10 Reasons Why People Hate 20-Somethings

1. Don’t you get it? WE ARE THE WORST GENERATION EVER. We slaughter babies. We run over people in wheelchairs. On top of being homicidal maniacs, we’re really privileged because we shop at Whole Foods and spring for organic produce. So, you know what, we’re not allowed to be upset about anything ever. We’re a bunch of churlish Millennials! Everything we say should be muted. Only on our 30th birthday should we be allowed to open our mouths. Until then, it’s a wrap on our opinions.

2. People hate us because we’re young and remind others of how old they are. I’m 25 and find myself sometimes feeling ageist toward 21-year-olds so I get it. One day I might be the asshole 29-year-old making fun of 24-year-olds for having so many feelings. I hope not though. Not just because I would feel like a hypocritical jerk in doing so but because being ageist ages YOU ten years.

3. We bitch about our lackluster love lives but then are too lazy/awkward to change it ourselves. I know. We hate ourselves for that too so just chill out on chugging that haterade, babe. We beat you to it.

4. Apparently we lack self-awareness but I think that’s a big steaming pile of crap. Every 20-something I know hates themselves and is it really possible to be full of self-loathing and also be utterly clueless? We’re reminded of how awful we are every day by crochety journalists and misanthropic bloggers. How can we NOT be self-aware? We get it! We’re terrible! We can’t stop taking pictures of our food and chatting about our feelings. Dear God, we truly are revolting! Someone make us stop!

5. We think we can do anything we want and don’t have to settle in any aspect of our lives. Some of us actually end up being right and succeeding at whatever it is that we sought out to do, which REALLY pisses some people off. “I GOT TO WHERE I WAS TODAY BECAUSE I HAD AN INTERNET CONNECTION AND DIDN’T HAVE TO PAY RENT AT MY PARENTS HOUSE. I WISH I COULD SAY OTHERWISE BUT THIS IS 2012, BITCH. FREE RENT AND WIFI CAN TAKE YOU ALMOST ANYWHERE YOU WANT TO GO.”

6. We gaze at our navels all day long. We stick our finger in our bellybutton and then smell it. Sometimes we eat the lint. I don’t know. We’re a disgusting bunch of disgustos.

7. Sometimes we do this thing where we DARE to write about our feelings and then publish it somewhere. I know, THE AUDACITY of those Millennials, right? We clearly missed the memo that all writers didn’t start publishing personal work till they hit 30 and that we should spend our 20s just writing pieces about eskimos and World War 1. I sincerely apologize for thinking that I could even write this post. I sincerely apologize for saying the letter “I.” I didn’t mean it. I suppose I’ll return to writing Moby Dick 2 now. I love whales.

8. We never seem to go away, do we? Everywhere you look, there we are! Turn on the TV! Oh, look, there we are waitressing and complaining about having no money. Oh, and there we are on that show, G***s. Sorry, I had to bleep it out because that show is a dirty word on the blogs. I totally understand why. This 20-something girl Lena Dunham didn’t grow up in an alleyway, she totally grew up with like a sturdy pair of shoes and nice socks, so she wasn’t allowed to say ANYTHING when she grew up because, you know, she was rich. But then she had the gall to do it anyway! She made a funny, insightful show about young people and it’s so sick. If you’re going to create a TV show, you have to make it about misogynistic ad execs, Zooey Deschanel or zombies. How dare you make a show that’s reflective of a certain group of people at a certain point in time. HOW EMBARRASSING FOR YOU!

9. We think we know everything but we don’t. That’s never happened with a group of young people before until our awful, sordid mistake of a generation came along! It’s so strange! AND TERRIFYING. We must be told how dumb we are, how hopeless we are, what a bunch of idiots we all are. If only someone was brave enough to speak out against this generation. Then everything would be so much better! For everyone!

10. We can only write down our thoughts in listicle form. It’s truly disturbing. Like, can that stop? TC Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Sam

    This was brilliant!

  • a 22-year-old

    jeez bitter much

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianmay Brian Gregory May

    Revised title: Ten Reasons People Hate 20-Somethings..

  • christina


  • Robbie

    This post is why they ‘hate’ you.

    It’s the fact that a 25 can sound like an 14 year old. It’s a generation that has yet to grow up.

