Straight Up Answers to the Questions Literally Every Millennial is Asking
Being a millennial is tough. We're expected to stand on our own two feet, but we still have so many questions that need answering. How do I set the washing machine to delicates? Do I have to floss AND use mouthwash or just commit to one? If Tesco opens at 10am on Sunday, does that mean it shuts at midnight on Saturday?
We coast through the world, heads down, questions whirring in our brains, when what we really need are answers.
While I confess I know next to nothing about your washing machine, I can have a pretty good go at solving the rest.
Here are the straight up answers you need to hear to the questions literally every millennial is asking.
Yes, if it's important to you, but it will take a while. It's impossible to say how much you need to save, as house prices and the amount you need to put down vary all over the UK. One thing that's certain, though, is you should start putting cash away ASAP. Having a help to buy ISA keeps me accountable to saving money each month and means that eventually the government will give me some cash towards a deposit. If you're not keen on the idea, though, set up an affordably ambitious direct debit into a savings account and DO NOT TOUCH THAT MONEY unless in dire straits.
I prefer to be about £40 over budget each month and focus on scrimping the next rather than touching the money in my savings. Try it, it'll make you feel smug AF.
This video by Bad Yogi really helped me answer this question. If you haven't got 15 minutes to spare, though, here are the main takeaways:
- Passion is flexible: it's likely that the things you're passionate about will change over time, so don't stress yourself out trying to find that ONE thing that you will love FOREVER. Focus on what you like doing now and you'll be doing just fine.
- Not every idea has to be the next Facebook - don't feel that if you're not creating something groundbreaking or pursuing something that no one else has done that your ideas aren't valid. Own what you do in your space, even if it's just as a hobby.
If you're set on turning your passion into a biz, there's more tips on how to do that in the video.
If you have to ask, then no, soz. Unless you've only been seeing them for a few months (in which case give the poor guy/gal a chance!), you'll be able to tell whether or not you see things lasting. There's no lightbulb moment where you suddenly realise you're with The One, but if you can answer yes to the following questions, you're onto a winner:
- Do they make you happy?
- Do you make them happy?
- Do you want them to meet your friends and family?
- Can you imagine being with them a year from now? 5 years?
- Would you still love them if all their hair and teeth fell out?
Sometimes, for no reason whatsoever, things just don't feel right. It's normal to have doubts in a relationship, but if that niggling feeling doesn't go away, don't feel bad for listening to it. Even if you can't explain why.
Absolutely not, unless it's holey. There's a time for fancy 20-something underwear and there's a time for Disney. At the moment I'm working a 70/30 ratio in Disney's favour.
This is a tough one. You fill your hopeful millennial mind with principles, then you get tipped out of uni and realise that following your dreams means earning a pitiful hourly wage while all your friends in the city are buying flats in Kensington.
I recently went to a talk by Laura McInerny, editor of Schools Week. She gave some advice to budding journalists that I think works really well for this question. Whenever you're thinking of publishing a story, she said, ask yourself:
- Could I tell this to my friends and family?
- Would I be happy defending it in court?
- Can I sleep at night?
- How will I feel if I DON'T do this?
I think we can all agree that if you're likely to need to defend your job in court, you should probably hand in your notice now. The others, though, are pretty powerful. What job would you be proud to share with your friends and family? Your day job might be tough, but if you care so much about it that you won't sleep at night if you don't do it, it's worth carrying on.
But the last point is really interesting - how will you feel if you don't do it?
If you decide to go for a career mainly based on money, how will you feel? Relieved that you can finally pay the bills comfortably? Excited to be part of the big city? Or disappointed in yourself for selling out?
If you do nothing, will you feel proud of your profession? Or miserable that you can't afford to join in all the social stuff your friends are up to?
Ultimately, you need to decide what matters most to you. Just have a think about how you'd feel if you didn't do what you're doing now.
There's no right or wrong way to live your twenties. So much has changed for our generation - from the age we're getting married to when we're likely to buy a house - that there isn't really a model to go on, we're figuring it out as we go. Worrying about the future is an inevitable part of figuring out our adult life, but it shouldn't be all-consuming.
If you're making ends meet, indulging in what makes you happy and finding time to see friends and family too, you're doing pretty well.