Oh how nice it is to be a millennial. So young and carefree. Legal to do all of the fun stuff you want to do. Right?
Well, it kind of depends on which side of the fence you are on. Overall, a vast majority of college grad millennials suffer from what I like to deem as a “mid-life, mid-life” crisis. This crisis typically begins after receiving that hard earned degree from college and still realizing that the workforce still isn’t going to FWU. According to http://www.theatlantic.com “about half of young college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 are ‘underemployed’ – working on a job that hasn’t historically required a college degree.” So, you’re telling me: after spending four years of my life and drowning myself in college debt… I will probably still end up working some sub-par minimum wage job. AND there’s a great possibility that this job will not relate to my degree? Yup, that is absolutely correct.
“about half of young college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 are ‘underemployed’ – working on a job that hasn’t historically required a college degree”
At some point during the “mid-life, mid-life” crisis, a college grad will probably decide to move back in with their parents. Which, for many of us, will be a trying time (who wants to move back in with their parents after tasting sweet freedom). A college grad may decide to continue furthering their college education beyond a baccalaureate degree. With great hopes of gaining enough accreditation to live above the blurred middle class line. Or, a college grad will decide to embark on the journey of working their way up the career ladder in their chosen field. Whichever path you may choose, may the forces be with you.
According to Brookings Institue approximately 35.2% of millennials ages 25-29 had earned at least one college degree by 2015. Arguably making college grad millennials the most educated generation to date. Yet, after receiving our college degree(s), many of us still rely on our parents in a variety of ways. From remaining on our parents’ cell phone family plans to our parents helping us pay half of our rent. We essentially need our parents to survive. That sub-par minimum wage job ain’t cutting it.
This feeling of dependency in our mid-twenties could potentially send us into a frenzy. Why are we not able to obtain a job which directly relates to our degree field? Okay so to get an entry-level job for my chosen career field, I must have 10 years experience. How Sway? I just graduated from college like two days ago. How am I supposed to get job experience when the 1,876 applications I have submitted over the course of my college senior year hadn’t received any responses? And most importantly, why do we struggle taking care of ourselves financially?
We did everything we were supposed to do, right? We went to college, we made our grades, we received our degrees. Some of us partook in non-paid internships with hopes of securing a permanent job. Following college, some of us began working two jobs to begin to prepare ourselves for the massive debt payoff that lies ahead. Yet, we still struggle. As we work two jobs and with the support of our parents (well, some of us), we aren’t bad off… but we are definitely not well off either.
This “mid-life, mid-life” crisis turns out to be a very crucial part of our lives. This is when we start to build our personal brands. Our personal brand is what’s going to propel us into successful careers. Our personal brand will allow us to standout among the hundreds of other applicants. And throughout this “mid-life, mid-life” crisis, we must remain positive about life. We must remain joyful and excited about the opportunities that are destined to come our way.
Although you’ve submitted 2,387 applications without any responses continue filling those applications out. Simply, do what you gotta do to get to where you want to go. As stressful as it may be, do not, I repeat, do not lose yourself during this crucial stage of life. We are not the first generation to struggle while becoming a legitimate adult. And with the tools that are available to us, we will be able to make a way out and to the top.
“do not, I repeat, do not lose yourself during this crucial stage of life”
Take control of your happiness. A millennial can easily find themselves in a state of constant depression. Take control of your happiness by taking control of your life. Whatever it is in life that is causing unnecessary stress, get rid of it. Been working for the same company for years without a promotion? Let it go. Have a friend that is constantly bashing you and your dreams? Let that negative person go. It is also helpful to do some stress relieving exercises. If you’re not a fan of exercising, try less sweaty techniques like meditation.
Not only are stress relievers an integral part of keeping your sh*t together, it is also helpful to sit down and write down your goals. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable (you can’t become the CEO of a company within a year).
I find it helpful to write down goals for the year as well as a five year plan. Place your goals in a safe spot so you can refer back to them when necessary. Set tentative deadlines for your goals. It is counterproductive to stress about goals and deadlines that you have set for yourself.
I always set potential due dates, but I do not stress when I miss a “deadline”. I just continue working towards that goal. On the flip-side, you will meet some of your goals before your anticipated “deadline.” Whenever you achieve that, give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back! Moral of the story, Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.
Hey you young millennial you, keep fighting. Keep setting your goals. Keep dreaming larger than life. Yeah, the struggle is real right now, but we will all turn this trial into great success stories. But in the meantime, if you have to live with your parents, that is completely OK. If your parents are footing a portion of your life THANK THEM. If you are working two jobs just to get by, that is OK. Keep up the (legal) hustle! Do what you got to do to get to where you’re going. As college grads, we know how to put our minds to something and continue striving for greatness until we succeed.
And at the end of every night take a deep breath and say:
“Hakuna. Matata.” *In Pumas’s Voice*