    It’s not even envy. This generation actually makes me glad I’m not young any more.

    Actually, I’m not sure people hate your generation at all. I know I don’t. It’s just that you seem a bit silly. The generational equivalent of rich kids.

    Us oldies are going to enjoy watching you get old. I’m not sure you’ll handle it all that well. That will tickle us.

    But a nice post, thank you. When at its best, your site is one of the few exceptions to what I’ve said above.

    • Robbie Rae

      Please forgive my typos. A little embarrassing.

      • Peter

        A home run from Robbie! Perfectly said.

    • http://joeswanbergcompleteme.it MUMBLECORE IS BETTER THAN JEAN RENOIR

      Yes, the “25 going on 14” thing is really sad.

    • uhh

      So what do you mean when you say these 20-somethings sound like they’re 14?

      So how exactly are 20-somethings supposed to sound like?

      • Robbie

        Like 20 somethings, I guess.

      • http://redlipsandcitylights.wordpress.com nnekaayana

        ….Oh. Well, that makes perfect sense.

    • Hry

      Don’t forget about the importance of nurture Robbie. We’re the generation that you made.

  • bob

    What Robbie said. Also, you don’t think before you write. Not Ryan, necessarily, but a lot of the other people who have shown up on this site. Try editing sometime. A lot of the stuff that shows up here is mundane, unoriginal and whiny.

    • Arbie


    • red apple

      then don’t come and read if you don’t like it.

    • Rush

      I hear that.

  • Evan

    Too bad only twentysomethings read this. Great job!

  • Arbie

    I know EXACTLY which article written by a 29-year-old man you are responding to! Haha.

  • http://klsdjf. Latoya

    Can Ryan O’Connell please write ANYTHING ELSE besides _______ 20-somethings/in your 20’s/things to do in your 20s and why you should drop friends that are bad for you. We get it.

    • http://twitter.com/mbp817 Marc Phillips (@mbp817)

      He does write other things. Writing about 20-somethings is his shtick and he does a damn good job.

      • MONSTER

        here here.

      • MONSTER

        @ Marc Phillips

    • http://iliatemelkov.wordpress.com soregashi

      You want him to write about the 60somethings and things to do in your 60s? It’ll be insightful by a 20-something person, don’t you think?

      • H

        Seems like most people can’t get their head around the ridiculousness of their complaints.

  • Guest

    I always know it’s you that’s written something without even looking. You’ve got to be the most aggravating and bitter homosexual there is.

    • H

      What’s his homosexuality got to do with it? Get lost little troll.

    • red apple

      wow. judgemental much.

  • K.

    Just a thought, but hasn’t this been the attitude toward young people since the advent of the counterculture? In some respects it’s a bit different, but who’s more of a crotchety icon toward young people than, say, Richard Nixon? Post-1965(ish), I think this bitterness toward youth (perhaps I should say “young adulthood”) has been a staple of American life. Maybe the biggest difference, and why this seems like more of a contemporary phenomenon, is that 20 somethings with blogs/facebook/twitter/etc. happen to have a better platform through which to contradict the crotchety journalists and other naysayers.

    • LEXI

      Congratulations, you caught the sarcasm!

  • http://joeswanbergcompleteme.it MUMBLECORE IS BETTER THAN JEAN RENOIR

    Nope. This Ryan guy, the worst writer on here, annihilates his own point by making his enemies’ point. He can’t even adequately refute his opponents–he can’t hold a logical thought in his head that long. I am a member of Gen X, previous holder of the Stupidest Generation Ever trophy. But at least our heads were filled with Tarantino-esque troughs of seventies pop-cultural crap. This generation has nothing–nothing at all–except its cookies, its poop, its gism, its puppies, and the squeaks of its phones. It’s really okay to admit that your whole generation sucks ass.

    • Arbie

      And that comment above is the very point this satirical article exists in the first place.

    • Jk

      What? What are you even talking about?

    • http://behance.net/nataliejean shrimp

      Why do you always comment/read Ryans posts when you dislike him? Nobody is making you, there are other articles on TC that you might enjoy if you weren’t so busy trolling him.

    • watts

      says the guy from the generation that has fucked America for decades to come.

