My wife has a BFF at work. For the purposes of this article, we'll call her Kaylee – mainly because that's her name. Normally, one might refer to Kaylee as Heather's work wife, except that Kaylee is 23 and often refers to Heather as her work mom (which kind of makes me want to smack her – sorry, K – but that's all right). Anyway, I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Kaylee, marking the first time I've hung out with a 23-year-old since I myself was in my early 20s. Why is this article-worthy? Because young twentysomethings get so much crap right now. They're painted with a broad brush that uses a horrifying color palette and I think it's a shame. I know this is only anecdotal – this is one 23-year-old among millions, if not billions. Spending time with her was delightful, though, and it changed my perspective.
Actually, by today's standards, if you're younger than 25, you apparently don't know anything about anything.
There's also this idea that all young twentysomethings are lazy and waiting for handouts.
I hate to tell everybody this, but these traits are not restricted to 23-year-olds.
They have to, really, and they do it well.
This is why they hustle – but that's not so different than being a person of color, a woman, or a woman of color.
Just because they go with the flow, however, that doesn't mean that they don't take things seriously.
I basically did not care about ish between the ages of 21 and 24, tbh.
It's not just complicated, it's brutal – and frequently disgusting, and often threatening, and just generally messy, scary, and awful.
Watching women on Tinder shut down misogynistic asshats is definitely entertaining, but the phenomenon of the fuckboy is not a Buzzfeed myth or an urban legend.
Everybody's got something to say (I myself referred to Kaylee as a fetus, but she laughed – annnd now I'm ashamed of myself).
We all do that at some point – for example, I truly believe that I am very srs business.
Just so that you don't keep thinking they're lazy, entitled, or somehow incapable of hard work.
Seriously, though, we played some sad little version of Trivial Pursuit focused on those decades, and Kaylee didn't know anything – but then again, neither did my beautiful wife.
That is, they still want to have fun, go out, and party but they also want to present themselves as responsible professionals, and striking that balance can be difficult and draining.
Well, it's hard to strike up a friendship with people who don't take you seriously.
Unless you're used to having older friends, it's also hard to strike up friendships with people who are five, ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years older than you.
All. The. Time.
I really don't mean to sound pretentious or condescending here, either – I always think it's genuinely sweet to see someone trying so hard to talk to people with whom they don't have a lot in common.
If you've ever read the comment sections of any articles devoted to this age group and millennials in general, you know this.
When you graduate college with crippling debt and have to deal with the paradox of needing experience to get a job when no one will hire you to give you experience, it's easy to understand why this age group is so eager to rise above entry level positions.
Yeah, being willing to work hard for something you want kind of proves that you don't believe you're entitled to it.
This generation as a whole is just on fire with self-love – as a whole, anyway – and that tends to extend to an open-mindedness and acceptance for so many other things.
Honestly, can you blame them?
If there are any 23-year-olds out there, please weigh in. Hell, if you're younger than 25, I'd like to hear about the stereotypes you encounter from day-to-day.
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