I had never given thought about my future before. Not solely a future with another being, but the future in general. I’ve never considered to have a dream, a passion to strive for. I wasn’t an enthusiast of anything which overtime has been the cause of plenty of existential crises. I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary. Since youth, there is constant badgering about what you want to be when you’re older. Anyone notice that maybe where you work isn’t the only aspect in life? In short, I had concluded that I do have a dream but it is not career related. Sure, I’d invest in time for something I like to do, but you don’t necessarily need to love it. I dream for a well cared for mama, a close family life. I dream of the experiences, the adventures. I dream of stability and reassurance. It isn’t the most exciting or prestigious dream, but it is mine.

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Do not tell me I was treated badly because of my poor decisions with men.

do not tell me I am the reason to blame for these unwanted hands invading on and within my skin,

that the screaming refusal in my head was unheard because it divulged as a whisper,

a whisper because in a state of incoherence, it took a lot of strength to manage even that.

I wish I could tell you this only happened once, or twice. God, I wish to tell you just three times too.

You would think I would wish that I hadn’t drank so much those night, but I don’t.

Because it’s not my fault. It wasn’t my choice. I had begged plenty for them to stop.

I hadn’t chosen to be violated by these men. I did not choose to have one of my most trusted friends

rip away my innocence, my virginity.

“You didn’t think I did all that for nothing did you?” he said

Who am I to tell who’s gonna force themselves into me? In the beginning, they all started out like you.

 

Cultured.

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This is a rant that has been running viciously around my mind, a little reserved to share this unpopular opinion with such a popular trend – everyone has caught the travel bug. The symptoms include the desire to constantly hop a plane, walk around in some foreign land for a few days, and must feed this need to showcase your worldliness by your travel blogs and posed pictures. I don’t think I can scroll through any social platform without coming across a “Travel Blogger” or a “Wander Luster” with their backs turned to the camera “taking in the view”.

Now I’m not saying travel is ever a bad thing, we all need to escape our home of routine once in a while but the incessant mantra that “you need to quit your job and find yourself in other countries” is all so silly to be honest. Travel, by all means, but what is this self entitlement that is gained after visiting a foreign country? Those who feel cultured after resorting in the Caribbean, hiking in Thailand, and staying in “lowly” hostels. If you believe you really know the communities that inhibit the land you “experienced” for a moment, it’s delusional. These illusions we create that we can understand the hardships of the natives that live among the outskirts of the tourist territories are plainly for performance. It is material that is used for the gain in social capital, the new sense of wealth. We cannot fathom the deprivation of those who only know of poverty because you stood on their soil for a few days. We are not cultured, we are privileged.

 

Mission Impossible: Toronto Housing

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The housing market in Toronto is skyrocketing, and everyone is talking about it. However, barely any discussion of how inflated the housing market is and the determinants that Millennials must overcome to even consider buying a home. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s 2017 Stat report, the average growth rate for the average selling price will be between 10-15% with an average price range between $800,000 – $850,000. In the City of Toronto average price for a detached home in December was $1,286,605, semi-detached houses sold at an average of $808,920, average townhouse price was $662,959, and an average price of a condo apartment was $466,592 (See more at: http://www.torontohomes-for-sale.com/4a_custpage_2578.html#sthash.6tTFDrPr.dpuf).

The following expenses alone that accumulate through a Millennials undergrad life makes it almost impossible to save up for their own property:

    • School Debt
    • the average 4 year university student will owe OSAP about $22,500. The average student who does not originally reside in Toronto owes around $45,000, almost double the average student living at home. Why? This follows the next point.
    • Cost of Rent
    • Average Bachelors: $1,050; One Bedroom apartment: $1,250. These are the options for the well-off student. However for the middle class student, we can barely afford one bedroom in a shared apartment, averaging $600-900 per month (maybe including utilities). I’ve seen living room rentals offered for $800 in a high rise condo.

So before we can make the assumption that Millennials are “lazy, entitled individuals who won’t leave their parents homes till they’re 30”, take a glance at the decreasing job market with the increasing expectations of credentials.  Analyze how the inflation of the housing market does not meet the average wages being earned. Consider the debt burden students build to live in Toronto for a better education. Maybe we’re not living independently with our own homes yet because the market won’t allow give us a chance to.

Simon Says – “Call me on my crap”

A recent video has gone viral by Simon Sinek breaking down an entire generation in a sum of 15 minutes, composed of four categories:

  1. Failed parenting
  2. Social Media
  3. Impatience
  4. *Corporate* Environment

For your viewing pleasure.

