Millennials Feel So Pressured and They Can’t Even

Millennials Feel So Pressured and They Can’t Even

Millennials Feel So Pressured and They Can’t Even

Feel sorry for millennials, because they are the most stressed-out generation ever, or so they will tell you. Life today, they say, is more stressful than it ever has been before, causing them to live under so much pressure that they can’t even. 

Singer Billy Joel wrote a song that seems to address the plight of millennials, called simply “Pressure.”

Consider, though, that Joel wrote the song in 1982. That’s 37 years ago, which goes to show that some things never change. Life is pressure, and it always has been.

So what do these luckless souls find are the most stressful things they endure?

Here are the top five:

  1. Losing wallet/credit card.
  2. Arguing with partner.
  3. Commute/traffic delays.
  4. Losing phone.
  5. Arriving late to work.

Other stressors for these unfortunates include such things as slow WiFi, a dying phone battery, and forgetting passwords. Oh, and a broken phone screen ranks as more stressful than paying credit cards.

I think this list comprises what social media would ridicule as being “First World Problems,” although it’s the millennials who are driving social media, so maybe they wouldn’t agree with my take.

People living in squalor in places like Calcutta, India, however, are not available for comment on the stress list. Maybe it’s because their WiFi is too slow.

Now this particular study of 2000 millennials came from researchers working for Endoca, which is a CBD oil company. No doubt they’re hawking their cannabis-derived product, whose endorsers claim reduces anxiety and depression. So you might want to take their research with a grain of salt.

But the Endoca study echoes previous research from none other than the American Psychological Association. In 2013, a survey the APA conducted showed that the millennials are “more stressed” than any other living generation. Not only that, but two years later, in 2015, the APA released its annual “Stress in America” survey. And once again, they found that this group feels stressed out more than any other generation.

Why? Well, according to Mike Hais, a market researcher who studies millennials:

“Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you’re an important person and expected to achieve.”

It’s kinda hard to accept failure when you’re the center of your parents’ universe, the top of the food chain in the home in which you were raised, and where everyone gets a trophy. That is, until you grow up and find that in real life those trophies are few and far between.

Add to that the millennials’ constant immersion in social media, which gauges the worth of an individual by the number of friends and clicks they get. “Adulting” for this generation is sort of a culture shock.

But I would add that there’s another issue at play here: many millennials have no sense of history.

They don’t realize that when their grandfathers and great-grandfathers were their same age, they were mainly worried about survival. After all, they were fighting a World War to defend their nation and free the world from the Axis stranglehold. They fought on the land, the sea, and in the sky, and thousands never returned.

And consider that these same unlikely warriors grew up poor during the Great Depression, when many of their own fathers were out of work.


Public Domain.

Perhaps the same millennials who stress about being late to work or enduring a commute have no idea about how horrible work conditions used to be.

Recently my brother sent me a scan from a 1906 article in a Chicago newspaper. It was of interest to us, because it reported the gruesome death of our great-grandfather.

The headline read:


Granted, headlines of 100-plus years ago tended to be sensational, but what happened was ghastly:

“A____, 45 years old. . . was burned to death and several other workmen narrowly escaped serious injury last night in the plant of the Illinois steel mills at South Chicago when a large crane broke, dropping a pot of molten metal and scattering it over the floor. A____ was burned about the head, face, and chest and almost instantly killed. . . .”

“The crane was shifting the pot of metal when the steel chain broke and five tons of the liquid fell over A____, who was standing almost under the crane.”

But please, tell me how a broken iPhone screen is enough to make one’s life practically unbearable.

My brother also found our great-grandfather’s grave. But the number of children’s graves nearby shocked him. Children who were four-years-old, two-years-old — little ones who died of disease since there were no vaccines and medical care was poor.

But tell me again about the perils of the dying phone battery.

The 18th century statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke wrote: “In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.” I don’t teach, so I don’t know what kind of history curriculum the millennial generation received. But whatever it was, it wasn’t enough to provide them with “future wisdom.” It’s no wonder that this crop of young adults think that theirs is the most stressful generation ever, and that they just can’t even. 


Featured image: cropped, quinntheislander @ pixabay. pixabay license.

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Joe in PNG says:

    They don’t know much history, and quite frankly, don’t really care. It’s the progressive mindset that the Arrow of History blahblahblah, and people from earlier generations are somehow less progressive, less enlightened, and thus less human than they are. Thus, the lessons of history don’t apply because they see themselves as ubermenchen.
    So, the fact that their ancestors had to struggle & suffer doesn’t connect, because of course semi-evolved near-animals have to struggle & suffer. The benign hand of progress hadn’t gotten around to the point where comfort and convenience are an entitlement for all (and if those reactionaries wouldn’t be so selfish, suffering could be eradicated totally).
    But the rule remains despite all the modern wishful thinking- those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

    • SFC D says:

      Maybe they’re just little pussies.

