Why It's Important To Not Let Societal Pressures Dictate Our Paths
It will happen so suddenly that you won’t even notice at first. You’ll graduate, put your résumé out there and get your ducks in a row... kind of in a row.
Then, you will wake up one day and realize that you live on your own, have a degree, pay your own bills, file your own taxes and have a stable job.
Somewhere, between getting your driver’s license and shotgunning beers, you became an adult (by most definitions) — even if you call your parents three times a day for reassurance.
It is hard to let go of that last shred of your youth that keeps you wanting to depend on your parents and other people because once you do, you feel like it will mean you have to actually be an adult.
That means career, marriage, family — the works. That is the normal path that we are supposed to follow, right? Or, is it just what society tells us? Sometimes life happens and things fall a bit out of order, but that is the beauty of it.
You may find yourself ill-prepared for some of those stages of life, but you can’t help but feel the pressure setting in to get it together. Though you're not ready, you don't know how to handle it.
There are many of us who feel we should already be reaching those milestones in life. We feel anxiety or sadness setting in because we have not yet found the “one” with whom to go the distance
Societal pressure can hit 20-somethings in many different ways, adding stress to our already-hectic schedules of trying to manage work, play, travel and loved ones. But mostly, this newfound work schedule demands our attention.
Where does this pressure even come from?
The babies, engagements and wedding photos that constantly flutter your news feed do not go unnoticed. You’re not annoyed by these posts per se, but you feel an unwelcome uneasiness muster up inside of you.
It does not make a difference if these posts are from people close to us or if they are complete strangers. You can be happy for them, but it becomes difficult to separate your happiness for them from your jealousy and guilt about not being there quite yet.
Then, you have family gatherings and you look around, only to realize you are the only single one person your family. Your mother asks if you will ever bless her with grandchildren, let alone a son-in-law.
You start to wonder in these moments if spending more time on school and building a career was really the smart path to take. Don’t worry, though; those thoughts will leave your mind as abruptly as they came.
What many people fail to realize is that everyone is on his or her own path and nobody should feel jealousy, guilt, annoyance or any other negative feelings because we're all on these different paths.
It is a common Generation-Y struggle to know we are adults (with the pay stubs to prove it), yet not quite feeling fully "there" yet.
The sensation inside of you that still wants to go out with your friends on the weekend and explore the city is normal.
Just because you're out of college does not mean you immediately have to retire your party girl or guy ways or settle down into the first kind of relationship you have.
Or maybe, you’re ready to hang up your heels and party pants and spend your weekends in. That's okay, too. Everyone reaches that stage in his or her life eventually — some earlier than others.
Just enjoy the ride and live in the moment, rather than dropping yourself into a category and a five-year plan. Leave the pressures of society, social media and your family at the door and enjoy your life.
Start a savings account, go to the airport and choose a random destination to spend a week away, just because you can. When there is nothing tying you down permanently, you can explore and find yourself.
There is beauty in not quite having your life figured out yet; you just have to bask in it and let things happen instead of worrying about what is not yet in the cards for you.