26 Lies All Millennials Were Told When They Were Growing Up

Unsplash / Matheus Ferrero

Found on Ask Reddit

1. That we’d have jobs once older generations started retiring

In Finland, we were told that once the big age group born after WWII retires, there will be jobs everywhere, for everyone. That didn’t happen. The number of open positions has remained stagnant for ten years while the unemployment rate is rising.

— ryijy

2. That we wouldn’t have to pay for college

“Go to college, I’ll pay for it.”

My $39K debt says otherwise.

— podrick_pleasure

3. That we had to figure out our lives young

That if I don’t have my life figured out by the time I’m 25 then I have some serious problems.

— Smigg_e

4. That people on the Internet are dangerous

“Most people on the internet are dangerous weirdos!”

Most people on the internet are really fucking ordinary people.

— CDranzer

5. That high school would be the best years of your life

That high school will be the best years of your life.

At 31 I have to say those were the worst 4 years of my life.

— KShinigami

6. That you’d be set for life with a Bachelor’s Degree

Get a Bachelor’s Degree and you are set for life as far as a job/career is concerned.

— mseyre

7. That it all makes sense when you get older

“It will all make sense when you’re older.” Fuck that, everything makes even less sense. Now I’m older and expected to be independent and STILL don’t understand half the shit I need to accomplish that successfully.

— UppityDragon

8. Never give out your personal information online

Never give out your personal information online.

Now that’s all the internet is. Everyone’s personal information.

— Bezere

9. That Grades are more important than work experience

You don’t need work experience; grades will be enough.

That might have been OK in the past but then the global financial crisis hit and employers became much fussier.

— pajamakitten

10. That other people had it harder than us growing up.

That they had it so much harder than us growing up.

— canceroustumor123

11. That you’re defined by your job

You need to define yourself by your job. I wasn’t told this directly but we live in a culture of dream jobs or people asking “what’s your job” when they meet you. My work is cool but it’s just work. My hobbies are what I define myself around.

— jnksjdnzmd

12. Your company will take care of you

Be loyal to your company. They’ll take care of you.

Also, follow your dreams, get a house with a yard, and you’ll be able to retire.

— topagae

13. That you should have a family by 25

So many movies growing up have people going to college, finishing at like 21, and already being engaged and married immediately after. Then within like 2 years of working they’re already buying a house with like 3 kids by 25.

Like Jesus Christ I’m 26 and just got engaged, only now getting a career in my field, and I’m still living at my parents after living away for like a year. Everything’s just so damn expensive and there’s just no money to be found. I can’t imagine raising kids yet.

— lemonylol

14. That your Halloween candy is laced with drugs

“Always check your Halloween candy because someone might have put drugs in there!”

Drugs are expensive. No one is giving that shit away for free to children! But I still check my kids’ candy for open wrappers just in case there’s any funny business…and Reese’s Cups.

— badwolfmommy

15. That ‘participation trophies’ are our fault

That receiving ‘participation trophies’ were our fault. No kid was out there demanding a trophy for losing. Some dumbass parent thought it would be nice for their kid to get a trophy so somehow this has become normal and everyone claims some 5 year old masterminded the whole thing.

— Felon

16. That you’ll regret ‘wasting’ time on the computer

“You’ll regret spending so much time on that computer when you’re older.”


— Dubalubawubwub

17. That certain career paths ensure success

Be a doctor, lawyer or engineer and you will be happy and make lots of money.

I know so many underemployed lawyers that it’s a little depressing. I don’t know a single MD that isn’t divorced (although I know a lot of happy DOs).

I do know a lot of happy, wealthy engineers though.

— datedusername

18. That we’re smarter than other people

That I’m smart. I was smart, sure- for a kid. But as I’ve gotten older that’s evened out significantly. I may know a lot of trivia and a lot about certain key subjects, but those are not actually marketable skills. So I work nights at a hotel and squeak by, living with my parents and racking up credit card debt to make ends meet.

— mr-nichtus

19. That all guys just want sex

All guys will only want sex from you *all the time. Turns out that kind of thinking is harmful to a young woman’s sexual-psychological development.

*Edit to add/specify that this also includes the idea that men are always “ready” to have sex at a moment’s notice, and if they aren’t, it obviously means there’s something wrong with you (or them) or they’re cheating (ridiculous, just because it’s anecdotally true for some doesn’t mean it’s a certainty).

— RogueLotus

20. That it’s illegal to turns the lights on in the car

That turning on the lights in the car is illegal

— p_mig

21. That we could buy a house

That we could buy a house, grow old and retire.

— klingers

22. That student loans are normal

“Student loans are normal, don’t be afraid to go into debt for that out of state graduate degree”

— Drunkpostsbyme

23. That you wouldn’t have a calculator everywhere you go

“You won’t have a calculator everywhere you go.”

Guess what Mrs. Diaz, I have a portable computer with access to the internet that fits in the palm of my hand.

— -eDgAR-

24. That money can’t buy happiness

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Sorry folks. But in the world I’m currently living in, it absolutely does.

— Don_Cheech

25. That you would use cursive

That I would need and use cursive.

— sexywhormones

26. That strangers would offer you drugs

That some dude is gonna walk up to me and offer me free drugs.


— PM_ME_MAMMARY_GLANDS Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Callie is a writer, editor, and publisher at Thought Catalog. Her debut book, ‘The Words We Left Behind,’ is available for pre-order before its January 9, 2024 release.

Keep up with Callie on Instagram, Twitter and calliebyrnes.com

More From Thought Catalog