Lost Generation

When I was younger, I used to take pride in my generation for representing a generation of independence and individuality. The vast amount of opportunities that we have in comparison to those of our parents and grandparents allows us the freedom to become whoever we want to be. The courses that are now offered in college plus the alternative options for those who don’t want to go to college can yield a countless number of careers and lifestyles. Just the thought of it can easily overwhelm a young person these days.

However, as I’m getting older, I’m starting to wonder what kind of toll this freedom is taking on us. The more friends I talk to about this topic, the more I learn that we seem even more lost and confused than our parents were at our age. We’re constantly wondering which path is right or wrong versus what we really want. We don’t know how to settle.

It makes me wonder if we can handle this freedom. We’ve become so spoiled with the privilege of being able to say “No”

I’m beginning to ask myself, “Did our parents have it right?”

I’m not in favor of reverting back to times of our parents and grandparents, but I am in favor of choosing one thing and seeing it through.

Although I’ve grown up in a generation where I can be whoever I want to be, I still wish I had someone to steer me in a certain direction because I can’t seem to make up my own mind

Between choosing the right job, the right place to live, the right person to marry, it gets exhausting trying to always figure out when everything will be “just right”.

When I was in college, one of my favorite classes was Social Psychology. One of the theories I learned really resonated with me. To this day, I can’t exaggerate enough how well it applies to my generation now. In a nutshell, the theory outlines the idea that when people are given too many options, they often become more regretful with their choices as opposed to if they only had a limited amount of options.

Say for example, you are at an ice cream parlor and there are 30 flavors to choose from. Our eyes become wide open, we take several tiny spoonfuls to try different flavors, and then we get frustrated because we are overwhelmed with the choices we have. But of course, we now have the option to take multiple flavors in one cup.

For those who are fortunate enough to be firm in our choices, there will be no regret. But for those who have hindsight bias, it becomes a little more difficult to appreciate what we have.

My major concern is this:

Will I be okay with the choices I’ve made and follow through with the things that I now have?

When will I stop seeking out other things to make me happy?

When will I settle?

It’s an impossible question to answer at the moment because I don’t know what the future has in store for me. I don’t know the person that I will become in a year, five years, twenty years, and so on.

I just hope that the path I choose as I am on it leads me to a better place.

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Same mistakes

I was in Princeton, New Jersey on Friday night with my sister and her boyfriend when we passed a large, wooden caricature of Albert Einstein with a hole cut out big enough for people to put their face through. I had my sister’s boyfriend take a picture of me with my face in it and posted it on Instagram for a laugh.

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I kept checking the photo for “likes” that night and later on at dinner, Albert Einstein became a topic of conversation.

Over the span of the weekend, my thoughts condensed to more serious matters about my life when I kept thinking about Albert Einstein.

Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

If this is true, then we must all be insane; or at least I am.

As I was running through the campus of my Alma Matar the other day, Rutgers University, I was observing all of the changes being made on College Avenue. The great landmark food trucks known as the “Greasetrucks” have been moved, new buildings were being built, and old buildings were being constructed. Everything looked so different in the short amount of time since I’ve left.

I, then, reflected on the times that I spent walking down that street, rushing to class, going out with friends, and started thinking about how much I’ve grown since college. I’ve already accomplished so much and have made it so far, yet there are still parts of me that remain the same.

I’d like to think that I’ve grown and matured a great deal since I’ve graduated, but I know I still have many years of change left. Even though I’ve managed to accomplish many things that I set out to, some of my behaviorisms haven’t changed at all.

I wonder, if mistakes are made in life in order to learn from, then what does it mean if we keep making the same mistake multiple times? Does it mean we’re not learning?

Why do I insist on making the same mistakes when I already know the outcome? I must be insane.

However, I’m fully aware of the mistakes I’m making when I’m making them. I already know what the results will be. Yet, deep down, I’m hoping that something different will happen the next time around.

Maybe a part of me hopes that things will magically change; that people will magically change. But change never happens by using the same methodology over and over again.

Some people believe that things are different the second time around. As I’ve grown older, I’m not so confident in that mindset.

Looking back on my experiences, I’ve learned that life yields the same consequences when we make the same mistakes.

The thing that baffles me is this: If I already know, then why do I continue to do the same things?

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