Studies by the American Psychological Association were cited in many articles claiming that my generation, the “millennials” are the most stressed. I remember reading articles about this a while back, and now that I have this nifty blog thing it’s a great place to share these thoughts. Most of the articles I found were written about 2 years ago. However, I do not think it has changed. (They all had good points but I can’t just copy and paste 4 articles)
I am included in this group of millenials that deal with anxiety and/or depression along with some of my friends. We have graduated college or at least have a few years under our belt. We left school either not sure what to do with our degree or tried our field and found it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Regardless we have to find out, what can we do that will make us happy and make us money.
In the last post, I made generalizations that scope the worldview of this generation and raised the big question of how do we cope in this mindset we’ve established. We have been given the power of choice. In many circumstances we have the freedom to choose what jobs to go after and which to reject instead of finding one out of necessity. One thing to consider is, there are many new types of career opportunities but we are not the ones who created them. We are some of the first to be employed in those fields which means no one has really gone before us to show us how to get where we want to go. Coming into those fields it’s assumed we know how they work because we as millennials are automatically seen as tech savvy. (Truth: we are not all computer programmers) Just having the education does not guarantee us a steady job in our dream career.
Those that have less choice because they don’t have the education or need to provide for themselves or their family immediately still have the option to change their path and find something they would rather do. Either way, we find ourselves asking, “which way do I go”, “what if I make the wrong choice”? The problem here is then we trap ourselves with those questions. There is so much pressure on us to do something great because we live in such a privileged time. We want the biggest and the best. It makes choosing nearly impossible and when we do decide we have a hard time sticking with it. What if something bigger and better is out there? So we take a chance and go for it, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Settling down is almost impossible.
We get stuck, talking ourselves in circles. To every option there are things that make us excited but also enough unknowns to make us doubt it’s a safe option. When we do pick something we are bombarded with questions from other friends and family (usually older) how this is going to play out and if we thought about X,Y, AND Z. Yes we thought about X, Y, Z and that’s what got us to this decision. No we don’t know if it’s going to work but we had to do SOMETHING. We are judged for every choice, which makes it harder to just please ourselves.
When things are in constant change a few lucky people thrive but most of us feel an immense amount of stress. It seems like everything that can go wrong does. We try our hardest and it never seems to be enough. We feel we lack direction and are worried about being able to support ourselves consistently. These feelings cause serious problems of anxiety and depression. It’s a growing problem for my generation meaning it’s a problem for the health of our society. Of course there is a spectrum of severity but the truth is most of us face this as reality and it only causes more stress. We have too many worries and don’t know how to cope. On the outside many of us look happy and adventurous if you look at our Facebook pages we’ve traveled and dated and bought some awesome sunglasses or delicious cupcakes. It doesn’t mean we’re not having a hard time and that our thoughts and feelings shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Link to the study: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2014/snapshot.aspx
Link to the study http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2014/snapshot.aspx