Millennial Burnout


I’m military and went to Afghanistan.

There are definite ups and downs.

The ups require you take advantage of them, for example low to free accommodation costs, decent pay and this chance to save, plus opportunities to gain some very useful skills, and that’s just as a “grunt” in the infantry (me.)

An officer in the logistics corps would be well on the path to a very good job managing the logitistics for Nestlé etc.

The downsides, as a grunt, is the army has almost no respect for your time.

You are an asset and are used as such, sent here or there to do this or that, and also, shit travels downhill and you are at the bottom of that hill…

Little things, like if the Sjt Manor decides on a new regimen, well the effects will be on you more than anyone else.

Plus the casual racism and bullying (experienced it myself) and sexism (didn’t experience it myself obviously!)

Simply put, it is the best and worst job I’ve ever had.

6 day exercise in the freezing snow with 3 hrs sleep per night was not fun and yet the camaraderie once that is over… There’s nothing like it.

And then there was Afghanistan. Getting woken up because of a grenade attack is something else 😂.

Feeling the air displacement as the enemy rounds fly by your face… Well that was entertaining.

I’d recommend it to anyone from 18 to 24, for about 6 years, with a clear plan to learn stuff and squirrel away your cash.

I’d recommend it doubly if there’s a chance for deployment. Massive learning experience.

But the caveat is having a get out plan and something to substitute the discipline when you are on your own again.

More than anything I miss that routine from Afghanistan, get up, breakfast, physical training (I got to the strongest and most ripped I have ever been) then do what you like the rest of the time until guard duty comes around, and stand by to do whatever jobs need doing (weapon cleaning, toilet cleaning hahaha!)

Nothing to spend money on where I was (I spent $30 in 5 months outside of my 2 week break in England) and no mortgage or anything.

Weekly phone call to my friends and family.


Though the author of the Buzzfeed News article in the original post does do some generalization based on her personal experiences, I think she describes the disenfranchisement that many millenials in the western world might feel accurately.
I’m in the beginning/middle of the millenial generation myself (early 30’s) in a country where millenials are much better off than most of western society and even I have experienced a couple colleagues only a few years younger than me go on extended sick leaves due to anxiety/stress (one got fired while the others found other solutions) or take a planned leave of absence (without pay) to recover from burnout. It’s probably partly to blame on the shitty management at my company but it might also be a symptom of something greater.

Here comes my rant:
I believe Reagan, Bush and possibly Clinton as well as most politicians in the western world from the 80’s onward deliberately aimed to increase inequality and separate the populations into winners and disenfranchised “losers”. Who could guess (SURPRISE!) that disenfranchisement would give us Trump, Brexit and other populist winners of referendums when they forgot to strip the voting rights of those disenfranchised “losers”.
Anyways I don’t have much hope in anything changing until the boomers die off (sorry, I know some of you are alright) or sentient AI takes over civilization and even then it will probably be too late.


What motivation do you attribute to those politicans?


I’m not sure what you mean but I would attribute short term economic motivations to them e.g. increase in real estate and stock prices that could benefit them and their support base privately.
Although Bush senior failed to cut taxes he did argue for them and his son subsequently succeeded in getting cuts approved.


So if a politician has a goal of increasing investment (stock and real estate) values, which tends to happen when you grow the economy, that draws a straight line to “crush the masses”? I’m no fan of our republicans, but that sounds . . . strained.

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle."
   - George Orwell
      - RothdaTruculent

I know that it’s disconcerting, but it’s not strained at all to say that republican leaders want to “crush the masses”. It’s an honest descriptor of reality.


Stolen from the dems 2019 Thread:


Millennial Burnout: The Photo


I wonder if sitting in front of a monitor all day contributes to burnout? So many people do that now. That didn’t really start to be a thing until the '80’s and it’s grown and become more prevalent.


How the hell is that an aspirational advert?

They WANT people who are either burned out or can’t organise their day well?

