Milennials Need Life Skills

Millennials in Need of Life Skills 101

As Millennials, we might be experts on how to download apps or work the ‘interweb’ when compared to our grandparents or parents. More often than not, our elders might be fascinated by the tech-savvy Generation Y. But there are many basic skills that previous generations had that us twentysomethings do not.

The baby boomers might not be as in tune to social media and how to download the latest update on their iPhone, but there are many skills they mastered by the time they were our age that we have yet to acquire.

When many students leave home to go off and live on their own in the Monmouth dorms, there were probably many gaps in our knowledge of basic skills. Nicole Gallagher, a sophomore psychology student shares her experience of leaving home for the first time. “When I lived on campus my freshman year, I discovered that there were many basic life skills that I did not know how to do. Luckily, I had a meal plan, but if I did not I am not sure if I would have known how to cook for myself. It definitely made me realize that I need to start learning how to cook and take care of myself.”

 During that first week of practicing adulthood, there are many realizations to be had.

Cooking is not as easy and fun as Emeril made it seem with his signature catchphrase, ‘BAM’. Although, many of us college students love to post photos of food on our social media accounts. According to the Daily Mail Reporter, in reality, 30 percent of college students cannot boil an egg, but we can ace that midterm exam. Meaghan Wheeler, a senior secondary education and history student, said, “I feel as though we were not given the foundation that we deserved in high school to learn basic skills. Instead of learning how to write a check or what taxes and a mortgagee are we were too busy doing geometry.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, more than half of American teens do not know how to change a tire. Isn’t that what AAA is for? Much of these basic skills are necessary for our everyday lives, but sadly as young adults, many of us are clueless when we need to perform these tasks.

This might be a result of our dependency on our parents or simple lack of interest in learning how to ‘adult.’ According to a recent Reason-Rupe Poll, 71 percent of American adults think that 18 to 29-year-olds are “selfish” and “entitled.”  However, these adults might be the ones to blame for our tendencies to ask mommy and daddy to clean up our messes.

The helicopter parenting style results in children becoming too dependent on their parents for support and success. Helicopter parents are controlling and overprotective. They have the best intentions, but this style of parenting might actually result in more harm than good for their children. Data has revealed that parents of millennials ask so little of their children when it comes to life skills, but so much of them in terms of academics. Although our generation might possess multiple degrees, we lack a degree of knowledge in basic life skills. It would be an overgeneralization to assume that helicopter parenting is the major factor to our lack of necessary skills while there are other factors that contribute to this generational gap.

We are less likely to know how to sew, make easy home repairs, or cook a simple meal. We question how previous generations ever lived without GPS and actually used a map to navigate to their destination. As millennials, we find the concept of  going to the library to look up information in a book baffling when nowadays we can retrieve the answer to any question from Google in seconds. Technological advancements have fostered a dependency amongst people.

Penmanship, reading maps, and researching information in actual books are practices that have become obsolete because the younger generation feels that we can always just look it up.

It is a different world that we were born into compared to our ancestors, but we still must master practical skills that are necessary to become a functioning adult within society. While some millennials’ helicopter parents were childproofing the world around them and technology was becoming our crutch, our intelligence to live has been lost. 

Janice Stapley, an associate Professor of Psychology, weighs in on the Millennial generation’s defining characteristics,“Self focus is a characteristic of this period, but does not have a negative connotation (unlike selfish or self-centered). This is a time period during which young people are hopefully giving a lot of thought to how they want to structure the central parts of their lives – work, romantic relationships, friendships, philosophical and political beliefs.”

We might be giving our futures too much thought, which is leading us to neglect the present. In order for us to secure a promising future, we must learn how to become self-sufficient.

On graduation day from Monmouth University before we move our tassels from right to left, we must ensure that we can schedule our own doctors’ appointments and manage our banking. It is time for us to get a crash course in real-world skills in order to function as young adults. Many of the answers to our everyday quandaries will not be in our course syllabi or textbooks, but we must discover those answers through everyday living.

PHOTO TAKEN by Amanda Gangidino