January 26, 2017

The struggle is real.

So, I've been thinking. Why do young adults like me sometimes feel like wine is the only answer to everything? Or beer? Or whatever substance you want to *insert here*. Why do we feel like that is the only escape we have? Why do we need to escape at all? I mean we are all educated 20-something people trying to make it. What's so hard about it?

Indeed, what the hell is a 20-something like me trying to get over with? We have everything, no?
You know, as much as love my traineeship and as much as I am having the time of my life, I know it's coming to an end. And as much as I am trying not to think about, I kinda have to think about it. The future is coming, and it's approaching fast. I need to do something about it. 

So, okay, I am a highly educated woman with a great traineeship at the European Commission - I should be able to make it. I mean, come on, Capitalism cut me some slack.

Fuck, I feel like a little girl all over again. The social construction of reality is shattering in front of me and crumbling between my fingers and I can't do anything to stop it. Nothing ever counts. Nothing.

I met a Slovenian representative today. I said I'm looking for a job now that my traineeship is slowly coming to an end, and that I've been told things are hard in Brussels, and my reply was "Everywhere is hard. Nowhere is really easy." And you know what she told me? "Yeah, if you don't want challenges or you want a job where you do nothing then I guess it's really hard to get a job."

Honestly, for a second I didn't know what to say. For a split second, I was hoping I misunderstood. But I didn't. That is what she said. 

Oh, my God, I can't explain the rage and disgust that hits me everytime I hear this. 

With all due respect, how the hell would you know? You finished University (or not even, for some) and there was a job waiting for you. And when you wanted a change, you got it. How the hell would you understand the things I am going through and all the rest of the 20-something like me around the world? Exactly, you can't. 

So don't come and tell me how I and people like me are just entitled lazy bastards who are too anything to do anything. We. Are. Not. We are the most educated generation that the world has ever seen. We are driven. We are passionate. We want to do things. We want to make things better for the world, that you so much but screwed all over. We want a better tomorrow. And we want to contribute to it. 

So don't come and tell me things are hard, that we are not motivated enough. Because we are. 

The problem is, you don't give us opportunities to be. Not when all the jobs I see advertised sound so boring, or when you say we need 3 years experience and a master - to then work for free. It's not right.

Also, I hate it that there are some great opportunities out there and there are just too many of us. Everyone of us should get a shot at their career. Not just the lucky 5%. 

Which brings me to my second point. Career. I've been so busy with various jobs because bills - you need to survive somehow, that I'm wondering what exactly is my career supposed to be? Sometimes I wish I went studying something very concrete like logistics or something. I feel like as a graduate in Psychology (probably works for International relations or Political science) I have so many options but in reality, I don't really have any. All these broad subjects that don't prepare you for the real world. When I look at job adverts is just depressing. You try to fit your area of expertise into this tiny little box and adapt everything you've done to match the description, but there is nothing really you in that box in the end. 

But in the end, who asks us what we want anyway? 

Have you stopped yourself in the past few years and asked yourself what do you want out of your career? Not what your next job is going to be, but your career. I didn't make the distinction either, but maybe I should have. The thing is, we are too busy doing jobs that we really don't want to do because they pay the bills. And yes, we still try to go for the jobs we actually want but they always seem unreachable and based on luck. 

You know, when I started Edinburgh Uni they told us in the inauguration speech that we are really smart and bright and we are going to have a great future because Edinburgh Uni is top 17 in the world and they only accept outstanding people. Okay. When I started my traineeship at the EU Commission, at the welcome conference they said that we were the best of Europe because we made it through the hardcore pre-selection and selection procedure, and we are now representatives of our generation because we are here in Brussels. 

Please, just stop. Stop feeding us the special snowflake syndrome. We are not special. Not really. We are educated and driven young adults in a world that doesn't give us chances. Or it gives us temporary chances with no prosperity. It's just sad.

"Things are hard." They say it like we have an option here. Like there is a way out. Like "yeah sure things are hard here, but you can go 'there' and things will be easier." Are people out of their mind?! 

We've all been swept into this huge swimming pool and now we have to swim. There is no option of saying "oh excuse me, I don't feel like it!" You need to swim. You need to keep going. 

The thing is, I want all of us to make it. I want my colleagues from University to make it. I want my fellow trainees to make it. I want my friends to make. But that's a utopia these days when it should be the reality. 

And that's why I think young adults are driven to escape reality. We can't give up, we have to keep going, and there is no way out. But sometimes there is this blissful moment when the reality of the world is not so crushing. Maybe you forget for a moment. Maybe it's a moment when you can actually stand the way things are.


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