Woes Of The Millennial

21st century millennials aka the ‘strawberry generation’ have been labelled as idealists. While some believe that our generation can create real change in the world, others think we bruise easily, are unattached, self-consumed and entitled.

We’ve all heard stories from our parents; how they could only afford porridge and soy sauce for meals. Or how their journey to school was comparable to our 2.4km run. Times were hard, but I believe the advancement of our era also brings a different kind of stress our parents may not understand.

Do our said ‘entitled mannerisms’ cause our fears to differ that much today?

Here’s what 20 millennials think:

Their biggest fears fall into three main categories.


Probably the fear of not being able to live the life I envisioned for myself. I feel like adulthood hits you like a truck, and suddenly you’re left clueless about what you are to do next.
Ra, 23

I mainly have two areas in which fear arises, with one being the fear of an unknown future. As a student who is graduating from university soon, I’m afraid I won’t be able to find a fulfilling job I’ll enjoy. My second fear is losing a loved one, especially my dad. It’s terrifying how someone’s life can be easily taken away.
Damien, 23

My biggest fear is mediocrity, leading a mundane life–get a 9-6 job, save for a BTO, get married and have a family. With a lot more young entrepreneurs making successes these days, there’s a lot of pressure to stand out from the norm and not become one of those who fall into routines.
Jim, 26

I’m afraid I’ve gotten so used to the life my parents have given me, that any type of adjustments would come as a massive shock. I’m very thankful for them and the efforts they’ve put into raising my sister and I, but I guess fearing that I won’t ‘make it’ in life worries me a lot.
Celeste, 27

I’m afraid of letting people in 100%, in fear of having them trample all over my vulnerabilities. I’m afraid of trusting friends who turn out to be superficial people… I’m afraid of never feeling like I fit in anywhere in this fast-paced modern society because people always peg me to be someone I’m not.
Vanessa, 20

As a millennial in his mid-twenties who’s already exhausted, I fear what my thirties would look like. Part of me worries that the future could just be me hustling like how I do now, except I’ve reached the threshold limit for exhaustion–I’m zombified.
Tom, 25

I’m afraid to lose myself from being engrossed with chasing my goals. Personally, losing myself means forgetting about my personal values and beliefs, that I’m a person with a right to love and be loved. Or even hurting and forgetting about the people who care about me.
Elena, 24

With the high prices of houses and cars, I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford a house. I know there’s the option of BTO, but given the choice, I’d prefer not to live in a HDB flat. I’m not saying HDB is a bad thing, I actually think the housing scheme is doing Singaporeans good. I’d just prefer to live in a more comfortable place.
Justin, 25

Also read:

Why Millennials Like Me Don’t Want Children, And It’s Not About Money



Being unable to afford marriage, a house and to provide for my family and parents. A part of me feels like I shouldn’t have to worry about such things, but how can I not? Singapore is getting increasingly expensive to live in. Jobs are getting cut and times are looking bad. I hope things get better soon.
Ming Terk, 27

I’d say securing a job. Education has become more readily available and more people are becoming educated. Having a degree no longer guarantees a job. Furthermore, with companies not hesitating to hire foreign talent in a bid to cut costs, the job market is even more competitive.
Nick, 30

An insular world. We might just be at the precipice of the tipping point when the global trend regresses from globalisation to insularity. It would be such a shame if all the progress we have made as a human race be rewinded 20-30 years, and ultimately realise our stereotype as the ‘Me’ generation.
Hakim, 26

Not having any purpose in life, with no motivation to wake up in the morning. I wouldn’t know what to do if I felt like I didn’t have a purpose in life; it’s far too important to me.
Kyla, 24

Waking up one morning to realise there’s no one I want to send a good morning text to anymore. And it doesn’t just apply to my significant other; but my parents, sister and closest friends as well. It might not be an issue of whether they’re alive and well, but whether they remain in my life in the years to come.
Kaiying, 24

I have this fear of not loving and appreciating the people and things around me enough. We move too fast these days with work and everything else that catches on with age.
Jessica, 23

That I’ll be 40 and still living with my parents. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford a flat, can you imagine that? Not being able to afford public housing. My future husband might also have to come live with my parents and I. Unless he’s loaded or has a high paying job, our combined salaries probably won’t get us far. Let’s not even get started on owning a car and being able to support kids.
Natalie, 24

I fear being consumed by my job to a point where my other ambitions are suffocated. In a country like Singapore, it’s easy to be sucked into your job and lose sight of everything else.
James, 28

Financial stability. Money is everything, no matter what people say–love, health, etc. Without money, you can’t buy healthcare and you have to work extra hard. Who has time for relationships when that happens?
Maryann, 25


Losing my mind and consciousness. That means losing the magic to do anything you want. My grandmother has dementia. After looking at how it affects everyone around her, I realised how important health is.
Luke, 26

I can’t imagine seeing my parents’ health getting stripped away from them. Watching them age is a terrifying process. I fear the day I lose them to a terminal illness or watch them suffer a slow, painful death.
Vanessa, 24

This may be superficial, but one of my greatest fears is ageing physically. I can’t imagine looking in the mirror to see a face full of wrinkles. I’m a very visual person who values my appearance. Seeing myself deteriorate physically would just eat away at me–#BotoxFTW. And it’s not just in terms of beauty. What if one day my legs cease to function, and it takes me ages to get myself from one side of the room to the other?! I hope that day never comes.
Rachel, 22

We’re In This Together

We strive for a job that we’re passionate about or attempt to build one from scratch. We visit the most talked-about food markets, and travel as much as possible. But even if our Instagram timeline is filled with wanderlust photos, we’re still perturbed by the fundamental necessities life demands from us.

Despite the many #firstworldproblems we face, it’s healthy to remind ourselves that at least we have basic human rights, education and safety in this part of the world.

And as odd as it sounds, there is some comfort in knowing that there are at least 20 others who are equally scared as we are.

This article was first published on 5 December 2016 and last updated on 22 September 2023. 

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Singaporean Millennials Discuss Why They Abstain From Premarital Sex