Are You A SPECIAL Snowflake?

As if mil­len­ni­als needed an­other is­sue to deal with, right?

Look (UK) - - LIFE - WORDS: LUCY DEVINE @lucedevine

Some­where in be­tween the two po­lit­i­cal earth­quakes of 2016 (oth­er­wise known as Brexit and Trump) evolved yet an­other nick­name for us mil­len­ni­als: snowflakes – a co­hort of frag­ile Gen­er­a­tion Ys, mol­ly­cod­dled by he­li­copter par­ent­ing, lack­ing in re­silience and un­able to han­dle the world.

With 86 per cent of mil­len­ni­als cur­rently ex­hibit­ing signs of a quar­ter-life cri­sis, it’s not hard to spot a snowflake. We’re the ones with, on av­er­age, al­most £3,000 of out­stand­ing debt – and that’s be­fore you con­sider mort­gages (most of us won’t be able to af­ford one un­til we’re at least 30, by which time we’ll have spent £53,000 on rent) and stu­dent loans (which two-thirds of us will never be able to pay off).

The mil­len­nial mis­ery con­tin­ues. We earn 20 per cent less than baby boomers did at our age and a quar­ter of us will run out of money each month. We’re known as the ‘so­cial me­dia gen­er­a­tion’, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Last Christ­mas, mil­len­ni­als were twice as likely as the el­derly to spend the fes­tive pe­riod alone. What’s more, af­ter the ‘re­venge porn’ law – which crim­i­nalised the ac­tiv­ity of shar­ing pri­vate sex­u­ally ex­plicit images or video without the sub­ject’s con­sent – came into force in April 2015, 1,160 peo­ple came for­ward in the fol­low­ing eight months, the ma­jor­ity of whom were aged be­tween 20 and 29. So should we be sur­prised that Bri­tish mil­len­ni­als have the sec­ond worst men­tal health in the world? ‘De­vel­op­ing a thick skin helps us han­dle the cur­rent chal­lenges we face daily,’ says life coach Gary Amers. ‘It isn’t a bad thing. We can all learn from each other and ben­e­fit from dif­fer­ent ap­proaches. Mil­len­ni­als are a fan­tas­tic gen­er­a­tion of en­trepreneurs, in­no­va­tors, creative tal­ent and pos­i­tive en­ergy, but that’s not to say they can’t learn from the re­source­ful­ness and pa­tience of other gen­er­a­tions too.’ In fact, we’re call­ing for an of­fi­cial end to the term ‘special snowflake’. Sure, we’ve got a lot on our plates, but we should be scrap­ping the la­bel and cham­pi­oning the huge num­ber of achieve­ments that make mil­len­ni­als awe­some in­stead. We’re known to be anx­ious, but through cam­paigns and so­cial me­dia, we recog­nise – like no other gen­er­a­tion be­fore us – the im­por­tance of speak­ing openly and hon­estly about men­tal health. It’s no sur­prise that in a 2010 sur­vey, mil­len­ni­als re­ported that one of their top three pri­or­i­ties was help­ing oth­ers. We’re am­bi­tious, too: some 67 per cent of us would like to start our own busi­ness and al­most three-quar­ters of non-mil­len­ni­als agree that we bring in­valu­able skills to the job mar­ket. In short, mil­len­ni­als are chang­ing the world. If you ask us, that makes us ice queens rather than snowflakes…

A thick skin helps us han­dle the chal­lenges we face daily

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