    • Wfjag says:

      Joe, they don’t even know their own history. One great grandfather and grandmother died young on a Kansas farm. Their 5 orphans ranged from an infant to a young teen. The teen, my grandfather, dropped out of school, farmed, raised his siblings, made sure they were fed, clothed and educated, and each got their inheritance, and was in his 30s before he married and started a family. He loved FDR because, in his 50s, rural electrification happened, and he had lights at night to read the school books his siblings had used, and finally felt educated. When we buried my Dad, I learned he had an older sister who died right after birth, and so was not christened and named. Her headstone was marked “Baby Girl.” My Dad served under MacArthur in combat for over 2 years. When I bought a Japanese car, he wouldn’t get in it. I later traced his unit (he didn’t talk about what he’d seen except with other vets), and read about and saw some photos of the horrors he’d seen, and finally got a small understanding of the reason for the hate he still felt.
      One maternal great grandfather died in a coal mine trying to rescue other miners. His daughter, my grandmother, was raised by a step-father who ran away at 13 (from possibly the cruelest parents I’ve ever heard of), and went to work for a railroad. He started at the bottom, meaning doing all the menial labor, eating the scraps left over and sleeping in a boxcar, and raised through the company to become an engineer. He was strict, but loving and raised my grandmother to be able to take care of herself. She completed an education through 2 years past high school and always worked. Her husband, my grandfather, died of a bleeding ulcer a young man, leaving a widow and 3 pre-elementary school aged children. My grandmother was a working single mother when the only social safetynet was family. Her children were not split up. My mother put herself through college, after Dad returned from WW2, worked while he completed college and grad school. My brother and I both have graduate degrees.
      My late father-in-law went ashore on Utah Beach on D+12, as the NCO for a 90mm AA gun, fought through the Hedgrows, and eventually was part of the defense of Antwerp. His gun shot down 5 V-1s. That’s the only combat he ever talked about, since it saved lives. He married a sharecropper’s daughter, who worked and went to college to earn a bookkeeping degree. They built the home they lived in for over 60 years.
      And, what I learned of my family history is that it wasn’t especially remarkable. I was taught that I came from strong stock, so I had it in my power to succeed, which generally I have, and when I failed, that was mine, too. And, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that, as that’s the way it is with my friends, colleagues and relatives. So, neither me, my spouse, nor our children have any sympathy for these whiners. I’ll bet you and yours don’t, either, and, your family history isn’t that different from mine.

      • Joe in PNG says:

        The idea that our modern easy lifestyle is somehow an entitlement is rather galling. As you pointed out, our parents, grandparents, and those before worked like hell, sacrificed, suffered, bled, died, and so on to bring us to this point of ease.

        We’re reclining on the shoulders of giants.

        As RAH pointed out, “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.”

        As Venezuela demonstrates, something that takes generations of hard work to build can be destroyed in the blink of an eye.

        • GWB says:

          I’ve always disagreed a bit with RAH on that one. Because what has made America so rich (and, yes, even way back when, it was RICH) is that the folks he describes are NOT an “extremely small minority” here. Or, at least, WERE not. I happen to think government welfare changed that (primarily by removing the stigma of taking handouts).

          But, yes, for that reason, they were giants, and we seem to be slipping back toward being pygmies.

  • GWB says:

    That’s 37 years ago, which goes to show that some things never change.
    Besides making me feel old, my first thought was “Yeah, young people are constantly blaming the olds for how rough they have it.” Alternatively, “Yeah, young people are always whiny little b*ches.”

    So you might want to take their research with a grain of salt.
    Or with a bag of Doritos.

    the American Psychological Association
    Ooooh, there’s another highly credible group!

    They were sheltered in many ways
    There’s the key. It’s not “tough times”, it’s “never learned to cope with the real world.”
    Oh, and note the passive nature of the complaint. It should be more “Their parents f*ed them up by not making them work hard and not letting them deal with failure once in a while.”

    many millennials have no sense of history
    Blame the progressive education system for that one. And the progressive need for a Year Zero. And Joe nails it, above.

    headlines of 100-plus years ago tended to be sensational
    LOL. I really hope you intended that to be ironic (in the age of Drudge).

    Now, I will make one distinction here: those claiming their greatest stressor is a dying iPhone battery might not be the same people saying they are the most stressed generation. It’s possible some of the people listing their greatest stressors as minor things also are very appreciative of that fact. (I know my son is.)
    Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a large enough group.

    I find that meme about “hard men…” becoming more and more relevant.

  • mb says:

    Three out of five involve losing things or being late for work, these are things adults avoid by not losing them and not being late. Your parents did a number on you, no question, but grow up.

  • CaptDMO says:

    Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves, in three generations.
    Number of Millionaires in America, vs. millionaires in Zimbabwe
    Oddly, at a time when the duration of Empires grows progressively shorter.

  • Irobot says:

    You know, before we had mobile phones it was extremely difficult to lose your phone. Unless you forgot where you lived.

  • LAG says:

    Most of them will be gone soon after they get the socialist paradise they vote for. The rest will be eaten in the hunger games that follow.

  • funkhouser says:

    I guess 18 years of participation trophies don’t prepare them for the real world.

  • […] Millennials Feel So Pressured and They Can’t Even – Victory Girls Blog — Read on […]

  • […] The thing about hav­ing a life that’s so easy is you don’t know how to deal with the real­i­ties of life which are hard, which is why at the Vic­tory Girls blog you see stuff like this: […]

  • Jim says:

    5. Arriving late to work.

    Millennials actually work?

  • Ashley Squishy says:

    Kim, just out of curiosity, why did you suppress the name of the poor steelworker killed by the molten metal accident? It was 1906, after all.

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