Hey world, hey. It's us, the "Millennials." (Which is basically a fancy word for Gen Y/20-somethings/humans who grew up in the '90s/blah blah you get it.) We wanted to take the opportunity to talk about ourselves (shocker!). It's not lost on us that we have a freaking term coined after our public struggles. But, we're not here to refute the Quarter Life Crisis. In fact, we're here to explain it.
Yes, we know the world thinks we look like a shiny new Porsche driving 80 mph straight into a tree. But bear with us. We're not that bad.
Ok. Here's the breakdown.
1. We Are Always on Display
Many of you joined Facebook later down the road, when your lives were already settled, successful, and wrapped up with a pretty little bow. That's not the case for this crew. We joined Facebook right as it was starting. Our friends and family have seen our entire adult evolution unfold online. Any inopportune moment ranging from a super embarrassing Friday night to graduating college without a follow up "work" post is documented. Misery.
Take relationships. When things fall apart, we inevitably have to ask ourselves the question, "how am I going to handle this on Facebook?"
:::cue massive de-tag cleanse:::
Being "in a relationship" on Facebook is the cyber version of a wedding ring. You're off the market. And when relationships end, knowing our entire high school class saw us get dumped might cause some less than ideal feelings.
In summary, when things go wrong, we have to deal with it in layers. First, dealing with it ourselves, and second, dealing with the social backlash. We're not weak, we're just exposed!
2. Dating Is a Joke
Don't believe us? Even The New York Times says the dating culture is over. A girl gets asked out on a real first date about as often as a Liberal Arts major finds a job on Monster.com. And just to rub it in, our parents convinced us that post-college is full of fabulous adventures and relationships. That's what they experienced! We know we can come off as cynical and bitter about dating, but we're just trying to cope with the bitter realization Tinder and Grouper are about as close as we're gonna get to romance. Sorry about that.
3. We Have Killer Expectations
Yep, our expectations are ambitious. But just to get this straight, we like to dream. It's good for us. (Go capitalism!) Think about it -- we wouldn't have the book Divergent or the Uber app if we weren't acting on our creative impulses. (LA, you would literally be stuck in your apartments without us. You're welcome.)
However, this "killer" is two-fold. The crappy part about our expectations is that we slowly die inside when things don't work out. Embarrassment and shame begin to consume us. We cut others out to dodge personal questions. We compare ourselves to anyone and everyone. And worse, we start "shoulding" ourselves.
By now, we should have the dream job. We should have the boyfriend. We should be content. But we aren't. And what we SHOULD do, is give ourselves permission to fail, and try again. (But dat's hard.)
4. Divorce Freaks Us Out
You're talking to the generation where half of us come from divorced parents. We didn't like dealing with it, and we didn't like seeing our friends deal with it. Marriage is a tricky one for us. If we believe whole heartedly in love, then are we just asking for divorce to throw us a surprise party in 20 years? If we decide to abandon the notion that love lasts forever, are we cynical and grumpy ALREADY? We overanalyze most of our relationships because we're freaked out about the inevitable results. It takes a toll on us, and on each other. We know we're alarming marriage statisticians everywhere by delaying our nuptials (is that a thing?), but we prefer confusion to divorce.
5. We Push Boundaries
High expectations + fear of conventions = shattered boundaries.
We skip marriage. We're coming out. We change our jobs faster than we change our nail polish. We make up companies! And we do this all without a reference point. Our parents took the jobs they had to take, and in turn, they encourage us to take the jobs we want to take. We're grateful (SO grateful), but we're also bombarded with the paradox of choice. With brand new boundaries comes brand new failures, and we're willing to take the good in with the limbo.
All right guys, we hope this shed some light on our coming-of-age transition. We know we can be total messes, and we really do appreciate your support and patience. We'll figure everything out, and great things will result from our identify-forming Quarter Life Crisis! If not, at least we made cabs way easier to hail. (There's an app for that.)
Follow Kali Rogers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joinblush