A Product of My Generation
Once upon a time, there was a high school senior who, like most high school seniors, wanted to get the hell out of her hometown and away from her parents. She dreamed of a magical place she could go to where she could live and learn about wonderful things that would someday hopefully make her money: college. And then three years later, after many semesters of hard work and determination (while at the same time indulging her laziness), she dropped out so she could move back home with her parents and start intensive therapy (along with meds). And all of her dreams disappeared, POOF! And she didn’t live happily ever after, because she had no degree and would therefore probably die in poverty due to America’s capitalist, bullshit society. The End.
Despite the pessimism heavily influencing the end of that story, I feel surprisingly calm about my whole life going up in flames. Now before you start reasoning with me, and saying, “People take time off of school all the time, relax. You’ll go back and finish your degree. There’s plenty of time to figure out your life, but first you must let yourself heal, young grasshopper” just hear me out. No one wants to take time off, because then you failed. And even though all your friends and family are telling you this stuff about how school will always be there and everything is okay, you are sad because this was never part of the plan. No one is happy for you unless you are productive, and taking time off of school is not productive.
This is why millennials are so fucked up and why everyone complains about them. From the time we’re kids we’re spoon-fed this bullshit idea that everyone who is a good person has a college degree, a well-paying job, a picket fence with a husband/wife and 2.5 kids. And it’s a lie. Good people don’t always get to go to college, and good people don’t always get married or stay married or even have a house to live in. But everyone always dumps on those people because they didn’t live up to the “American dream”. So we panic when there’s a chance we won’t be a part of the normal, disappearing middle-class; we run ourselves into the ground with our high, over-acheiving standards. And then other generations get to point at us and wonder, “Why aren’t they succeeding? Why are they so freaked out all the time, so emotionally fucked?” This is the struggle of the millennial. This is the problem we are all trying so hard to hide.
But I can’t hide it anymore; if I stay in school I’ll continue to skip classes and fail because I don’t have the energy to get out of bed or leave the house. I can’t seem to bring myself to go socialize with people because it stresses me out so much that I’ll sit in my room crying. I’ve become so stressed and tired and worried about money that I hardly eat and have begun to pull out my hair again (a really weird habit I’ve developed in college). So Wednesday morning I was emailing my professor about an assignment I didn’t turn in by mistake (but spent hours working on) and I just started to cry because I knew I couldn’t keep doing this; it was over.
Monday I drove two hours from college town because I didn’t want to go home and spend another night alone. This week I’ve skipped all of my classes and even a shift at work. Yesterday I just slept all day, only leaving the house to go to work that night. It’s time to make a change, and try to put myself back together, rather than keep trying to pretend I haven’t fallen apart. And don’t get me wrong—this is going to be really hard, and it’s probably going to seem hopeless at times, but I have to do it.
My big mistake in all of this has been isolating myself all semester, and even last semester. Neglecting to tell people about your life only contributes to loneliness, and putting on a brave face doesn’t make you stronger. I’ve distanced myself from a lot of really great people because I thought that they would judge me, and I knew they couldn’t take away the sadness I felt. But it was wrong; people remind you of the good in life, of the strength in love and friendship. People are what make my life meaningful, and pushing them away has only given me less to live for.
So I’m starting over, I’m pressing the reset button on my life in the only way I really can. Maybe I failed, but I still want a shot at succeeding…and the only way I can do that is if I beat this depression. Again.