Eat a coffee for lunch?



You are willing to sacrifice your mental and physical health for money right? Join us!


That Fiverr site is for people to sell themselves for contract work. It’s a lot of “I’ll create you a Wix site for $15 from one of 3 templates.” They’re also largely from India, Pakistan, etc, where $15 goes a lot further.


Thought I would share my thoughts on a college education. First, I have to confess that I work for a large, 4-year research University that has become much malinged these days. However, I still maintain that in general, you are better off having a college degree than not.

A couple of things to get out of the way

  1. College is TOO EXPENSIVE. I get it and agree. The Universities get it. In my specific case, the public funding for the University has been cut to the bone, down to the tune of 4% of our overall budget. That means that the University has to soak out of state students to maintain funding. Not only that, the competitive landscape for Universities is intense, and incoming students expect the latest and greatest amenities and technology. And it isn’t like the administrators and staff are vastly overpaid. Most folks in my field are paid about 20% less in salary compared to their equivalents in the private sector (this is balanced out by great benefits).

  2. College isn’t for everyone. That is fine and I agree. Some people are entrepreneurial and driven enough that college isn’t important. For others, they would prefer to be out working with their hands right out of school, and that is fine too.

We know that trades are in-demand and can earn good wages. But they also aren’t a panacea, and people need to understand that going into a trade can be more dangerous and harder on your body. You’re also likely in a situation where you need to drive your own business, and there is a cap on how far you can do that without a college education in most situations.

For most people, college is still the BEST OPTION. Even with student loan debt, your lifetime earnings are likely to be higher with a college degree - any college degree - compared to without. Individuals with college education have better medical outcomes because they have access to better benefits packages. We see with voting demographics that folks with college degrees are better informed about civic matters. They are more tolerant.

College also isn’t intended to be job-training. Trying to turn college into a STEM factory is a massive mistake. It’s true that STEM graduates are more in-demand and earn more money - but a successful business needs far more than that. One of the advantages of the American workforce is the diversity in higher education often leads to a workforce that is more creative and better at critical thinking. Have you ever had to work with an Indian team? I have, and do, all the time. Speaking in generalities - they have all been technically excellent, but lack critical thinking and creativity. The best Indians I have worked with are those who were technically trained in India, then went to a western college for an advanced degree.

For me, I like to keep things in perspective. Talking with first-generation college students who come from abject poverty helps remind me why that college degree is so important. The knowledge those students come away with lifts them and their families up.

For someone who is just ‘trying to find their way’ and not sure what to do, I would still recommend they go to a college unless they have a clear love and proficiency for blue-collar work, or a clear vision for what they want to be doing. Even 2 years of community college and transferring to a 4-year after. Even if they walk away with English, or Medieval Studies or Sociology (my degree) or whatever - they will still be better off in the long run.

Now, as for the expense of college? Start funding them again. State funding for my school dropped 48% between 2000 and 2010…


I think the question is whether those earning will be more net of the cost of the degree, including the financing cost. Has anyone run those numbers?


I think it would also be interesting to look at marginal college attendees versus average. Like study people with grades that are good enough to get into some college but where many people in their situation decide not to attend. How do the outcomes look for people in this situation who don’t attend versus people who attend and graduate versus people who attend and don’t graduate?

If you look at averages it is going to be distorted a bit by people with very highly paid careers - who probably everyone agrees should go to college.


I mean the world needs welders too. And there are some people for whom college is not the best answer, not everyone is best served by college. And, yes, the lifetime earnings do come in higher for college versus not, but there are some people for whom that would not be true, that the added debt does not translate to higher earnings (do you really need a college degree to be a commercial Fisher, garbage collector, or HVAC tech?).

Which is important to remember, college is good for many, but for many going is worse than not going too.


The numbers here are pretty stark.

It also is fairly dependent on your field of choice.
Here is a study by Georgetown University on the cost/benefits of College Education as well as the earning differences between majors.

