990. Adjusted for inflation, it would be the equivalent of paying just under $20,000.

Rather than focus on why that amount has gone up so much in the last 25 years, it’s also important to note the reality that so many students are facing: it still needs to be paid.

The average college graduate, according to a study done by The Student Debt Review, owes almost $30,000 in student loans.

If college was only $20,000, our loan amount would all but disappear, if you do the math.

How can a generation above us, who did not have crippling debt, very miserable job outlooks, nor the responsibility to pay for it all on a minimum wage job (where the minimum wage hasn’t been raised even close to a living wage), have the audacity to call us the laziest generation?

Then they have the nerve to suggest that millennials want everything handed to them, which is why so many of them suffer from mental illness.

However, what’s probably more likely is that college students are struggling to keep their heads above water in this incredibly intense atmosphere.

A 2015 study showed that stress has kept 60 percent of millennials from spending time with family and 80 percent from enjoying time with friends.

Yet, even amongst the evidence, their anxiety and stress are not taken seriously.

Our generation wants to make sure that doesn’t happen to the next one, which is why we are pushing to eliminate the stigma on mental illness. In a study done in 2014, Nearly 31 percent  of students sought counseling for a mental illness, while five years ago, it was 25%

Rather than assuming college students are more depressed, it is more likely that students feel more supported to go to the counseling center and get the help they need, which is something the previous generation could not have even imagined.

Overall, we know how much work we are putting in, the stress we are receiving, and still appreciate the push to keep making this world better, no matter what any other generation says.

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Millennials Fighting Against the System