Baby Boomers vs. Millennials: How Life Has Changed

By Alli C.

Since the beginning of the baby boomer generation in 1964, our society has experienced significant changes: family life, education, self-fulfillment and relationships. Due to certain advancements that have been implemented over the years, older generations are being forced to adapt to a new way of life. One of the newest generations, the millennial generation, is adapting to this lifestyle at a quick rate, but it’s difficult to determine if these societal changes are acting as a disadvantage or a benefit.

For those of you who are 22-38 years old, being successful can mean instant gratification, using technology to your advantage, and going to college to get a diploma. Using your phone to create a business or sending an Instagram follower a DM to get to know them are mechanisms used in building strong relationships. Below are a variety of societal transformations that Gen Y has adapted to within the past 40-50 years.

 The Need For A College Degree

Millennials grew up with the mentality that after receiving a high-school diploma, it was absolutely necessary to attend college to make a living. Many millennials have the drive to start a business and be their own boss. Going to a university to get an MBA can be considered the best way to learn the ropes. The downfall of this is that getting a degree is pushed on all young adults in order to find a high paying job to afford things like rent or a car, even if college isn’t necessarily their best option. As a result, many millennials end up dropping out of college but are left with student loan payments that are averaging higher than annual salaries.

Paying Off Student Debt

According to a source from Student Loan Hero, the tuition at a public 4-year college was close to $3,190 during the first year millennials were born. By the time they grew up and went to college, the tuition increased 213% to today’s cost of $9,970 per year! It’s easy for millennials to think that baby boomers had it easy with college debt. With the rapidly growing cost of college, the need to refinance monthly student loan payments and apply for academic scholarships to lower costs is becoming more and more popular.

Adapting To Technological Changes

If you were to ask a baby boomer how they communicated with others when they were growing up, they’d likely say face-to-face or through a phone call. In-person communication has declined tremendously within the last decade due to the invention of smartphones, social media and online dating sites. Nowadays, it’s more common that millennials are uncomfortable with interacting in-person with someone else. This lack of in-person contact is affecting other important experiences, such as a job interview or a work meeting. Having a conversation through a digital screen is nothing like having a conversation with someone, so when that time comes, some social awkwardness could occur as a result.

Do Dates Still Exist?

Millennials are meeting new people very differently from how people have met in the past. If you want to get to know someone, most millennials will do so through a text, but when it comes time to meet this person, the nerves and jitters are pretty intense. Even though it’s a lot easier to send a quick message, this form of communication takes away from our drive to socialize with others.

 Marriage And Family Life Are Delayed

Stated in a recent article by CNBC, 57% of millennial homebuyers are married, compared to earlier generations where the percentage was higher at 75%. Not rushing to get married but wanting to own a home is a new trend that has been popularized by the millennial generation. Millennials are generally also waiting longer to get married and have children. Whether it’s due to a personal preference, a career driven focus or the comfort of being independent, increasing numbers of individuals are delaying marriage and family life.

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