For anyone in their 20s, I just have one question to ask you: Are you okay? On a daily basis, we are always asked about life, relationships, and goals, but never do we hear, “are you okay?” So today, this post is dedicated to us and our paths we are still trying to carve out.
Who remembers the infamous question we were all asked senior year of high school? If you’re like me, you immediately thought of, “Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?” And the resounding answer was “Finish college, work in my career field, and maybe even get married and start a family.” And now look, we are 5-10 years later and a good 80-85% are not exactly where we thought we would be.
As you look around, you start seeing others who are in their 20s being successful, or what your idea of successful is. They are working in their career field, they’re having children, and some are even getting married. You see all these people your age meet these milestones while you feel stuck in slow motion.
You begin to ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?” “Why don’t I have life figured out yet?” And the answer to that is…well I don’t really have the answer because I’m in the same boat just as you.
Now at the age of 25, I’m a fresh college graduate who wants absolutely nothing to do with the major I chose. My dream was to work in Public Relations for the Entertainment Industry, but now that I graduated, I realized that I don’t want to work for a firm. I love entertainment, I love music, I love helping artists, but I just don’t have the passion for it anymore.
So I spent 5 years in college only to wind up not wanting to work in the field I toiled so hard to be a part of. However, I did realize that I want to be my own boss. So instead of working for a firm, I am currently building my “Dre Talks” brand and I figured I can still use my degree, but on myself.
Many times do we 20-somethings go through this. Majority of my peers have had the dilemma of choosing a major in college, but not ending up working in that specific career field after graduation.
Society has pressured us to decide what we are going to do for the rest of our lives at 18 years old. The average lifespan of humans in the United States is 79 years, but for some reason we are expected to have our life planned out by the age of 18. In order to graduate college, if you choose to go, you have to choose a major. From that major, you are then expected to enter the workforce with your degree in hand, but if we stray from what we majored in, we enter a space of feeling disappointed and lost.
If choosing a career path wasn’t stressful enough, we 20-somethings are trying to balance our own mental health and relationships. We’re in a transitional period where we’re beginning to outgrow old friends and situations. Our friend groups are becoming smaller and we become overwhelmed by our own thoughts. We are in a dating world in hopes of settling down and starting a family. Life is moving so fast but yet it feels as if we don’t even have a foot in the race because we’re still learning what we like and don’t like.
As 20-somethings, we are no longer children/teenagers but we are also not quite full adults. We are expected to know what we want without even having experienced life to its full capacity. We are on a journey in which we come into contact with so many people and situations that shape who we are but sometimes we don’t realize that the way we grew up shapes our outlook. We’re fearful that if we don’t become successful now, we never will be. We’re on an imaginary timeline that hovers over our every move.
However, the number one thing I realized that we 20-somethings don’t take seriously is our mental health. We don’t take the time to care for ourselves the way that we need to because we are so worried about the future. Some of us may be suffering from depression or even have major anxiety/panic attacks.
We are rarely present enough to even acknowledge the accomplishments we achieve. We need to learn how to take a break and breathe. We are not perfect and nor will we ever be. Nobody’s path is the same and we have to remember the saying, “what’s for you, will be for you.”
To all my 20-somethings, you are on the right path. We don’t have to know everything right now. We are still learning who we are as each day passes. Never let someone else’s success deter you away from your own dreams. God is preparing the table for you, just be patient. I personally have to keep reminding myself of this daily. I may not see the fruits of my labor just yet, but I know that it is coming. And I will say the same to you.
Though the road may seem unclear right now, you are still young and you still have time. You have the right to do whatever you want to do. If you want to change career paths, do it! If you want to travel, do it! This is our time to learn who we are, so don’t rush the process!
And most importantly, remember to acknowledge the accomplishments you did achieve. When you acknowledge your accomplishments, you’ll see that you’re no so far behind after all.
In the words of SZA, “God bless these 20-somethings.”