Success is not Linear

The past nine months of quarantine has given people time to sit back and think about where they are in life. Some may feel they have accomplished their goals, while others have not. This particular train of thought is incredibly common amongst those in their 20s. For young adults, these are considered our years of discovery and settling down. But throughout the decades, this idea of discovery and settling down has become harder to achieve. These past few months have caused people to become more depressed than ever. 

Woman staring at phone at night Photo by mikoto.raw from Pexels People often have the mindset that the decisions you make in your 20s dictate the direction of the rest of your life. In our 20s we are expected to graduate university by age 22, get a good job, own a home, get married, and start a family. These expectations are especially forced upon us at this day and age because of social media. Apps like TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook constantly show us the achievements of our peers and influencers. There are many viral tweets of people owning their own homes at the age of 21 captioned with “What’s your excuse?” This has left our generation with a toxic mindset that success is the same for everyone. There is no linear path in life. Even when you are attempting to go on a certain path, there are certain circumstances that may lead you somewhere you are not expecting. Privilege has a huge say in who is successful and who is not. Even if you do achieve everything to be successful, if you are not the typical age, race, sexuality, gender or ability then your success is considered an anomaly or “luck.” 

Smiley face on the street Photo by Jacqueline Munguia from Unsplash If society would let go of this linear road to success, a lot of people would be happier and more passionate about what they end up doing in life. Not everyone has to have a 9–5 job, get married, have children, and work until they retire. But if they want to do that it’s okay too! We shouldn’t compare our lives to others because we don’t know what privileges or drawbacks have led them to where they are. It is okay to not have everything figured out in your 20s and it is okay to change the course of your life even when you are older. It is never too late to find your passion or seek more out of life. Everyone feels doubt in where they are at some point. The important part is that you don’t let this doubt dictate what you do with your life and how you feel about yourself. People should focus less on having everything together by the age of 25 and instead enjoy their 20s! You will only be your age once and you should not rush it.