Dear Young People: It’s OK To Not Have It All Figured Out
It’s okay to be unsure of what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. As young adults, we have so much time to decide what career, family, and life we want to have and we can change our direction whenever we want.
Although true and somewhat common knowledge, thinking this way is easier said than done. As we get older we are handed tools that help us:
- and experience life through our own eyes
The pressures of the outside world to be successful and confident in our future choices can be overwhelming.
Soon enough, we find ourselves stuck in a sea of expectations, trying to keep afloat amongst so much responsibility and judgment. As waves of questions inquiring about what we have planned for the rest of our lives roll in, we once again forget about how much time we still have to figure ourselves out!
Like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of your brand new Converse (you college kids know what I’m talking about), questions of, “What are you doing with your career?” “Are you dating?” and “How come Stephanie from down the street is already getting her Master’s Degree while you’re still changing your major?” find a way of following us wherever we go: every dinner, every reunion, and every holiday! In reality, I’m only 21, and can barely decide what ramen I want to buy for dinner tomorrow, let alone what I have planned for the rest of my life.
Being 21 in a society of endless opportunities is truly amazing, and never knowing what’s behind the next door is exciting and thrilling, but at times it can be scary. Society makes us think that the younger we are and the more we have figured out, the more successful we will be. Although success at a young age is important, what many forget to tell us is that it’s okay to not have everything planned out.
With so much stress from school, work, and outside commitments, we “twenty-somethings,” forget that making mistakes and changing our path or being unsure of the future is all part of the journey. In the grand scheme of things, if we plan on living to 100, give or take a few years, then we still have a long way to go when deciding what our life will look like – career, family, work, and everything else.
In other words, although we must:
- set goals
- have plans
- and find motivations for ourselves
…It is also just as important to realize that if we don’t know exactly what we are going to do for the rest of our lives, we still have time to figure it all out. That is something we don’t hear all that often!
So if you too are struggling with the societal pressure of having it all figured out, remember that it’s okay to not know. It’s okay to ask for help, take a step back, and learn from your triumphs and downfalls. Don’t let questions like those affect the security you carry in knowing that it’s all part of your journey, your story, your success. Don’t let it affect the way you view yourself or your mental health because it’s simply just not worth it!
At the end of the day, we all have that little voice in the back of our head telling us we’re not good enough because we’re not like Stephanie, who has it all figured out. To all the twenty-somethings out there struggling to balance the reality of not knowing what you want in life, with the societal pressures to be decided, know that you are not alone and that it’s okay to not know right now! Just remember, if life were a Netflix subscription, you’re only in the stage of free trials, so take advantage while it lasts!
This blog was written by Gillian, an intern with Immunize Nevada.