The Millennial Struggle: The Pressure to Succeed

You’re twenty-something and you’re about to venture out into the world. You could be applying for your first job after graduating, travelling, saving money or moving out of home when suddenly, a wave of self-doubt, loneliness and anxiety overwhelms you.

You have no idea what to do and you think to yourself: Why am I feeling like this?

I’ve been feeling the same way – I think a lot of us are. Our sense of direction is blurred by a plethora of career choices, money issues we have no idea how to handle and people we’re figuring out. Turns out, this stressful period is being dubbed a ‘quarter-life crisis’ and it generally occurs in our twenties, similar to a mid-life crisis with similar symptoms of insecurity, depression, anxiety, loneliness. In 2011, research run by Dr Oliver Robinson from the University of Greenwich, London, found through a Gumtree survey that 86% of 1,100 young people admitted to feeling pressure to succeed in life before age 30.

But what is wrong with being young and without a plan?


That pressure is a product of us comparing ourselves to our older, successful relatives or friends. But we can’t compare ourselves to them. Our transition from high school to university to the professional workforce is different to theirs’. We are likely to live our twenties clueless and searching for our passion, our place, who we want to be, and still trying to make enough money for rent. And while that scares us, there’s something beautiful about being lost – we can go anywhere we want once we find the path.

Embrace the fact you might change careers a few times, you might not have kids, you’ll be in debt for a while. The days of perfectly planned lives are over and that’s okay.