“As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
By now I would have expected that I would have a career, a house, a marriage, a child, lots of friends, and enough money to be living comfortably so that I would be living my ideal happily ever after. But I am in debt, living with my parents, single, have few to little friends, childless, jobless, and am still working on my B.A. in English. I live in an age where the digital has overcome manual mechanics. Laptops are preferred over board games and paper notebooks. Snail mail has been replaced by email. Ipods have replaced CD players. Dubstep has replaced bubblegum pop. I have had this idée fixe since my adolescence. I would daydream through classes, waiting for the moment resolution would occur to me and then I would expect instant happiness. Whatever friendships I developed I placed upon pedestals and whenever I felt let down, I would isolate and/or push that person away. It is the same in my approach to work. I loathe starting from the bottom and would always expect to immediately start my career at a climatic angle. When I didn’t get what I wanted or if I didn’t deliver what was expected of me, I would walk away and readily blame someone else for the mistakes that I’ve done.
As a Generation Yer, I feel like I am expected to be a veritable superwoman in this time and age. Since I am pushing thirty, I feel like I should have already attained all of the necessary components I mentioned earlier to make a recipe for happiness and success. To be something of worth, I should already have accomplished half of what the older generation already experienced. The pressure from a fastidious world upon my generation does take its insuperable toll. According to a 2008 article from Businessweek.com , Gen Yers are transitioning into an adulthood that is daunting to them as the costs of education and housing are increasing in an unpredictable economy. Gen Yers began a transition from a seemingly clear and straightforward path. But, the challenges that they are facing now are viewed as “numerous and complex” and that they must make a series of decisions focusing upon “choosing a career, a city, a company, a role, colleagues, for some, as life partner—determining how to trade-off multiple priorities, money, passions and aspirations—planning how to get out of debt, start a family (or a business), buy a home."
The challenges begin in college: which is the right major, internship, part-time job, extra-curricular activity, friends, relationship etc. Even when the Gen Yer graduates, they are not even guaranteed a job. It is not surprising to note that Generation Y is now considered the most depressed generation. While Gen Yers are considered to have it better than any other generation, burnout is more frequent and this is why more Gen Yers are flocking to shrinks and psychologists. In fact, according to a 2010 article from TNGG: The Next Generation it states that: In 1990, 5.6% of people between the ages of 18-44 reported being on three or more prescription drugs, by 2003 that number had nearly doubled to 10.6% It is already 2012 and it is more than likely that that number has increased. Adderall is one drug that Generation Yers utilize the most.
The demand for perfection and success from our predecessors and the various jobs that we apply to are leading us to use whatever methods possible to meet impractical standards. Generation Yers may be the most educated generation thus far, but despite this there is a growing adversity which my generation must endure for the sake of becoming successful. Generation Y is the digitally addicted generation – Facebook; Twitter; Linked In; Tumblr etc. Social media and new technology not only offer us more convenience but they are also replacing the benefits of face to face experiences. Excessive media usage has been linked to depression, particularly Facebook. All of these sites and the tools they offer has to make one ask, “Am I using this to bond, bridge, or display my sense of self-importance since I feel inadequate in my real life?”
I will declare that Generation Y is a double-edged sword generation – on one side, there is the struggling 18-35 year old who genuinely wants to succeed and find valid happiness without having to hear about how they are failures by former generations. On the other hand, Generation Y has become an age of self-importance where some are quitting jobs for not having their personal desires properly accomodated. An article from CommunicationStudies.com puts it quite succinctly: “Each of their identities has been designed so that the world can be constantly appraised to every minute detail of their lives, as if anyone cared. They believe everyone wants to hear what they think, do, and see at any given moment, so their stream of consciousness is on display in Facebook and Twitter and you can find their video responses to Kanye West’s new video on YouTube. They have become masters of self-promotion, even before they developed a sense-of-self.” Generation Y suffers from resolution, a peace that often eludes them from what is most important. I often compare myself to others and base my sense of worth on an unrealistic measure of success that hurts me. My happiness should not rely on these gadgets, social media sites, or the opportunities that come my way. But, that doesn’t give me the incentive to be lazy. My experience is different from others and that means I am not the typical Generation Yer. Every Generation Yer has a different experience but they all suffer from one thing - the ramifications of growing up and what it means to take on more responsibility in a world that becomes ever more increasingly mad and dubstepped.