Upon arriving in Montreal two years ago, I started to get to know the nightlife a little. I quickly came to a few realizations about the 25-30-something crowd:
- Young(ish) people have a whole lot of money (or at least they know how to make it look like they do)
- People have expensive belongings (shoes, clothing, cars, jewelry, etc.)
- Many people work for themselves
- Everyone is always "networking"
- The vast majority of these folks are single
- Everyone (for the most part) is well educated
Along with these observations, I drew one major conclusion. Montrealers really know how to look out for themselves and their futures.
I began to wonder why this is. Are Montrealers selfish? Are they elitist? It took me a while to get to the bottom of things. Then I heard the cries of countless young people coming out of the University of Montreal (or other academic institutions) with little to no career options. Just this year, Montreal was named both the unemployment capital of Canada and the startup capital of Canada, neither of which are surprising stats.
Because jobs are near impossible to find in Montreal, the brilliant residents of this city are either pursuing further education or deciding to take matters into their own hands and start their own business. After this realization, all of my prior observations started to make sense.
For example, it is understandable that people are remaining single well into their thirties in MTL. They are working their butts off just to stay afloat in this crazy city, whether it be in terms of studies, running a business, or working harder than ever to keep a decent paying position. Who has time for a relationship?
Yes, people appear to have money, but this is just the folks who show up to a 5 a 7 buying bottles on a Thursday night. They work just as hard as they play, and for them, this time out to drink is probably key in terms of getting their business card into a few hands! Montrealers work hard day in and day out. So naturally, they are likely to treat themselves to some nice things every once in a while as an "I made it" celebration.
Montrealers are selfish, but in a way it is really inspiring. They work, they grind, they look out for number one, but it is because they have to, and I think it's pretty admirable if I do say so myself. Keep doing you, Montreal!