On Being Young, Driven and Still Human
We are the generation of side hustlers and creators--the freelancers and the kick-starters. And because of this, we are anxious and we are ready to begin life, because we know this is our only chance. But we need to remember we are human, and that this life is not just for working and worrying about working, but it's about living and taking time to breathe.
I’ve been feeling really anxious lately. I’m currently applying to about 5 summer writing internships, hoping and praying that at least one will stick. I’m currently working at a tutoring center at school, as well as at an unpaid internship at a local magazine and i’m the Editor-in-Chief of the arts and culture magazine at my college. This is the first time in my life I have a 9-5 (sometimes 9-7) days and I’m driving to school/work every day. It’s pretty wild. It’ tiring. It’s draining. I’m starting to feel adulthood setting in. I also recently figured out my graduation plan, and I thankfully will be able to graduate after 3 semesters --not my ideal plan, but I had to make this choice so I wouldn’t lose my mind from overwhelming course loads. Additionally, this also means I have 3 more semesters to figure my shit out. So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been searching the internet, trying to find any crevice of news sites that are offering any kind of internship opportunity. After hours of scrolling, I started telling myself that I was extremely under qualified and worthless.
Last year, for my college magazine I wrote an article about stress in college and how I’ve observed our generation has become more and more anxious. I see this more than ever now, that my schedule has become rapidly more busy than last semester. And I see this in my friends, in my peers, in the people I work with. None of us are getting enough sleep, and we’re all struggling to eat breakfast every morning--I know. All The while we are all self doubting ourselves for one reason or another, because we allow ant to achieve something and we know NOW (our 20’s) is the time to do it, or else we’ll run out of time.
I don't’ care what anyone says. I think we’re a tough generation. Every generation has its hardships, of all kinds and all forms, but I’m sick of people thinking that the millennial generation is full of lazy young people who don’t do anything and don’t understand the value of hard work. And I feel like a lot of times that the “entitlement” people think young people express is actually anxiety. We are the generation that were rushed into growing up, the high school students that got college application advisors stuffed down our throats before we even know what we wanted, the kids that saw the horrors of the world through media,,and who don’t know what is right or wrong. We just know we need to be happy and successful. We are hardworking and determined, and we know the world we have been born into. Why else are more millennials choosing not to have children or even get married? We are anxious. We want to get into the field we love as soon as we can as soon as possible. We don’t have the time--we keep telling ourselves. And a lot of us want to freelance--we want to have a carer of our own and have control over it, and we are willing to do the work for it. I think we're a creative generation that is finding different ways to be successful, and we are re-defining the ways that we can have careers and relationships.
And I think another thing about our generation that is a true gift but also sometimes a flaw, is that we think we are limitless. We believe that we can take on every side hustle and ever project and make everything amazing. This makes us incredibly ambitious and determined, but sometimes, because of this we bec
The day I told myself I would try to make a job out of my writing, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I’ve had a huge problem of self-doubting myself throughout my childhood. I knew it would be hard. But I was never prepared for my life to get so busy that I couldn’t breath--like really, take a breath.
1. Find time for your circle of people
Whatever your support system is--a group of girlfriends, your mom, your dad, your older sister, younger sister, brother, significant other--whoever. Find the people that love you and support you and are always there to tell you “NO” when you start saying that you’re dumb, worthless, etc. I’m thankful to have a boyfriend who never lets me downgrade myself in front of him--he always reminds me it’s going to be okay and that I shouldn’t give up. My friends are the same way--I’m so thankful to have girlfriends I can vent to and who help me take my mind off things. Finding time to be around your favorite human beings is so important--the people who make you smile and make your heart warm.
2.) Get a haircut! (Or do something to pamper yourself)
Around the time I entered high school and eventually college, my mother gave me some solid advice: if you’re having an awful week, where specifically feel lost and stuck in the routine of things--get a haircut. Like, at a nice salon or by a friend who knows what they’re doing. Because having someone cut and do your hair is the ultimate relaxation. And it’s necessary. Even if it’s just a trim, cutting off those dead ends will make you feel like a whole new person. So last week, I went to a nice salon and got bang, and although this is usually the hairstyle that leads to a lot of stress, the girl did an amazing job and this is my favorite haircut I’ve had so far. I feel refreshed and new.
3.) Know your limitations
The worst thing you can do is bite off more than you can chew. Know your limitations. My dad always said “a person’s gotta know their limitations” part of taking on so many things is also knowing how much you can take on. Learn the magic word: no. Sometime you’re not able to take on every class, every job offer or every favor from a friend. Just say no and move on. It’s so much better to do a couple things fully instead of half assing 40 different things.
4.) You. Have. Time.
Trust me, even as I’m typing this it’s making me anxious. Don’t you hate when your parents or older people tell you that you have time? It really doesn’t feel like we do, because we all have planned out our life for the next 5 years as well as what we want to have done by then and so on. I pride myself in being a planner, but sometimes it’s possible to over-plan and cause yourself needless stress. It all goes back to reminding yourself you’re not a robot living in a controlled experiment. You’re a human being living in a world that is full of spontaneity and surprises and sometimes those unexpected things will change our 5-year plan, and it’s important to embrace that. And it’s important to take each day in and use up the time in a way that makes you feel content. And in this case, our parents are right, we do have time--because in one way or another they’ve been in our place and they know the stress we’re feeling.