This chapter looks beneath the hype and the horror that characterises Millennial myth-making, and explores the reality that confronts young people in their struggles with education, work, and housing. It shows that their experience, like that of the generations before them, is a mixed one. In some respects, they have more opportunities, more stuff, and more choices than young people have ever had; in others, their lives, aspirations, and freedoms are extraordinarily constrained. The much-discussed elements of Millennial angst can similarly be compared to the difficulties faced by young people at various points throughout history, and declared to be nothing particularly new, or even all that bad. But Millennials experience these problems as new to them, and in a particular context. They have grown up at a time when cautious hopes for the future jostle with a heightened sense of fear; when ‘the young’ are hailed as the answer to questions that nobody has quite worked out; when a prevalent generationalist outlook presents young people's problems as a direct consequence of the mistakes made by their parents' generation, which they are expected to suffer from rather than overcome. These features of our ‘millennial moment’ affect both how young adults make sense of the Zeitgeist, and how they express it.
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