So here I am in New York City, living my best Devil Wears Prada, Sex In The City life. I’m amazed by everything around me and getting plenty of snaps for the gram, but underneath it all…I’m fully having a crisis.
Is this the peak of my life? Is it all just downhill from here? Am I doomed to spend the rest of my existence retelling the same stories from that one summer in my twenties to anyone who hasn’t yet decided that I’m too sad to still talk to?
Maybe it sounds dramatic, but I think this is my midlife crisis. Think about it, at the core of it a midlife crisis is a period of psychological distress triggered by hitting a certain stage in life. It’s when thinking about what you have done in your life up to this point, and what’s left to do causes you to act out in bizarre ways just to distract from the terror of it all.
Going through the list I think I’m a textbook case. Psychological distress? Judging by all the stress eating, check. Freaking out about what I’ve done and what’s left to do? Everyone I’m here in New York with seems to have come between their first and second year of University. I’ve already graduated. Was I supposed to do this sooner? Have I put my life-plan back by a whole year? What could I have done with that lost year of my life. That’s a double check. Acting out in bizarre ways? God yes. Let’s not go into that one.
I don’t think I’m just overacting. Millennials have been primed for their early onset midlife crisis’s for a while now. This generation has been fed the notion that as soon as you step foot off the stage at college graduation, your life should be in perfect order. My own experience of my final and even penultimate year of further education was full of seminars about how to get your forever job lined up for immediately after graduation. They were talking about how many years you would need to stay in that first job to make it worthwhile. Years? I wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment at 21. Is anyone ready for that kind of commitment at 21?
It’s not even just the pressure that colleges put on you. The media is full terrifying “advise” for millennials that is about as reassuring as bloodstains on a roller coaster seat. Do we need life insurance? How’s your retirement plan looking after just entering the workforce? You know you need to buy a house before it’s too late right?
Outsiders will often theorize about why millennial humor is so weird, or why we behave so differently from other generations. And the answer is because ya’ll broke us down mentally with all this pressure, so our personalities are now just a series of coping mechanisms.
Deep down I know that at twenty-two there’s time to get my life in order. But if everyone could stop so desperately trying to convince me otherwise that would be great. Maybe then I could be around teenagers without wanting to cry with envy.