The race for success
Jackie Junco | Tuesday, April 27, 2021
As our society is becoming more modernized and advancing, this is also pushing an expectation on younger people to meet the growing rate of the world. It’s this idea that we have to be successful overnight in order to meet the expectations of a growing market. For many students in high school and undergrad, there is this stigma that we must be checking off and accomplishing every step from our list of goals and ambitions in order to be deemed as a successful person.
For undergrads or even graduate students, we have to have two to three internships before our graduation year in order to have sufficient experience to be in the work force or our specific field of study. Or take on four to five different leadership positions in our extracurriculars or clubs. And for those who are financially struggling, we also have to bear the burden of working two to three jobs in the process, so that in the end, the “grind” was worth it. This race to have everything figured out by the age of twenty-five or before graduating is an immense pressure for everyone in our generation.
While most people don’t have to go to college, those who don’t also have a standard they must abide by. After graduating high school, there is this idea that if they are not going to college, they have to immediately go into the work force. There is also this idea that they have to have their own home, stable career, or even already forming a family by twenty-five.
And with social media, this pushes and reinforces the idea that there is a standard that our age group must be accomplishing something and being able to show off to the world that we are getting things done in time.
Older generations have set up this standard since they were able to accomplish so much at a young age, that this must be the norm for everyone and that we too can do as much or even more than they could at our age due to technology.
However, this isn’t the case anymore or what most people believe. The race for success, while always lingering in the back of our minds, is an idea that is beginning to die out. Our generation is now becoming the tortoise rather than the hare. More and more people of our generation are now accepting and normalizing the fact that we have time and can set up our own expectations. We have a whole lifetime to figure out what we truly want to do — we can take our time to live while being able to accomplish our goals. Institutions and jobs will always be around, but our lives won’t. This idea of success shouldn’t come from the gratification of pleasing others; but rather, should ensure our personal happiness because at the end of the day, we are the ones putting in the work, so we should be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.