To the biggest generation on record. You are now experiencing a once in a 100-year event. A chance to go down in history. Your children’s children will be hearing about this for decades to come. The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the world, and many are saying this is your generations World War 3, an opportunity for greatness, an unprecedented time in history. I personally believe it’s your time to shine!

With a global depression looming, the world economy is literally being shaken to its core. I know it may seem a little grandiose, as conspiracy theorists everywhere are hypothesising that this virus is manmade and being used to erode our human rights. Some even believe this is a perfect pathway for the 1% to impose their cashless society on the world. All in the interest of our safety, as cash, carries germs. Others believe this is all somehow connected to 5G, which is another way for the government to track our every move.

Whether you believe any of this, life as you know it has undoubtedly changed forever and I personally believe this is the reset we needed. Because this event, if you allow it, has the potential to bring everything you believe important into perspective. Remember the fires? Remember climate change, many Millennials are joking saying this is mother earth’s cruel joke to make sure we stand up and take notice. And yes, we are all listening. Whether we liked it or not, we are all feeling the pinch.

So, before you have a little freak out (we have all had one don’t worry), think about this as a once in a lifetime chance to prove the world wrong. I have been asked many times how Millennials will respond or cope in an economic downturn. Well here we are and like many of us, you are probably feeling a little ripped off right now, but your generation has enjoyed some great years of positive economic growth (especially in Australia).

And we all know that Millennials are labelled as being selfish and entitled. Some say you have unrealistic expectations and want everything now. I know this may seem unfair but let’s be honest you guys do seem obsessed with instant gratification. So, these times we are facing are really going to challenge you. Don’t worry they are challenging us all.

And I know that initially, this seemed like a fun experiment, ISO memes and stories blaring from our social feeds, but as the government started imposing tighter and tighter restrictions on our movements, the reality of the situation became more and more sombre. Look, I know it’s hard to not see your friends and go to parties and do “coffee”. I know you guys love your F45 and your run clubs and your brunch dates. We all miss our date nights, girls’ nights, and shopping till we drop. But seriously, you Millennials were born for this shit! You are the most digitally connected generation ever. I mean Facebook was created during the GFC. Imagine what cool shit you guys are cooking up right now from your bedrooms. I cannot wait to see what innovative products and services you develop next. According to many, we should all be using this time to “pivot” or learn a language or even meditate collectively to raise global consciousness. Anyone with kids will know that achieving any of this is pretty impossible. And honestly, I believe we should all be given the permission to do whatever the f*#k it takes to survive, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I have been reading and researching about how you guys are reacting and responding to this crisis. There seem to be two camps. One group that is taking this very seriously and even complaining that their Boomer parents are not. And another camp that is choosing not to isolate and follow the rules. Some of these rule snubbers maybe the conspiracy theorists and some of you may be just plain selfish. I would ask the question which camp do you belong to? And when you look back in ten years time, don’t you want to say… Hey, I did the right thing, I got through this, and at one of humanities lowest points I even made a difference?

For the rule snubbers, I know this may be difficult as my research shows that Millennials don’t like restrictions or being told what to do. (Neither do I by the way). And I know many of you think this is a cruel joke and that it does not really matter if you get COVID-19 because you are young and healthy. So, a little house party here, a visit to your BFF’s there, who is going to know right? Can’t hurt? I know that the health authorities don’t even seem to know whether all this social distancing and self-isolation will even make a difference. But what if it does, and what if by following these rules we can reduce the length of time we will be living in prisons of our own homes.

So realistically guys whichever camp you belong in, now is the to show the world just how resilient you are. You have a chance to stick the big finger to all the haters, all the commentators who called you self-obsessed, INSTA-idiots who were more concerned with Facebook likes and fake lives than saving for houses and financial security. Many of you are probably better equipped to deal with this crisis financially than most of us. You love your round-up savings plans and budgets so lean into that shit right now!

I know all these expectations around your collective behaviour may seem unfair, and many are even untrue but some of your actions of late do seem a tad selfish. I have read and heard stories of raging house parties, visits to Bondi beach, tinder dates to get your ISO-rocks off and harmless visits to your mate’s house. You may think I am picking on you and that everyone of all ages is breaking the rules, but as the biggest cohort of our population you do have an extra level of responsibility. You have the power to flatten the curve and save lives more than anyone.

I have even seen many of you on social media using the hash tag #boomerremover! You can understand how selfish and cruel this may seem. I mean it is kind of ironic and funny that you think that this virus only affects oldies, as many young people are also getting really sick.

And I know most of you are following the rules, but some of you are not. And the real issue is that we have not even gotten started yet. The worst is yet to come, and I’m not talking about the health crisis, I am talking about the financial crisis that is looming. Many of you have already lost your jobs or have been stood down. Many more will lose their livelihoods in the months to come so I would ask you are you ready? To really sacrifice, to pull your purse strings in. To go without. To reassess EVERYTHING that you hold dear as many generations have had to do, years begone? Shit yeh you are! You will survive this. But only if you start to take this thing seriously and plan for not just tomorrows panic drinking session, but the next 6 months of possibly being at home trying to juggle work and home schooling whilst staying sane.

So, now is the time to be frugal. It’s time to do a budget, and if you own a business, make a plan, call your clients and add value. Pivot if you can. Find out what your clients need and overservice the shit out of them. Most importantly focus on self-care whatever that looks like for you. Whether it’s exercise, meditation, knitting just be kind to yourselves. Have a daily routine. Focus on what you have. We are the lucky ones. To live in a country with a government who is ready to dig deep and support us through fiscal policy and a health care system that is pretty bloody good. It could be worse. Imagine living in America, or Africa, or even Syria right now.

So, my advice is be prepared. Like the boy scouts. We are all depending on you, and we know you got this. And to provide you with more support in the coming weeks I will be sharing all my tips on how to be #ISOfrugal. Nothing like an economic downturn to bring into the focus all the waste and mindless spending in our lives. It’s time to step up!

The Universe thanks you in advance.

Written by Emily Jaksch