The Question that Haunts all Millennials: Am I behind in Life?

If you’re in your twenties, I can absolutely guarantee you that you’ve asked yourself this question about 10,000 times since your 20th birthday. We live in a world of social media where we can see what our friends are doing, what job they’re working at, what coffee they’re drinking, etc. We create this alternate universe in our heads based on the news that they feed us. We see on our Facebook feeds that half of your high school friends are engaged or married or pregnant or already moms/dads and the other half are in corporate jobs, traveling around the world, going on these “business trips” to Hawaii, and basically kicking ass at life. All the while, you’re still in your pajamas sitting on your butt binge-watching Netflix and inhaling a pint of ice cream. You start panicking. What am I doing with my life? Should I already be engaged? Should I already have my first big girl job? Am I behind in life? 

I am a victim to all of this. I’m a victim of obsessive-comparison-disorder. It’s a thing. You compare your lives to your friends and you either feel proud of yourself that you’re not pregnant or inadequate that you’re not going on business trips to these exotic places. You feel behind compared to your friends.

Let me drop some knowledge on you. You’re not behind. I was feeling all of these about a year ago, two years after I graduated college. There are people out there with full-time jobs fresh out of college and I was still working at restaurants, or cafes as a server with no experience in a professional environment at the age of 23. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I just knew that I didn’t want to work in the food industry anymore. I wanted to learn, to be in a creative industry but I had no experience in any of the fields I wanted to be in. A friend of mine worked at a e-commerce company doing backend programming and he proposed that I try out coding. Coding?! What? I couldn’t possibly be into that. He took me to a free crash course on HTML/CSS and Javascript and that changed my life. I was hooked. I eventually enrolled in a three month program, The Iron Yard, in Columbia, SC and started a new career path. Turns out, I was one of the youngest ones there! No matter how old you are, you can have a complete turn-around in your career. 

Fast-forward four months after I graduated my course and I have an amazing career as an Interactive Designer for the second-biggest marketing agency in Greenville, SC. It’s amazing what you can do if you just take chances and risks. I took a risk in learning something completely new in a span of three months, I took a risk in moving to a different city in order to take the course, leaving my precious Charleston behind and I pushed my boundaries in order to succeed. I made a pivotal career choice years after I graduated. You’re not behind; you’re just lost on your path to your real career. If you’re unhappy where you are right now, do something about it! It’s really never too late to be happy. You just have to work for it and do something rather than silently comparing your life to others.

Stay Audacious,

Joanne (Guest Contributor)

 

Check out Joanne’s Instagram, and a post she wrote for us last year!

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