Recently I had a mental breakdown over school. It’s frustrating. It’s uncomfortable. It’s expensive. I really enjoy the teachers and education that I’m receiving, but a majority of the time I just feel unaccomplished. You know what I did for three straight hours yesterday afternoon instead of studying for my Art History exam? I stalked Shailene Woodley. I then proceeded to browse online interviews on different accomplished millennials for a few hours. The result: continual self-hatred because I’m almost at the age where great actors and geniuses contributed unbelievable achievements to humanity, while I sit here on my MacBook, avoiding an art history exam. I constantly feel bad about myself. I feel bad that I’m not famous. I feel bad that I don’t go to a better college. I feel bad that I haven’t changed the world drastically in the past nineteen years of my existence.
But the thing is: I’m tired of feeling pressure over things that exist out of my control. Maybe that’s why so many millennials take their futures so seriously? We carry constant anxiety that we will not be as passionate or hard working as our parents and with good reason. Our parents worked hard to make our lives better and happier. Most millennials have grown up more privileged than any other generation of young Americans. And, because of that, we now look down on the ordinary American life our parents had. We expect unrealistic opportunities: stardom, a huge scholarship, a gorgeous boyfriend or girlfriend. And, sure, some or maybe even all of these things will happen for us, but we shouldn’t get our hopes up. We all can’t be Shailene Woodley, okay?
The truth is that you might end up with a job that makes you unhappy. You may make a lot less money than your parents. The person you end up with may be someone you learned to settle for. But you know what? That’s part of being human, even if you’re a millennial. Welcome to the world your parents lived in, and the parents before them, and so on. What I have learned is that sitting around and worrying about your future and the pressures I have of being a millennial will lead me nowhere but stuck. Stuck in an anxiety engendered by my generation over the amount of killer references I have on my resume or the way my nose looks. I refuse to live stuck in my anxieties and worries. I’m tired of having millennial expectations. It’s time to move on with my life, and so should you, millennial.