I babysat my (adorable) cousins last night. After watching some Pixar classics and reading about Star Wars, the boys went to bed and I went to Pride and Prejudice.
I was alternating between reading my book, watching Sleepless in Seattle (airing on a cable channel), and scrolling through my phone. Such a classic Millennial. When an old classmate’s Tweet caught my eye, I clicked through. It was a link to a very professional and insightful article that he had published, on a well-respected website, about his niche in the media industry.
He is a recent grad, like me. He’s working in Chicago, like me. Yet, his life seems to be so much more on track.
His professional website is amazing. Like, if any agency chose not to hire him, I would seriously question their logic. It’s loaded with strong examples of his work from internships, classes, organizations and conferences. Years ago, early in his college career, he decided exactly what he wanted to do. He made connections, sought out experience and worked toward that goal. Now working full time in Chicago, he’s right on track.
When I compare myself to his story, I have to question what I’m doing. As a freshman, I was an English major. Pursuing a career as a teacher or book publisher, I didn’t know until about a year later that I was interested in media. Once I made the transition into the College of Media, I still worked for several years to define my goals. What did I want to do with my life?
Joke’s on me, I think. I’m now a graduate, with a few internships under my belt, and I still don’t know what to be when I grow up. Should I stay in the agency world? If I do, what type of agency? Large, small? Public relations, marketing advertising? Maybe I should go back to my goal of book publishing! Maybe I should work in a start-up. Maybe I should open my own business! Maybe I should ditch the 9-5 and just go live on a secluded island to avoid making these decisions!
I just want a fairy to come tell me what to do, so I can start doing it.
I just want to be as on track as that classmate, who used to be right next to me but now seems worlds away.
Mind you, that was all going through my head while reading the article that he published. I rolled my eyes in submission, sighed and went back to Pride and Prejudice. I’d just figure it out later. For now, I would read.
It only took about a paragraph of pretending to read, while really just panicking about my future, to realize something. I’m not supposed to have the answers. I’m 22.
In the words of the wise Taylor Swift, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical, oh yeah!”
If I’ve learned one thing from Thought Catalog, Taylor and BuzzFeed, it’s that twenty-somethings are still figuring it out. And if any 22 year old seems to have it all together, they’re lying, faking or not human.
So, my twenty-something friends, stay confused. Be happy, free and confused. Don’t freak out.
We have a long road ahead. Let’s take the scenic route.