Gen Y will forever be known as the YOLO Generation, characterized by our attitude towards money and work environments and how often we’re dying. Millennials are driven, in-the-moment individuals who are the future of not only the United States, but the entire world. However, that drive is killing us every day.
Young people, especially those who are college-aged, are at high risk for suicide. Suicide generally occurs in a young person when there is severe, undiagnosed depression. There are a number of reasons a young person may go undiagnosed. Sometimes they simply do not know that what they are suffering from is depression, or they are too unmotivated to seek assistance. Other times, they are victims of domestic violence, feel unloved, or suffer from extreme homesickness.
College students are also more likely to drink heavily. This is usually a result of attempting to cope with anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, some students don’t have healthy outlets for their frustration. They are so stressed, depressed, and anxious that the instant gratification drugs and alcohol provides them brief relief from their everyday lives. Drinking can lead not only to suicide, but also to physical or sexual assault, injury, homicide, or academic difficulties.
Previous generations were considered the future, but they suffered from far less stress than Millennials do today. Millennials ranked a 5.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, making them to most stressed generation. There are slim pickings for college graduates nowadays, and the unemployment rate for Millennials is skyrocketing.
Millennials may not live to create a brighter future. They are so stressed, tired, and depressed that they are dying left and right. The cure for cancer may have died last year with a 20-year-old woman, so stressed out in her college courses that she ended her own life.
I am stressed beyond what is considered normal for a person my age. School, work, and my current living situation have pushed me close to the edge more than once. My boyfriend has to bring me down from panic attacks at least twice a week. But I am continuing to push through the stress and anxiety because I have dreams for the future that I know I need to accomplish.
Someday, I may teach Shakespeare to the student that has the cure for cancer locked away in their brain. Now, my teachings may not directly apply to this student, but I will have pushed them to chase their dreams.
Maybe, someday, my children will discover how to repair the hole in the ozone layer. Or how to fix the economy for good. They could be the next Gandhi or Pope or Edison.
Just because some of us are dying, doesn’t mean we all have to. Millennials are not only independent and adaptive, they are also intelligent and strong. If Millennials can just hold on long enough to see that life is worth it, and that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to, then the great will last.
This article was written by Maryssa Gordon, a writer for dusk magazine.