Generation Y? More Like Y Not

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Can’t you see we’re so colorful?

Oh no, not another Generation Y Yuppie talking about how eternally unhappy we are, how things are only hard for us and why everything is about us.

Actually no.

This is a dedication to young Generation Y entrepreneurs who decided to give meaning to their lives. I’ll be sharing stories about some of my peers who are examples of people who defied the reality of their situations and went the extra mile to take on the challenges of becoming entrepreneurs.

Although, before all that, I wanted to shed some light about how I see our Generation’s journey. We’re cool, fun, energetic, outgoing and always seeking challenges. But where do we stand now?

Generation Y’s journey

We, as Generation Y, lived with the best the 90’s (and the 80’s) had to offer. A generation that lived when the world economy was relatively stable, we became known as the first digitally literate generation. We grew up with the Internet, handling the first home computers at an early age. We forged our early relationships on MSN, had Yahoo as our homepage, and relied on Encarta ’95 instead of Google.

We grew up believing that the new decade of the 90’s was going to make the world a better place. However, somewhere along the way, things got extremely out of hand. It was agreed that the world would end in the year 2000. Why? Because we found out computers weren’t going to be able to register the new date? Then, from 2001 until God knows when, constant wars plagued our minds and TV screens. Although wars weren’t enough; there were some more obstacles. By the time my classmates and I graduated from university, and even before that, the world was going to experience a global financial crisis. All of this happening conveniently when we were about to enter the job market; as if the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I already associate graduation with the status of being unemployed, but the world didn’t have to rub it in my face with the meltdown.

Due to our circumstances, we’ve been slapped with a few alternate names for our generation.

We’re called the “Net Generation” because we took life for granted since the Internet made things so much easier for us. We’re the “Boomerang Generation” because we came back to live with our parents after college. A situation I think has been forced upon us due to a job market so squeezed, and property prices so high, it became necessary we seek a push from where we began. We share this trait with Generation X, since the economic situation at the end of the 1980’s was similar to ours in 2007. Finally, all of that boils down to the final name we’re given – the “Peter Pan Generation”. It apparently has taken us time to become adults, and I do agree with this to a certain degree. Yet I think it’s not because we knew growing up was “a trap” (I was certainly oblivious to the fact), but rather we believed our childhood was extremely awesome. Come on, being a kid in the 90’s? It WAS awesome.

G-shocks and Soap shoes were cool back then. Jurassic Park taught us we could even take on dinosaurs. The Discman gave us the ability to survive long family road trips. And finishing Super Mario was the greatest achievement ever.

Well, what about the others?

The Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers and Generation X? Surely its unfair to say we’re the only generation that has experienced hardships.

We couldn’t fathom how life was during the Great Depression. We haven’t lived through the World Wars, nor when the first atom bomb was dropped, nor lived when the world was on the brink of thermonuclear war; all being tragic realizations that we are the greatest threats to our own existence. We haven’t experienced the “troubles” of no mobile phones (or at least the troubles of the suitcase phone). We didn’t realize the value of a hand-written letter, because texting became our first and foremost form of communication. We failed to cherish the times we spent listening to our parents’ and grandparents’ stories; instead eagerly waiting to catch our Saturday morning cartoons. Also, we weren’t pushed into becoming independent at such an early age like Generation X; something that should have been the case for many of us.

Generation Y’s time to shine

Although, we can say we’ve had some experience. We memorized the dial-up tone, alphabetically organized countless amounts of VHS tapes, and Tamagotchi taught us we really suck at being parents.

Despite the many “flaws”, there are those who’ve stepped up to the plate to make a name for themselves. Generation X was labelled as the generation who fostered risk taking and the entrepreneurial spirit. The Gen-Y department have to thank the Gen-X’s who have “trickled down” this mentality, inspiring us to do the same.

With that, I’ve set the scene with what I want to embark on with this series. Soon, I’ll be posting real stories from real entrepreneurs on here, allowing them to share their stories and experiences about what it’s really like. These are people I know as friends, and have shown me you HAVE to make life-changing decisions; as opposed to only hearing about people who have done it.

Like many generations before us, we have to be assertive and ask fundamental questions about ourselves. Do we want to be remembered as the lazy generation? The ones who took life for granted? The eternal children in adult bodies? Or do we want to be remembered as the generation who pushed their limits and the limits of others?

Instead asking ourselves why should we be the ones to carry the entrepreneurial torch from Generation X, we should really be asking: why not?