      • Teo

        @watts hahahaha excellent comment.

      • Rick

        Actually, the Baby Boomers did that.

    • Hry

      I like cookies though. And puppies.

  • Chelita

    what happened to Thought Catalog. I just keep getting disappointed by the quality (or lack thereof) of the articles lately.

    • red apple

      go read something else then.

  • http://testimonialcomic.com nishantjn

    That last point very clearly gives it away. This article has nothing to do with people hating 20-somethings. It’s only about you. And that reflects poorly not just on this article, but on your integrity as an honest writer that readers can believe.

    You invented this age bracket of 20-somethings, attributing all kinds of ‘unique’ characteristics to it, that apparently only we (20-somethings) could have. And now you’re inventing the hatred too. Stop playing the victim to your imagined hatred. Grow up. Find a bigger purpose to write.

    • uhh
      • nishantjn

        If you would read that article, you would see how baseless THIS article becomes.

    • Jk

      How can Ryan have invented an age bracket? 20-29 is a twenty-something. Otherwise you’d have to say, oh…that age group of people who are 20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28 and 29. That’d take fucking ages, it’s a contraction, if you will.

      • nishantjn

        Come on… Don’t be THAT pedantic. Of course the ages exist!

        I mean, using this phrase as a defence for everything he says and then choosing to abruptly use it as his curse, that he is victimized over it, this is all just really crass and whiny. I’m about to turn 25, I’ve been through shit, and reading his posts, the stuff I went through isn’t half of what he talks about. He is supposed to have learned better by now, unless he’s just pretending.

      • Jk

        Sorry, being pedantic is a trait of a twenty-something :D

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Ryan writes why he knows and if this is what he knows then who is anyone to tell him what to do, how he should act in his twenties (thirties, forties, fifties) and what he should write about? Surely people making those kinds of complaints just sound really whiny and crass too. The clue is in the title, if you didn’t want to see it, you shouldn’t have read it. It’s not like he ambushed you with a really obscure title.

      • red apple

        “he is supposed to have learned better by now, unless he’s just pretending”

        so…we’re all supposed to be like these identical pieces of..things..which are ‘supposed’ to be ‘like this’ at a certain age or point of time, and if we aren’t, we’re what? failures? and if we are, we’re what..successful?

    • Hry

      Nishantjn, The final point was a weak attempt at irony, not intellectual dishonesty. Though you do have a point – you could substitute every “we” in this article for “I” and it would make much more sense. His problem is that he’s a very limited writer and can only trot out a load of very similar platitudes for a captive audience.

      I too hate the ‘twentysomethings’ category. Not all of us fall into these horrible clichés. Maybe I’ll write an article – no, a list – explaining my feelings towards it.

  • http://twitter.com/geology_rocks Haley F (@geology_rocks)

    I’d like to post a formal complaint to this site for lumping all of 20-Somethines into a single category. As a gainfully employed 27 year old I don’t spend my time worrying about one night stands, thinking about my feelings and guzzling down tequila at open bars. And on the flip side it’s entirely possible for 30+ year olds to be jobless, broke and having existential crisis’.

    • red apple

      good for you. but unfortunately not all of us are at peace in our own minds and we need some time to find our direction, or find our way, or just strike our personal balances.

      • http://twitter.com/geology_rocks Haley F (@geology_rocks)

        That’s totally fine. But these things aren’t unique to “20-somethings”. They can happen at any age.

      • red apple


    • Teo

      We know that. But Ryan is 25 and his friends are in their 20s, therefore he writes what he knows. It’d be like if I started a parenting blog, it’d be pretty stupid because I don’t have kids. Ryan writing about 30 and 40 something problems would be ridiculous.

      • http://twitter.com/geology_rocks Haley F (@geology_rocks)

        All I’m saying is these articles with generalized advice for “20-somethings” are just as bad as the broad criticisms other writers seem to have about this generation – the ones Ryan is having a hissy fit over in this article.

        You’re screaming “YOU DON’T KNOW US!” to people over 30, but what’s being written on this site pretty much validates everything they say. Your articles paint those of us in that 10 year age bracket as unemployed hipsters only concerned with free drinks and sleeping with random people and then complain when older writers and publishers don’t take you seriously.

