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Why At Age 26, Many Of Us Already Feel Unhappy With Our Life And Jobs

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A few days ago, I met my old college friends. It was a kind of a reunion for the four of us. We were almost roommates during college and used to be inseparable.

After five years, all of us took different paths, had different life problems, had made our own mistakes and were trying to rectify them. There were many things that we needed to catch up on.

So, finally, we decided to meet in a city where two of us lived and that place was not far from my city as well.

It was really nice meeting all of them. We listened to each other, talked about our careers, life and how it was going. We discussed what we actually wanted from our career and yeah, one of the discussion was how we had messed up our lives because of problems in our careers.

Not one, but three of us had messy personal lives. That was expected because we had been running behind our ambitions, goals and dreams so blindly that we had no idea whether we were making the right decisions or not.

And yes, the strange thing was we were not teenagers, we were quite mature.

All of us were 26-27 years old and had seen at least a quarter of our lives. Many children come to us for guidance in their career and lives, but our own lives had no clear focus.

I had freedom to make my life but I chose to imitate success stories of others and forgot to focus on my own…

I just reflected upon the whole day when I met one of my friends’ mother and she said, “Your generation is too fast, it does not want to stop anywhere and wants to grab each and everything in their career.”

“Your generation is not able to take decisions about your career and often you end up unhappy.”

Yeah! That was the ultimate truth.

I was born to a middle-class family that gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted in my life. Although I was born in a town, I was free to choose the career I wanted and the hobbies I wanted to pursue.

Even when I started my own business, my parents supported my decision despite having to take an education loan for my studies abroad.

So, where did I go wrong? Why was I not happy with my life? And why do most of my friends have similar problems in their lives? We have no excuses, but yes, we made many wrong decisions.

We had all the support from the people around us, yet we messed it up quite a lot. The achievements that we have now, could have been earned by us at least 3 years ago!

I tried to become successful like others and burdened myself with a responsibility to become like them… in the process I forgot my own identity.

Having thought over all the scenarios, I decided that probably, it all happened because we took too much responsibility for everything we did.

When we wanted to select a career, we tried to talk to as many people around us. We did not listen to our hearts but listened to success stories around us and tried to imitate them.

We convinced our parents and selected the careers that guaranteed success.

Then in college, we worked really hard, studied for the exams to maintain our CGPA and participated in extra-curricular activities as well to brighten our CVs. This definitely helped us get placement in the best companies.

Then again, we worked long hours in our companies, even without overtime just to earn credit from our managers.

Our happiness was waiting for weekends when we could meet our friends and roam around the city. This had become a daily story of our lives.

Truthfully, it was not just me, but most of my friends had a similar life.

I ended up in an ordinary life with no happiness, and so did my friends and their friends and so on…

We were wasting five days every week in doing something that did not interest us, but we were doing it in order to prove to ourselves that we could do anything.

That one notion of wanting to show off our calibre cost us our happiness. We never realised that we were trying to excel in fields which probably were not our forte.

Thankfully, we realised this a little later when we finally shifted to the fields that we liked, but it could have happened earlier, had there been someone who had guided us to be ourselves.

We always made wrong role models for ourselves. We looked upon those who had a successful life and then we tried to choose the same life regardless of our own capabilities.

I wish someone had told me that day that I was not made to follow others and I had to make my own story…

But now, when I see so many professionals out there giving career advice to students, I really wish that it should have happened when I was a student as well.

A schoolmate of mine who is a struggling dancer now could have taken up professional dance classes when she was preparing to become an accountant.

A funny guy who used to sit on the last bench in college could have been among the first stand-up comedians in the country.

Another friend who is now among the most successful freelancers in animation designing could have achieved this few years back if he had not wasted time in engineering.

There are many more stories that are still untold or have already been lost amidst the social pressure. Yet, I hope the new generation thinks more about this and do what they actually want to do.

I really don’t want to see these kids sitting in a café after five years and talking about how much they have lost in their lives. I want to see my younger brother and cousins’ faces beaming with confidence and telling everyone about their ambitions. I want all the young kids in our country to do what they are good at and live a happy life!

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You must be to comment.
  1. Modini Yantrapati

    Aakansha, you just touched the pulse of many frustrated individuals like me out there. I totally agree with the strong message you want to pass onto younger people in the arena of life.

  2. Vidhya Mahadevan

    This is the exact spirit that is required in the kids of today and it needs to start from school. How many schools have exposed their children to real life professionals so they can understand professions and choose what they love?
    I hope to work in this area to connect high school children and real practicing professionals.

  3. neharika chhibba

    Very nice article????.. you have done a very good job aakanksha ????

  4. Ganesh Karri

    You are right.This is what I think everyday.Not only me probably everyone of this age.We studied hard during our schooling and in engineering to get good grades.But finally we settle with a job with which we are not happy.. Great article.Thank you.

  5. Sumeet Sekhon

    heart wrenching! too good!

  6. Naveen Bhardwaj

    kya bakwas hai ye, if you are messed up psycologically then why are throwing garbage for others. You are discouraging Indian working class

  7. Krantivirsingh Rajput

    Such a deep profound article. Truly the only way to eternal happiness is by “following your inner calling”

  8. Zinnia Abbas Bookwala

    I followed my passion instead of the advice given to follow a career that shall give me a more promising stability. While I do not know how that alterative path would have worked out for me-my passion chosen path has lead me to a dry spell.

    This article points out rightly to the problem faced by a lot of individuals in their mid or late 20’s and the point raised by the friend’s mother is valid as well.

    However, what I realised is that the change required here is not only limited to oneself. The Indian work culture also needs to be organised & made more structured.

    Coming from abroad I see companies reluctant to hire new talent into the company on any mid to sr level. They are happy to take people who are ready to slog more than 40 hrs a week, be at their beck and call and for which they are paid peanuts. After inquiring with my fellow batchmates who stayed back in India-they confirmed that there is no growth curve as well.

    My adamancy to work efficiently but limited to 40 hrs a week was frowned upon and I recieved no responses. Why would I, if they can find a willing candidate in the market.

    Even students on an internship are not encouraged or given the platform to learn, though its mandate for them to complete their degree.

    Such central and concentrated power in the hands of companies and business houses will always create such imbalances. This requires an well integrated education and professional body that ensures registered companies do their bit in hiring fresh talent and nurture them. Also labour laws need to be introduced and implemented that provides a more fair ground for both the employer and employees so this current state of exploitation ends.

    Finally we need an economy that works best for the ‘average Indian’. Any hard working Indian with a decent education should not find it so hard to get a job. While means to spread education to remote villages and creating unskilled job opportunties is equally important.

  9. Sunita Sharma

    The world is ever-changing at a pace quicker than ever before. whereas it’s brought economic upliftment for several, it’s conjointly left a great deal people, significantly the adolescents, their folks and lecturers, all a touch confused. this is often significantly true once it involves creating a course/career selection. in contrast to within the past, once there have been solely a couple of profitable choices, these days there ar variety of excellent career choices offered. Also, there ar variety of influences starting from members of the family to friends/peers to web and tv that impact a young adolescent’s mind. Therefore, it’s quite natural for the young minds to be confused regarding that careers/courses to pursue. Explore with US over 222 career decisions. perceive them then create your selection.

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