As I look up from my now-obsolete, six-month-old iPhone and gaze around my trendy open-floor office, I’m suddenly hit by a wave of existential panic: Who are all these new young kids? Where did they come from? And most importantly, how am I, a bonafide Millennial myself, no longer one of these younger people? Yeah, shit just got real for me.
Call me an old man, but I remember when it really meant something to be a millennial. And when I say “meant something” I mean no one could really put a finger on what our generation even meant. Like, what the hell did we do besides still getting financial support from our parents, constantly tap our smartphone screens like drug addicted lab rats and take a year off work after our first year of work to travel the world? Yet, it seems despite being one of these enigmatic young millennials, I’m no longer the resident young person at the office, and let me tell you, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Way harder to swallow than my anxiety pills.
Man, but 2010 through 2014, tho? Those were the DAYS. Millennials reigned supreme, and while no one understood us, companies hired us in droves because they were terrified of irrelevancy. It was great. I didn’t even have to do anything at work except like, be young and send the latest memes to my coworkers, and then explain to my bosses what memes were. But now there’s all these younger people getting hired. Like five or six years younger. I mean, how is that even possible? Because you can’t get any younger and hipper than a millennial, right? RIGHT? So where does that leave me?
It’s clear that the novelty of me seems to be wearing off with my boss, too. For example, she actually expects me to do stuff and be accountable for projects now. But what the hell is it that I even do here? I didn’t sign up for this. I look over at my coworker Jay, who actually is an older person, and I have to think how tough it must be at his age. I think he just turned 39. He’s gotta be getting ready to retire anytime now because I heard him say something the other day about buying a house and maybe starting a family. Good thing I’m a millennial. That will never happen to me. But seriously, who are these youthful hordes of new hires? This is totes giving me some serious FOMO.
So, since my struggle is supes real, I did what any millennial would do in such a situation. I called my mom. Turns out even SHE told me — very gently and in her softest baby voice — that maybe it was time for me to grow up. Grow up? What the fuck is happening!? Millennials don’t grow up. We are the un-grown ups. That’s our job, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna shave my manicured beard, roll down the cuffs of my raw denim jeans, start talking about house prices and only use Facebook from now on just because I’m not the youngest person in the office anymore.
If I’m gonna be real tho, I suppose even a millennial such as myself can’t escape life’s mortal progression towards irrelevancy. And when it comes to being young and hip, a 23-year-old with vocal fry beats the hell out of a 30-year-old with a man-bun. So perhaps I’ll go find a new job where my millennial youth is still appreciated. There’s always something on LinkedIn. Wait, is LinkedIn still cool? Ugh, getting old is the worst.