With almost 5.5 million views, this well respected inspirational speaker instigated a controversial issue and received plenty of backlash with his generalizations about millennials.

 

Failed Parenting:

Simon Says: It is the parent’s fault for millennials behaviour – constantly telling your kid they’re special when really you’re setting them up for low self esteem and disappointment.

I mean, you should just tell your child the truth that they’re the same decaying matter as everyone else right? I’m sure that raises ambition and self-confidence.

Simon Says: The classic “everyone gets a trophy” argument which correlates to the unearned self-esteem boosts that we receive as children and therefore, we can’t understand the concept of winning or losing and that we can have anything we want if we just try.

Can someone please let me know of anyone that felt great about receiving a participation trophy? Anyone feel like that they had the same distinction as the 1st place winner since they also received a “reward”? Participation trophies are meant to reward those who put themselves out there and invest effort into something, which is a trait society values anyways. Success is never guaranteed, but you shouldn’t condemn yourself for trying and to keep trying.

Social Media:

Simon Says: Millennials put on this mask that instagram/facebook provides, deceiving people to think that our lives are way more lavish than it actually is.

True, there are many studies to hold this argument up. There is a large amount of deception on one’s profile. But what do you expect? Are we supposed to post a picture of our boring days where all we did was sit at home watching Netflix? I’ll admit that many people nowadays engage themselves with certain activities simply to showcase a more luxurious life (*cough* those who can’t travel without boasting about how enriched you now are during your 3 day stay in India*) so there is a degree of trickery when it comes to equating one’s instagram to their reality. Also, a reminder that instagram/facebook is a social platform where we have control to highlight which aspects of our lives. What is the difference between flaunting yourself online and promoting yourself at a professional mixer? You’ll still brag about that soul searching trip to Thailand.

Simon Says: Social Media induces dopamine releases: it makes us feel good and in constant desire to want to feel good, it arises a social media addiction. Do you know what also induces dopamine to be released? Gambling, alcohol, and smoking. All negative behaviours that result in additions, just as social media does.

Do you know what also releases dopamine? Success, sex and working out. In this statement, Simon demoralizes social media by grouping it with the most negative of addictions. Any addiction isn’t great, but social media shouldn’t be matched to the same level as alcoholism just because they share the attribute of making you feel good. He purposely chose to neglect the positive actions that are associated with dopamine release to cherry-pick points for his argument.

Impatience:

Simon Says: Millennials will never have deep, meaningful relationships, never understand joy nor life fulfilling success because we were born with technology. Since almost everything is accessible to us, we don’t have to put real work into getting what we want. Therefore, we lose our virtue of patience and demand instant gratification for everything.

 

The fact that Simon informs this entire generation that they cannot feel these basic fundamental emotions of joy and intimacy is so silly. To reduce joy, love and happiness to a neat category that applies to everyone is very elementary, especially when Simon only uses anecdotal evidence. It’s personally offensive that Simon believes that we are not at a mental capacity to recognize that those 1,500 friends on facebook doesn’t mean that i have 1,500 friends in real life. Apparently my friends relationships are invalid because they met online. They probably won’t ever experience deep and meaningful experiences because he swiped right, right? Yes, we are privileged to grow up with things so accessible to us but it has taught us how to multitask efficiently which means we can get more work done. I don’t believe we are privileged with instant gratification though. With a university degree barely being worth anything anymore, we are struggling to find a full time job with benefits in an already over saturated job market. Entry-level jobs salaries aren’t sufficient enough for the cost of living in Toronto with an apartment being over $1,500 on top of your enormous debt from school. There is nothing after university that we do not fight and work for in order to just graze these financial burdens. There are certain cases where some are given everything, but please do not cherry pick these special cases and generalize it for the majority.

Last but least,

Corporate Environment

Simon Says: Read my book.

As you’ll find out in the next video I’ve embedded, Simon has a new book coming out! Coincidentally, it’s on corporate leadership. Hmm, this whole thing couldn’t have been a strategy of self promotion right?

 

I’d elaborate further but I’d like to share this video with you that debunks and criticizes some of these ridiculous generalizations made about millennials. Everyone, please watch this video below before you consume yourself with Simon’s words of wisdom.

Hasan Piker of the Young Turks does a rebuttal video to Simon Sinek’s talk in a comical but actually informative way. Unlike Simon who barely presents scientific or even anecdotal evidence, Piker hits you with some stats to consider before agreeing with this “millennial problem”.

Keep in mind that Piker does have his own biases, as does Sinek. You may agree with Sinek in some aspects, and agree with Piker in others. The overanalyzed studies of Millennials has caused controversy between generations and even within our own generation.

 

Who do you agree with?