Here’s a simple fact: Millennials are the most educated generation in human history, yet they have the highest share of people who are unemployed in decades. Why? What went wrong with millennials?

One theory is that millennials were the first generation to have all received participation awards. That millennials never learned how to set goals or work hard because they were given awards simply for participating in youth sports, and now they think they should just be handed things.

As an older millennial I can say that this is 100% true. It’s dead on and I’m ashamed to be a part of it.

Take for instance the job market. Millennials expected to be given a trophy just for showing up, and now they expect there to be a “working economy” that is “reasonably regulated by the government” so there are “opportunities to make a living.” Get real millennials! This ain’t no youth soccer. This is real life where the economy is defrauded by huge banks with virtually no punishment so that the market crashes and there aren’t enough jobs for almost a decade after. Sorry kids, there are winners and losers! The people who were smart enough to participate in white collar crime won the game, or can you not tell because you’re too busy texting?

And while we’re talking about banking, enough with the bitching about student loan debt! We millennials have more student loan debt than any other generation and all we do is whine about it! Millennials are always snapchatting “Oh I can’t afford my bills now after getting my degree because of the student loan debt.” Well you should’ve thought about that when you were an 18 year old being encouraged to incur that debt by everyone around! It’s that kind of participation trophy attitude that prevented millennials from thinking for themselves. I’ve got a solution: how about you just do what your parents did and work your way through college instead of instagramming your penises? Granted, tuition has more than tripled since your parents were in college, but that just means you have to work harder! Instead of waitressing, get a better part time job as a hedge fund manager! Problem solved, ya dummy!

Even if you didn’t go to college, this kind of ‘everyone’s a winner’ thinking is still pervasive. I was talking with a friend of mine who went to fight in the Iraq war straight out of high school (a war by the way that happened thanks to Millennials not voicing their skepticism just because they were “in middle school.” Classic excuse!) and a midst all the complaining about his PTSD, a thing that people started talking about once these whiny millennials started to pop up, my buddy mentions his purple heart. Seeing the opportunity to make a point I asked “Should everyone in the Army get purple heart just for participating?” And you know what he said? “Yes, everyone who served abroad has sacrificed something and deserves to be recognized.” Can you believe that? No wonder this generation can’t keep a job!

Add all this on to the pile of things Millennials think everyone is entitled to: healthcare, marriage equality, civil rights, blah blah blah look up from your computers! Everyone isn’t the same! There’s a trophy for winners and if you aren’t a winner you can’t have access to an abortion!

And that lesson starts with youth sports. Don’t make the same mistakes our parents did and just give kids awards for being involved. It will make them grow up to want to change the rules and level the playing field and all of the feel good bullshit. As a millennial who can’t undo these past mistakes, I want to say on behalf of our generation, we’re so sorry. Trophies are cool and important.


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