From career to coffee to a bunch of rude shocks: The 5 lies all Millennials were told.

Everyone lied to me and I do not even slightly appreciate it.

Born in 1990, I fit squarely within the widely loathed and publicly ridiculed millennial generation, and in the words of our Messiah Kylie K. Jenner, I’m in the midst of “like, realising stuff”. 

Yeah. You heard me. 

You see, the generation/s before us told us a few white lies. They perpetuated a few… myths. They taught us things about work, technology, coffee, education and even illicit substances that proved to be entirely false.

And now, it’s time to address them.


1. “If you stopped drinking coffee and eating avocado on toast, you’d be able to afford a house.”

Just as we were reaching adulthood, everyone started yelling, “MAYBE YOU COULD BUY A HOUSE IF YOU STOPPED DRINKING SO MUCH COFFEE.”

Wow. Not sure what coffee ever did to literally anyone but okay.

I do not for a moment proclaim to be a finance expert, but with the average cost of a home in Sydney being over $1 million, you’d have to be drinking enough coffee to just about die in order to get anywhere near a house deposit.

But it wasn’t just coffee. Next, they came for our avocado.

Demographer Bernard Salt wrote in 2016 for The Australian that maybe if young people just stopped going to “hipster cafes” then they could afford a property.

“I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more,” he wrote. “I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn’t they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.”

Sir. “I saw a young person having breakfast once,” is not valid data collation.

Oh. Apparently Millennials are now using avocados to propose. Post continues below. 


Somehow, the theory stuck. Perhaps if we were all eating avocado 46 times a day for 180 years then yes. We might have gone too far with the brunch thing but even still – you do you.

It was clear as we hit adulthood that not only would we struggle to afford property, but we ought to be a) hungry and b) tired while coming to terms with it.

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but the gluten-free tea drinkers among us are not living in mansions. They’re as broke as the rest of us, who have been locked out of a housing market that is frankly ludicrous. The price of a home, compared to the average income of an Australian has widened significantly over the last 20 years.

Here. I even found a graph.

house prices
Data source: Dallas Federal Reserve Cross-Country Quarterly Database of Real House Prices as described in Mack and Martinez-Garcia.

Of the top 23 wealthiest countries, Australia has actually had the highest ratio of house price growth to income growth between 1975 and 2018, making our relentless complaining statistically valid. Which is the best kind of complaining.

We can't afford a home because we don't have enough... money... for one... and then we feel sad, and then we eat avocado and drink coffee. Not the other way around.

2. "You should never give out your personal details online."

No, guys.

That's literally what the Internet is for now.

In the early days of the Internet, my Dad used to sneak up over my shoulder and warn me that there was a hacker living inside my computer who looked like this.


Firstly, I don't have any money. And secondly, that's literally a robber from the Sims who steals televisions and what not.

Today, there's not a company in the country that doesn't have access to my Dad's life savings at any given moment, because he typed his details in mindlessly at 10pm one night, after finding some cool-looking golf balls.

If a hotel says, "In order to access wi-fi we need to know your date of birth, your full name, your credit card number and CCV, your darkest secret but also your home address and which bedroom is yours, specifically," I'd be like "Yeah sweet makes sense".

And then there's the Cookies.

All I do now is accept Cookies do you understand. 

I don't even know what Cookies are. All I know is that now I get porn pop-ups on my computer every few minutes and they're invasive and inappropriate.

Still, it's the price I'm willing to pay in order to do all my banking/bills/shopping over the Internet.

3. "You're not going to have a goddamn calculator in your pocket so you need to learn basic arithmetic." 




For. Goodness. Sake.

That is precisely what all of us have now and it turns out arithmetic was a total waste of time. 

Sometimes, I'll be sitting at a computer and can't even be bothered to get my phone out of pocket, so I'll just google equations like "what's 11 plus 2". Or "how old are you if you were born in 1990".

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, where Holly Wainwright, Mia Freedman and myself discuss what women are talking about. Post continues below. 



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

I doubted it then.

And I know they were wrong now.

Little did our parents know that on MySpace we were learning to code and design a bloody website, which were, in retrospect, probably some of the most productive hours of our youth.

Do I now have appalling posture?


Did I waste a lot of time taking awkward selfies in my study where you couldn't see my braces and then upload them to the Internet before applying weird 'effects' that somehow made me look worse?


But do I now have a ridiculously fast typing speed and basic digital knowledge as a result of my addiction to MSN messenger/Myspace/Facebook/weird Internet games?


And if my parents thought I spent a lot of time on the computer at 16 then they should see me now. Eight hours a day at work and then Netflix and during my breaks I'm on my phone. WHAT A LIFESTYLE.

5. "Never accept [free] drugs from a stranger."

Okay, no.

Where did anyone, ever, get the impression that we'd be offered free drugs?

At 29 years old, I have never, not one time, been peer pressured into taking drugs that someone else paid for. 

I've been waiting for 15 years and they simply never came. Sure, as a teen/young adult you can probably get drugs, you're just going to have to pay top dollar for them which I certainly have never been able to afford.

In fact, if someone is trying to force free drugs on you, that's great value. Good for you.

I'll be telling my kids to accept the free drugs and then give them to me so that I can put the money towards buying a house one day.

That's the advice I really wish I'd been given....

Mamamia Out Loud, our bi-weekly podcast, is coming to Melbourne for a live show, with 100 per cent of all ticket proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund. It's a brand new show, full of laughs and news and opinions and a few special surprises, with Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens, on February the 11th. You can buy tickets right now at mamamia.com.au/events. See you there!

Feature image: Universal television.