Millennials are proving to be a generation beleaguered by low self-esteem. It turns out that parental coddling, participation trophies and being told you can be anything may be a full-proof recipe for personal implosion. Listener Josh, a 24-year-old millennial, called The Glenn Beck Program on Monday to talk about overcoming his personal struggles with drugs and alcohol after receiving a healthy does of tough love from his parents.
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
Let’s go to Josh in Indiana. Go ahead, Josh.
CALLER: Hey, thanks for taking my call.
GLENN: You bet. You’re a millennial?
CALLER: Yeah, I’m 24 years old.
CALLER: So thanks for taking my call.
You know, I was to a certain degree coddled and didn’t really know it at the time, and, you know, my parents were doing their best. But, you know, I think a lot of it was just afraid of real life. So it started off that they — I’m sober three, almost four years now. So I did drugs. Failed out of college. Moved back home. Did the whole millennial thing.
CALLER: But I finally looked up. And I’m a long-time listener of your program. And I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way, but I think what, you know, millennials need is we need strong American values.
PAT: Hang on a second.
GLENN: Hold on, Josh. Hold on because I want to delve into your story a little bit more. Back in a minute.
GLENN: Let’s go back to Indiana and Josh who is a millennial. You’re how old, 25, Josh?
CALLER: Hey, still here.
GLENN: Yeah, are you 25?
And you were raised like pretty much everybody else was raised. You know, you’re special, and here’s your trophy and everything else.
And then you said that caused a breakdown and you started into alcohol and drugs.
CALLER: Well, the thing about it is, you know, I was listening to you guys. A lot of the generation, the millennials, we are looking for our why and our purpose. And, you know, high school, that’s not real life. And college, you know, that’s also not real life. So it took me a lot of time to sort out what’s reality and what’s not reality.
GLENN: What do you mean by that? That it’s not real life.
CALLER: Well, you know, in high school, it’s a whole different system. And in college, it’s a whole different system. And you get out in the real world and you start paying bills and you can’t necessarily stay up till 2:00 a.m. on the weekends and party and live that kind of lifestyle. And so for me, I got into drugs and alcohol at a young age. Do that. And it really took — go ahead.
GLENN: So then what turned you around? Because we were talking about this, that I don’t believe that — and this is a real — a broad generation. Of course, there will be exceptions to every rule.
But generally speaking, people don’t make a change in their life until there’s a problem. And, you know, the millennials are walking into the world with the lowest self-esteem of any generation ever. And it’s because they realize we’re kind of a fraud. We didn’t actually earn these trophies. We didn’t really have to work for it. And so they are looking for something meaningful in their life.
What was the — what was the turning point for you? And how did you grab a hold of your life?
CALLER: Sure, yeah. For me, it was hitting rock bottom. Getting kicked out of my parents’ house and having to make it on my own. But it’s tough love. That’s what Americans need to provide for the millennials, whether it’s the parents or the corporations. You know, it’s a good shakedown. And for me, I had to fall back on good values, American values from my parents, that they tried to teach me. But I had to basically reject a lot of — a lot of the stuff you hear in college and a lot of the stuff you hear in high school.
PAT: So your parents finally said, “Okay. You’ve been here long enough. You need to go.”
PAT: And where did you go?
CALLER: Well, I moved out into a halfway house myself.
PAT: Did you really?
CALLER: Yeah. Had to stay sober, go to AA meetings, get a job at Waffle House.
PAT: Wow. Wow.
CALLER: Get a job at Wendy’s. Pay my own bills.
STU: That’s a lot of living for 24 years old.
GLENN: Good for you.
PAT: Yeah, you’ve been through some stuff.
GLENN: Good for you. Good for you.
PAT: So are you making it now? Are you doing well?
CALLER: I am. I’m in school full-time. I hold a full-time job myself. Self-employed. And looking to get my degree here and get a job in the health care career.
PAT: Good for you.
GLENN: Good luck with that.
What is — how is your self-esteem?
CALLER: You know, I — I had to find my own purpose. It’s a lot better now, you know, now that I’m sober and not have cloudy judgment anymore. But I think it’s just going to take some time for a lot of millennials to find their self-worth and to make it on their own. And definitely don’t need to be coddled by anybody. A good shakeup is really what’s needed.
PAT: That’s great.
GLENN: Please check in with us again. I’d love to hear how you continue to do. Thanks so much, Josh.
CALLER: Sure thing. Thanks for having me.