Millennials: A Story of Feeling Too Much Pressure

Millennials. The generation with £50,000 university debt and no hope in ever buying a house. I came across an article a couple of weeks ago that really frustrated me. It blamed us millennials not being able to afford house deposits on the fact that we spend all of our money on going out for brunch and spending too much time in Starbucks. Sure, why are we having such a lovely time consuming perfectly runny poached eggs when we could be cooking them in our own homes in the future? Well maybe I like going out for brunch, and maybe our spending is not the issue? And what if we don’t want to buy a house yet, eh? Ever thought about that one?

We are constantly being compared to the generation before us. And we compare ourselves to them too. I definitely do. I look at where my mum was when she was 24. She had already bought a house with my dad and they were planning a wedding, she got married at 25 and had me when she was 28. Growing up, I always presumed this would be my destiny too. A lovely house, a marriage and at least one child by the time I’m 30. Now that ideal for me doesn’t exist. Sure, I’d like to get married one day and start a family and I’d love to own my own house instead of wasting money renting, but it isn’t a priority for me and I don’t think it ever has been. My priority is to be happy, wherever I am in the world, whatever I am doing and wherever I am up to on my timeline.

Truth is, the world is a different place to what it was 30 years ago. Back then, it was more desirable to buy a house as soon as you could and skip renting by moving straight from your parents house into your own. Now young people are putting themselves first, prioritising self growth and experience is far more important to millennials than settling down. You could say that millennials are a generation of selfish people, and to be fair I would agree to an extent, but that is totally fine. Why not put yourself first? Whats so wrong about waiting to get married when you are 100% ready to make that commitment, even if that means doing it when you are 50? Surely thats a much more sensible option anyway? Maybe our generation will have a decline in divorce? Why not go travelling and spend your money on experiences you might not get the chance to do later on in life? Why not rent somewhere before you are ready to buy (or more like, until you can afford to?) Why not put your happiness first instead of trying to fit into an ideal that doesn’t exist anymore?

I am 24, I am currently renting a flat and I know I will be well into my 30s before I will be ready to buy a house. I am not ready to start a family and I can imagine this also wont happen until I am well into my thirties. I wont be getting married anytime soon, and that is totally okay with me. I don’t have my own car, in fact I haven’t even had one driving lesson, and if I did own my own car, I can assure you it would be really shit. I enjoy writing my blog, but it isn’t successful, I don’t have thousands of readers or thousands of followers on Instagram like others. But I am happy. I am so happy and content with my life at the moment and I couldn’t imagine it being any other way. That is the most important thing for me.

WHAT I’M WEARING

Tobi Dress / PLT Boots (similar)

It is hard not to get sucked into feeling the insane amount of pressure young people face today. I feel like I have a never ending to do list for my passions outside of work and I desperately want to succeed with them. I do want to earn more money for myself so I might be able to afford, you know, life… like a mortgage, a car and all the big things in life. But I just need to keep telling myself that this will come one day, and there is no need to rush. Of course there are people that seem to have it all in their mid 20s, but its so important not to compare. We all have our own individual timeline, things will happen for us at different times in our lives and that is so normal. We may feel like we have to have everything figured out in our 20s, or even our 30s but everyone reaches milestones at different times in their lives.

George and I want to travel one day. Hopefully sometime in the near future, but I can’t help but feel like this will set us back. I want to see the world but I am afraid of what we will be left with when we return to Manchester. We wont have our lovely flat anymore, we wont have jobs and we will most likely have ran out of money. Then starting to do adult things like buying a house etc seem even further away. Will our careers be set back? Will we be able to pick up where we left off when we return? I have to remind myself that its okay to go down a different path to the one I once thought was for me and if going travelling someday is going to make me happy and add to my life, then I should do it, whenever it may be.

As we grow up, we are lead to believe there will be a time, most likely in our 20s, that we have everything all figured out. But the more I think about it, the more I realise this isn’t true. I don’t think I’ll ever have everything ‘figured out,’ what does that even mean anyway? Surely we should always be striving for new and exciting adventures in our short time in this world?

The answer here is to just live for the moment and try not to feel any pressure from anyone or anything to live your life a certain way. Everybody has a different path to follow and just because someones life seems amazing from the outside, it doesn’t mean it is any better than yours. Your happiness comes first, so you do you and your reward will be happiness. What more could you ever want?

 

Laura x

 

Photography by Matt Bester