There is this unspoken rule that you must be successful by the age of 25. So if you don't have your life together by that age, when will you? A habit that contributes to the self-decaying self-worth is comparing achievements and success to other Gen Zers or always wondering, Why haven’t I thought of the next million dollar idea yet? Why can’t I draw as good as “her”? How come my rank is so low compared to that of my friends?
Gen Zers fixate on the achievements of others and the notion that they are incapable of holding remarkable qualities. However, this sense of self-deprecation, if left uncontrolled, can have negative consequences. For instance, belittling others successes to feel better, or overestimating the value of high school class ranks can be damaging to someone’s self-esteem. The focus should not be on the success of others. Instead, it should be on the progress made over time.
Most of my high school career, I was an anxiety ball contemplating suicide because I thought I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t even think I was going to make it to my 16th birthday, let alone graduation. Now that I am in my senior year, I know that I am good enough. After experiencing that kind of pain, I realize that I am strong and resilient, and can make it through anything life throws at me.
Nevertheless, there is still a concern for my future. I often hear that success equates happiness, “when you reach your goals you will feel fulfilled!” This kind of ideology is ever-present in my life. In the novel “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock” by Matthew Quick, the protagonist questions this kind of thinking. This same thinking jump-started my anxiety for what awaits for me in the future. What if I reach my goals and I am unhappy or unsatisfied?
YouTuber, Elle Mills, had a mental breakdown in May, 2018 because although she had reached her career goal, she felt unhappy. So, with that, if success isn't the pathway to happiness then what is?
—Contributed by D.T., LHS High School Senior
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Due: Fri., Feb. 8, 2019 11:59 p.m. CST