When I was younger, I used to take pride in my generation for representing a generation of independence and individuality. The vast amount of opportunities that we have in comparison to those of our parents and grandparents allows us the freedom to become whoever we want to be. The courses that are now offered in college plus the alternative options for those who don’t want to go to college can yield a countless number of careers and lifestyles. Just the thought of it can easily overwhelm a young person these days.
However, as I’m getting older, I’m starting to wonder what kind of toll this freedom is taking on us. The more friends I talk to about this topic, the more I learn that we seem even more lost and confused than our parents were at our age. We’re constantly wondering which path is right or wrong versus what we really want. We don’t know how to settle.
It makes me wonder if we can handle this freedom. We’ve become so spoiled with the privilege of being able to say “No”
I’m beginning to ask myself, “Did our parents have it right?”
I’m not in favor of reverting back to times of our parents and grandparents, but I am in favor of choosing one thing and seeing it through.
Although I’ve grown up in a generation where I can be whoever I want to be, I still wish I had someone to steer me in a certain direction because I can’t seem to make up my own mind
Between choosing the right job, the right place to live, the right person to marry, it gets exhausting trying to always figure out when everything will be “just right”.
When I was in college, one of my favorite classes was Social Psychology. One of the theories I learned really resonated with me. To this day, I can’t exaggerate enough how well it applies to my generation now. In a nutshell, the theory outlines the idea that when people are given too many options, they often become more regretful with their choices as opposed to if they only had a limited amount of options.
Say for example, you are at an ice cream parlor and there are 30 flavors to choose from. Our eyes become wide open, we take several tiny spoonfuls to try different flavors, and then we get frustrated because we are overwhelmed with the choices we have. But of course, we now have the option to take multiple flavors in one cup.
For those who are fortunate enough to be firm in our choices, there will be no regret. But for those who have hindsight bias, it becomes a little more difficult to appreciate what we have.
My major concern is this:
Will I be okay with the choices I’ve made and follow through with the things that I now have?
When will I stop seeking out other things to make me happy?
When will I settle?
It’s an impossible question to answer at the moment because I don’t know what the future has in store for me. I don’t know the person that I will become in a year, five years, twenty years, and so on.
I just hope that the path I choose as I am on it leads me to a better place.