Being a teenager is quite a confusing period. You’re somewhere in between childhood and adulthood, and you can’t wait to finally be eighteen years old and have the freedom to do everything you cannot do because then you’ll be a “grown up”. Or so you think.
You turn eighteen and get into university or college shortly after, but still very much living in the glory of your parent’s love and support. You have these dreams that you feel you will achieve soon enough, and you are ready to conquer the world! What with all the talent and academic records you have to flaunt. It should only be a matter of time til you achieve your goals, right?
Until it’s not. The life plan you made for yourself in high school, with all the conviction and belief in yourself, and you were certain you were going to be a star. Your village’s source of pride and joy. All of this is taking way too long to come to fruition. Then you become frustrated.
They do not prepare you for this. And in a country where unemployment is rampant, and graduates take eons to land their first job, which is often underpaying, the quarter life crisis is inevitable.
When you are fresh from college or university, ready to conquer the world, and end up waiting for work three years post graduation, it is not uncommon to have these thoughts. To question your decision to go to school, the effort put in your studies, your choice of academic path. It is not uncommon. Many people are going through the exact same thing.
And the worst thing is that, whenever you look around, your peers always look like they’re going on with life and doing great! Landing great jobs. Moving out of the country in search of greener pastures. Getting married. Having babies. Launching successful start-ups. And you cannot help but ask yourself, “Why me?”
You feel a heavy sense of stagnation. You feel left out. You feel like your life suddenly has no meaning. It gets harder to go out and enjoy the world. Life itself becomes a task. And you wonder why you have to be the one going through this.
What you may not realise is that:
- It’s not just you, and
- You’re not stagnating!
All of these feelings of self dissatisfaction, remorse and anger are all self imposed. More often than not, we focus on what’s going on around us. What milestones our friends are achieving. What new things are happening in our peers lives. We always forget to look within us and celebrate our own achievements; however small or insignificant they may seem.
Success takes many shapes and forms and it’s never the same for two people. People go through battles that have nothing to do with what the next person is going through, and overcoming them is a milestone in itself.
The greatest enemy of progress is comparison.
When we compare ourselves with others, we lose sight of ourselves, and focus on imaginary achievements that we convince ourselves we should have made by a certain time.
We impose such pressures on ourselves. And for what? The only thing this does is take away our day’s happiness. It’s not worth it.
Remember, everything looks glossy on the outside. That job you wish you had. That lifestyle you wish was yours. They all look fabulous and inviting; until you walk a day in those shoes. Then you will realise that you really should enjoy the here and now. Yours is a journey. Don’t rush through it. Enjoy the lessons. Enjoy the chaos. Dance in the joys and glory.
Don’t let yourself get sucked into the abyss of self comparison, depression and a lack of self efficacy.
Rise above it.
We all have different paths.
Focus on what is yours.
To a great new month: March!!