This article was previously published on June 20, 2017.
Social media: It seems to be a necessary part of all of our days and also the headquarters for self-doubt–and maybe even the rumblings of a quarter life crisis.
The grandmother in me is wishing I didn’t have a cell phone while twenty-four year old me is too busy scrolling through Instagram and reading fellow classmates’ life updates on Facebook. While I love being connected with friends and family, I also feel an overwhelming amount of pressure.
While I’m currently pursuing my Master’s degree in English Literature, I find myself in a constant panic of feeling like I’m not doing enough. I haven’t been able to land that dream job because, in all honesty, I wasn’t confident on what my dream exactly was (until very, very recently). My fellow classmates are off becoming doctors, working on Wall Street, etc. Sometimes I stop and think to myself, “are they really happy?” It’s true – millennial lives sound so perfect on paper, but I think we’re all facing an internal struggle that no one is really talking about – maybe it’s because we’re all too busy trying to make things look perfect and shake the sense that we’re facing a quarter life crisis.
Social media raises a lot of questions:
How do they have the money to afford all these vacations?
How are they always getting VIP treatment in the clubs?
When is my boyfriend going to take the next step with me?
How did she already get a promotion?
It’s enough to drive you crazy. I’ll find myself checking up on people that I don’t even know.
I’ll never forget; I had just graduated college and my parents gifted me with a vacation of a lifetime. I came home on cloud nine from all the fears I faced on that trip and a new sense of self. My father and I were sitting on the porch when he looked over at me and said, “Is this life? Do we work Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM, and that’s it? I want you to do what makes you happy.” Two years later that conversation still rings in the back of my mind anytime I set out for a new adventure; I think “will this make me happy?”
Recently, I came to the realization that my path may be different than my peers. I’ve realized and accepted that the professional, office life simply is not for me. I am extremely active, I love to write, and I love seeing all that the world has to offer. Living right outside of New York City, I constantly see people hopping in and out of trains with numbness. Everyone looks the same: exhausted. I hear peers complaining how they miss out on certain life events because they’re too busy working.
Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life. I make a living doing activities I truly love – yoga and writing. Of course, I get the occasional uncomfortable look of disapproval.
No, I am not making six figures, but I am gaining the life experiences that mold me and am meeting inspirational individuals.
I wake up every day knowing that I get to work on something I enjoy–something that will challenge me and hopefully inspire others.
While it can be fun and exciting to be interested in each other’s lives, there’s a point at which you need to take a step back and remember: this is social media – this is where you can edit, filter, and perfect your life. If your passion is the hustle and bustle of city life or behind an office desk, I commend you. If you’re still in the middle of finding your passion, I hope to inspire you towards the right path. If you’re just starting over, I encourage you. I hope your surroundings motivate you to work harder, do better – not overwhelm you or upset you.
Are you in the midst of a quarter life crisis? How are you coping?
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