Get an Engineering/STEM/Business degree and you are pretty good.

But one of the key points across that entire study is that on average, the lifetime earnings difference between college and high school educated workers is 1,000,000 dollars. Even with 100k in student loans, you are still making 900k over your lifetime.

This is of course, a median, and is being pulled up by engineers making 120k and pulled down by fast food workers making 20k a year. So, if you compare someone who skips college and becomes and electrician vs a kid who goes to college for an english degree, the math might swing more towards the skilled trade.

College is still very important, but equally important is choosing the right major for your passions, and deciding if the debt is worth it knowing what your major’s job prospects will be.

This is a point that often is overlooked. Those without college degrees do end up working on jobs that leave them more likely for injury or overall stress leading to disability into old age. A lot of skilled trade workers go on the path from entry level, to mid level expertise, to expert level/ownership level. With the amount of time on site decreasing with each step up the ladder. Many older tradesmen will end up spending a lot more time managing a business behind a computer than being on their feet.


It’s hard not to believe that average doesn’t tell us much that is useful. They also found that the average lifetime difference between lowest value 4-yr degrees and highest value 4-yr degrees was $3.4 million. It’s triple the gap between all college and no college. There are huge high-end numbers in that mix, and apparently the average non-college lifetime income must actually be near or higher than the low-end college earnings.


At which point going to college part when you’re 40 to get a managerial degree makes sense. For example, my father. He was a afirefighter. However at some point things changed and he would have been unable to advance without a degree. So he went part time to the local community college for an associates. For him that made more sense than going when he was 18 to a four year university.

Plus it required no debt to do, already being established in his career.

Which is a perfectly valid route. It does eventually involve college, but at a time and place not requiring the huge debt load, and when they have a clearer understanding of what that degree means for them and what it needs to be.

How many people who are welders would have decided on a management degree at 18?


So here is where the challenge lies for me, because the fact this is true is a Catch-22 because we have hiring managers that won’t hire people without degrees for positions that really don’t require it. They are simply using the degree to weed people out and the position could easily be filled with a motivated high school graduate. This is one of the reasons why education became so expensive. Everyone is going because they have to which makes it the best option… when really it still isn’t because… Of course when people say that, they often and conveniently leave out the drop-out rates.

Fewer than 40 percent of students enrolling for the first time at a four-year college graduate in four years. Add in community college students, and more than half of students who start college drop out within six years.

A lot of trades are not going to destroy your body anymore than sitting at desk and getting fat will. I am not sure what you think a trades person is doing that’s so harsh… they work well into their 60s now. The Trades should not be avoided, and of course they are not for everyone. No one is saying that really.

There are options. We should make sure those are understood and push young people towards what is best for them, not just churn them through colleges that may not work for them.


Maybe you don’t think the work requires a degree, but even if your position doesn’t require a degree on a technical level, a degree still affords a host of soft skills that employers value. Critical thinking, focus, organization, collaboration, note taking, etc. etc.

As far as trades - you don’t think trades (in the most general sense) are harder on your body then an office job? Extreme temperatures, crawling in and out of damp, dusty areas. Cuts and scraps and burns and smashed fingers and jams, climbing scaffolding and ladders, working with live wires … I think you’re being a little disingenuous with that comment.

And if you read my post, I never said trades should be avoided. But there is a recent trend to tell kids ‘don’t go to college, go into a trade!’. In my opinion, that is the wrong advice. For most kids, they should be pushed towards college. Even with student load debt, the outcomes for college educated individuals are better. Better health, better pay, better retirement, more opportunity for their own kids, less criminality. Hopefully school counselors, teachers, and parents can work to identify the kids where college doesn’t make sense and help them go into a trade or whatever direction they want, but not all options are equal.

I would venture a guess that most kids who skip college don’t go into a trade anyway, and instead wait tables or work retail. There is a reason so many poor families work so hard to get their kids a college education.