Lately I’ve been exposed to a lot of self-inflicted pressure and I’m sure what I’ve been putting myself through, many others have as well.
I am 21 years old, which I often forget, is not the age when the majority of people have their life figured out — or mostly figured out. Regardless of understanding that I still catch myself questioning why I’m not more financially stable, why I don’t have an excellent credit score, why I haven’t found the love of my life and bought a house or why I still don’t have my crap together.
I’m still really young and I have plenty of time to get my crap together. I am a typical college student, with loans and a small savings account. I maintain a job and school and internships, I live at home and my family continuously reminds me that I am not supposed to have everything figured out right now. They tell me to just keep working hard because I’m on the right track and in time everything will work out perfectly. So why have I cried twice this week because I feel drastically behind?
Through much late night thought I’ve decided to put the blame on the era I grew up in. Technology forced my generation to grow up faster than usual, being exposed to so many adult matters with a few clicks on social media and not to mention getting a first-hand seat at everyone’s “perfect life.” That perfect life is a gigantic lie a great deal of the time; yet we compare out lives to that lie daily.
Think about how often you’ve seen pictures on Facebook of that guy that was in your history class in high school –years ago– and felt bad because he’s in Cancun for the third time this year and you haven’t been able to afford a vacation farther than your neighboring state in while. I catch myself doing this all the time. The fact is, comparing our lives to those we see on the internet is ridiculous. Although, I do not many people who post their troubles all over the internet, I know many more people posting about the good things (and over-exaggerating them) rather than the bad. We as a nation have a tremendous pride problem — we do not want anyone thinking they’re better off than we are. Therefore, we highlight the amazing things we have, we open up credit cards to go on vacations, we buy expensive cars even if we can’t afford them and we put on a smile and post a picture hoping it’s enough.
On social media it’s easy to look at your timeline and see someone with a newer car, or a bigger house, or on an extravagant vacation and feel jealous. Or feel less successful because those new things seem so far out of reach. Society today forces us to believe success is measured by materialistic objects, and yes, in most cases that’s true. When we think of successful people we think of huge houses, expensive and fast cars, designer clothing and good looks. People who have those things tend to not be 21 (unless you’re Kylie Jenner).
If I compared myself to Kylie Jenner, it’s easily to feel awful. I am not a billionaire like she is, I’m not even a millionaire. I do not have thousands of dollars to spend on extensions to have her hair, or buy the beauty products she has. I do not own my own mansion or more than one car and no one cares if I’m on Snapchat or not — and none of this is to degrade Kylie, she’s a fortunate human being and I’m happy for her, but if I compared myself so her (being the same age), I’d be miserable.
I was not born to a billion-dollar family; however, I was born to a family who loves me and supports me. I live in a decent home and drive an average car, I have a great education and a good job and that is more than enough. Much more than enough.
I’ll keep reminding myself of that and hopefully won’t shed too many more tears because I don’t have it all together. I’ll continue to take it one day at a time and I will be successful in the way I was intended to be. And I hope all of you can keep that in mind as well, the “perfect” life you see on social media most likely isn’t all that perfect in real life.