Millennials from Europe have a far dimmer view of their fates and futures than do American millennials. Up to half of young adults are unemployed in some European countries, so it is no surprise that youth in Europe are downright terrified of their uncertain and seemingly bleak futures.
Not only are they unemployed but they feel as if they have been forgotten and ignored in the mix of society. Their plights only fall upon deaf ears as they struggle to find a sense of agency, a reason for existing.
A majority of European Millennials feel they cannot impact the world around them or their future, a stark contrast with their American counterparts.
Roughly half or more of Millennials in six of the seven European Union nations surveyed by the Pew Research Center last year believe that success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control.
This includes 63% of young Germans and Italians and 62% of young Greeks and Poles. (Brits were the exception, with only 37% of those ages 18 to 33 agreeing with that statement.) By contrast, slightly more than four-in-ten young Americans (43%) share this view.
Evidence shows that such beliefs are not generational but rather cultural. Data have shown that youthful and elderly Europeans see themselves as victims of fate, while young and old Americans alike see themselves as masters of their fate.
Because of this, European and American Millennials have very contrasting views when it comes to what it takes to get ahead in life.
For example, only about one-in-five French Millennials, one-in-four Greek Millennials and one-in-three Polish Millennials rate a good education as very important to getting ahead in life. By comparison, fully 58% of Americans that age see education as strongly necessary for a successful future.
Similarly, only about one-in-six young Greeks and a quarter of young Poles and French judge working hard as very important to getting ahead.
And despite Germans reputation as being the hardest-working in Europe, only 44% of German Millennials say hard work will be enough to get where you want to be in life. This compares with 73% of their American counterparts who believe hard work automatically leads to success.