Society and technology has come on a long way, but life as a young person is by no means easy. In fact, even though adults endure everything from work problems to debt, no period of your life comes close to being as difficult as your teenage years. Everything is changing physically, mentally and emotionally and you face some of the most intense situations of your young life, discovering heartbreak, anxiety, low self esteem and peer pressure along the way.
I spoke with three female St. John's University students who share their struggles of being young.
Claudia Farjado, 19
"Nothing's literally worse than being the awkward ages of 18-20. I definitely think it's the time where we get judged the most by older people or those who think that they have it all understood. Some of the struggles I go through as a young person are endless. I am constantly being reminded that I'm young."
"I went to an interview for an entry level job at Condé Nast which had ZERO requirements and/or qualifications and the hiring manager (who was 3x my age, still working the entry level job,) kept reminding me that I was 19, and too young for the work. In addition, we work towards a goal and expect the results to come fairly quickly, when in reality they just don't."
Cristina Artis, 18
"As a young person, I struggle with issues of self-doubt and negativity. I see people all around me in the same places, at the same age as me, and it feels like they are doing better than me, and there is nothing I can do about it. I get so caught up in the achievements of others that I find myself lacking the confidence that I can do better, I could just work harder, but usually I just end up settling for where I am. I struggle to create a mindset of positivity when everything around me is working in a negative fashion. All it takes is positivity and the right mindset, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. As a young person, the media affects everything in my life, with the access that young people have to it with social media right on their phones."
"I come from a family of immigrants, my mother was not born here, but my father was. Neither of them graduated from college, and at the end of my six years, I will be the first in my family to do so. I want to be the first; I don’t want to be a part of some statistic for people who drop out of college and do nothing. I want my family to be proud of me, and I want to be able to provide for them, but school is hard, and I’m just one person feeling like I have the whole world on my shoulders."
Abiola Giwa, 19
"One’s youth is recognized to be one of the most beautiful and transformative stages of life. You’re finally in a position to make your own decisions, forge your own path and make a name for yourself. This is a stage where your forming your identity. With these new found responsibilities comes…pressure! Personally, my youth has been a major learning experience me. The tests that have been placed in my path have taught me how to overcome adversity and strength."
"In this day and age, it is very easy to get caught up in the mindset of having everything together. I found myself comparing my success to others and trying to “catch up.” My journey with God is what helped me to overcome the struggle of anxiety and obsession with achievement. The world will tell me that I need X, Y and Z to be seen as valuable, but God tells me that I am enough because that’s how He created me. I am reminded that all that is for me has already been given to me. I may not see it yet, but I know that it is here. As a young person, you have to remember that growing is a gradual process that happens through living and experiencing."
Lead Image Credit: Unsplash