Millennials and the quarter-life crisis

Millennials in Moscow, Cairo, New-Your and London about what it's like to become an adult
We’re told that our twenties are a time when we’re meant to have fun, living the best time of our lives and making the most of our freedom before settling down. But are the twenties really like this for millennials around the world? And what do they think about adulthood? Katerina Venediktova spoke to millennials in Moscow, Cairo, New-Your and London about what it's like to become an adult. 

Photo: James, a twenty-something from New York Credit: BBC

OK, Boomer!

The generation gap has never felt wider. Rhys Jones asks if we have seen this before.
In 2019, New Zealand MP Chlöe Swarbrick shut down a heckler in parliament with the response, "OK Boomer". The phrase has become a battle cry for younger generations, used to mock outdated attitudes or old-fashioned ways of thinking.

In the meantime, Millennials (the stand-in term for all young people) are often labelled as lazy, self-obsessed “snowflakes” destroying everything from free speech to fabric softener.

The gap between young and old has never seemed wider.

Millennials, born before the turn of the millennium, face economic anxiety with increasingly high living costs, precarious employment prospects, and the growing threat of climate crisis. Boomers, born in the post-war baby boom, are sick of being blamed for society’s problems. Generation X is somewhere in the middle, often forgotten, and Generation Z, raised on social media, is just coming to the fore. 

Historian Rhys Jones is a millennial, but he has no interest in boomer-bashing. He wants to know if today’s generational animosity is a unique phenomenon, or a time-honoured tradition. He goes in search of other occasions in history where the generations have risen up against each other - from ancient Greece, rich with stories of sons killing their fathers, via the Victorian times when Darwinism drew a stark line between the generations, to the 1960s when young Boomers famously contested the norms of their predecessors. 

The young and old have always been at odds, but what are the factors that turn generational strife into open conflict – and, sometimes, transformative social change? And what clues can the past provide about what might happen next? 

Presented by Rhys Jones
Produced by Georgia Mills
A Somethin’ Else production for BBC Radio 4

What young India wants

Are young Indians' rising aspirations being met with equal opportunities?
India is among the world's youngest nations. More than half of its population, over 600 million people, is under the age of 25. That is an extraordinary demographic that gives a sense of importance of young Indians for the future of Asia and of the world.

Today's young people are well aware of events in other parts of the world. They are vocal in their demands for good jobs and better education, they challenge established social norms, and in schools and colleges, they are learning to dream big.

But are their rising aspirations being met with equal opportunities? What are the fears and concerns in the minds of the Indian youth? What does a young India really want?

Presenter: Devina Gupta

Contributors: Sabika Abbas Naqvi, founder, Sar-i-Rahguzar: Poetry on the Streets; Ashweetha Shetty, founder and CEO, Bodhi Tree Foundation; Ayush Jaiswal, co-founder, Pesto Tech