        It would just be nice to see some more variety in the articles aimed at our age group being posted on this site. Like how about thoughtful essays about ageism and careers? How in creative and tech fields when you enter the work force the age barrier falls apart pretty fast. How about more articles about being a young person overseas? How about things to do with religion? How about money matters? Something with substance beyond omg guys don’t spend all your money on clothes from Club Monaco lolol!

      • Teo

        They’re not my articles, they’re Ryan’s. And not every article on this site is about 20-somethings. Just two days ago there was an article about living in China. Right now, there’s one about working a supermarket job, there’s one about summer, there’s one about a dwarf actor and the struggles that he’s faced to get to where he is, there’s one about stand up comedy, there’s one about money management, one about sexuality stereotyping…I could go on. The ones about twenty somethings seem to get singled out, despite the fact that they aren’t THAT plentiful. Scroll through and filter out what you don’t like/what doesn’t interest you. That’s what the titles are for. The clue is in the name y’know. You are not forced to read the articles aimed at, as you insist, hipster writers who sleep around and take drugs. (Even though that’s generalizing, wouldn’t you say? To say that all articles on here posess that kind of content.) If you don’t like it, stop attacking the writers and just don’t read it.

      • Red Apple

        Can’t agree more with Teo on this. Haley, honestly, it really is within your power and decision-making on how you want to identify yourself. Lalalaaa :P

    • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans (@mung_beans)

      You don’t think about your feelings? Bummer.

      • Ella

        Doesn’t guzzle tequila either. Even bigger bummer :(

  • red apple

    in my opinion i felt the author was just being very honest with himself, which is something i feel many of us have a hard time doing. for myself personally, i have a fear of facing certain issues within myself.

    love this type of honest post. thank you, ryan!

  • red apple

    and just to add on, EVERYONE’S A CRITIC. that cannot be denied.

    • Robbie

      I’m pretty sure it’s possible to disable the comments section if discussion was not welcomed.

      • red apple

        perhaps you should direct this comment to the people running this page.

  • http://twitter.com/WillPatterson Will S. Patterson (@WillPatterson)

    Huh, I do tend to write my thoughts out in listicle form. This post made me feel:
    1. Humored
    2. Self-reflective

  • Francesca

    … spot-on, as always.

  • elevendeuce11

    as a fellow “twenty-something” i’m going to suggest you stop giving a shit about what other people think about you or how they perceive what you are doing so much. you seem conflicted about the fact that you actually DO exude these qualities & it bothers you.

    i can’t tell if you like fitting into the categories you listed or if you loathe yourself for being so predictably “twenty-something”.

    either way, again, as a “twenty-something” all i can say are two things 1) this list doesn’t describe me & 2) if it did, i’d “hate twenty-somethings” too.

  • Katie

    As a 26-year-old, I found this incredibly obnoxious. Almost every generation has things to say about the generation proceeding them – some positive, some negative. Writing this angry, ranting blog post only gives them more ammunition. Wouldn’t it be so much better to just ignore the things that are said about our generation that you don’t agree with and focus the energy on showing them what makes our generation awesome instead?

  • red apple

    uh can we all just agree to disagree and agree that all of us have our own opinions?

    • elevendeuce11

      seriously! thank you! i never understand why people get up in arms about a comments section- exactly the place to state your opinions in an open forum. say your piece and move on. not everyone has to agree with everyone. & it’s not a contest.

      • red apple

        thumbs up elevendeuce11!

  • http://emotionaldomesticate.com Hailey

    Even the comments are boring and predictable on this article. If you don’t have anything semi interesting to say don’t say it at all.

    • red apple

      perhaps you shouldn’t have said what you just said then.

    • H

      Well…duh. What a stupid thing to say.

    • elevendeuce11

      yea. you probably shouldn’t have said anything either.

    • Hry

      I think that your advice could be best bestowed upon Ryan O’Connell himself….

    • Tee

      Lol comment fail.

  • http://theonceandfuturecoffeeaddict.wordpress.com jasonhood

    I think this is the most pissed off I’ve ever seen Ryan and it’s awesome. And with good reason; the comments section here proves his points quite well.

  • Eddie

    blah blah blah blah, get over it. Love, a 25 year old

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