Here’s how to spot a millennial: ask them to think of “20 years ago”, and if they say “oh man the ’70s must have been fun,” that confirms their millennial status.
The technological jumps we’ve had in just the last 20 years have been so drastic that an entire generation of people (i.e., millennials) are confused as to how old we really are.
But the thing is: millennials are getting old. We are.
Did you know that most of us are in our early-to-mid 30s now? Yeah, that’s pretty wild. No, I’m not making stuff up. However, technologies like social media and the internet have memorialized so much of our past that we barely notice the time passing.
Alas, time keeps marching, and we millennials need to face certain aspects of our aging that, maybe, we haven’t really considered. Here are the top three things millennials need to start thinking about:
Millennials are Getting Old: We Need Health Insurance
In a 2019 study, roughly 60 percent of millennials around the country cited ‘cost’ as the key factor in whether they’ll be purchasing health insurance. It makes sense; after all, millennials actually do have it worse than Boomers or Gen X in terms of cost-of-living vs. average wages.
But here’s the thing: we need health or medical insurance coverage. This shouldn’t even be up for discussion, anymore. Here are the facts: most millennials are now in their early 30s and early 40s, which means that, unless you’re an immortal vampire, your body is pretty much going to start breaking down.
That random pain in your knee when you stand up? Your inability to eat as much beef as you want in a Korean BBQ? Yeah, signs of aging, my millennial pal.
Yes, health insurance costs money, money that we barely have. But guess what? Health insurance is what’s going to keep you alive when you inevitably start taking maintenance meds, or when you’ll need some sort of procedure in a few years’ time. It’s not being alarmist; these are just facts.
Health insurance, costly as some can be, are going to save your life and your wallet in the future, a future that is barreling closer and closer each day.
Millennials are Getting Old: Your Mental Health Matters Too
Was the previous paragraph depressing? Reality always is. But here’s the thing: as you get older, your mental health is going to start getting better or worse, depending on how you take care of it.
By the time you hit 25, your brain has pretty much reached its highest development potential, which means that you can no longer blame your bad choices on a faulty, under-developed brain. If you’re a millennial, you are now completely responsible for your actions. Yes, that’s pretty scary.
And here’s the good news: as a (hopefully) functioning member of society, you now have something that your teenage self probably didn’t have: disposable income. This means that your job is giving you money to help pay for professional psychiatric care, which is great.
Ironic, though, that it’s your job and your issues with money that are necessitating your weekly therapy sessions. That wasn’t a joke, those are the top two reasons millennials are stressed out.
Regardless, your mental health is directly tied to your physical health, and as you get older, your physical health is going to be much more fragile. Of course, it doesn’t have to be if you actually find the time to exercise.
Millennials are Getting Old: Exercise is Not an Option, It’s a Necessity
Speaking of exercise, as a full-fledged millennial deeply entrenched in his 30s, I can honestly say that exercise i.e., physical activity that raises your heart rate and ideally makes your muscles stronger while burning fat, is no longer an option: it is an absolute necessity.
Here’s the thing: on average, your metabolism slows down by a whopping 10 percent each decade after your 20s. In layman’s terms, metabolism is the amount of energy (otherwise known as calories) that your body uses so it can, y’know, function.
Yes, most of us were able to scarf down 50 chicken wings after a session of hard boozing and then get 2 hours of sleep so you can be rested for your college finals the next day (which you’ll probably ace). This is because, in our late teens and early 20s, our metabolism is at an all-time high, wherein each unit of energy our body has is most effectively turned into energy.
But a decade later, and you shouldn’t be surprised if half a bottle of chardonnay is going to send you into a day-long hangover wishing to every deity you know for the pain to stop. This is because your metabolism, which was nigh untouchable back in the day, has slowed down drastically.
Thankfully, though, there is a way to keep our metabolism in good shape, and that’s exercise. If you’re like me, you probably weren’t a gym rat in your youth, but now that we’re in our 30s, an hour or two a day at the gym -or heck, maybe just 15-20 minutes of body weight exercises in your bedroom every day -is the bare minimum you need so your body doesn’t just straight give up on you while you’re doing your presentation.
But, here’s some more good news: there are people out there who actually achieved their body goals way past their 30s and 40s, and while they needed more than just an hour of light jogging on a treadmill, it just goes to show you that taking care of your body is a great way to not die before you hit the big 4-0.
Again, this might all sound alarmist, but we’re just being real: we’re getting old, fellow millennials, but our quality of life doesn’t have to go down the toilet. Oh and, not to make you feel worse, but the ’70s wasn’t 20 years ago, it’s 50.