Confessions: Two Years After Earning My Engineering Degree, I Still Feel “Lost”
I am one of those millennials who absolutely feel hopeless despite having graduated two years ago. It feels disappointing that I still feel lost today.
“Adulting is so hard.” – a common phrase we hear from every millennial everywhere. Lifestyle magazines for the young and the hip often bank on this concept and other industries have found ways to profit from “adulting”. Well, if you have millennials who feel clueless about what they’re doing, it’s easy to persuade them to do what you want in an attempt to make their lives feel better.
I would know since I am one of those millennials who absolutely feel hopeless despite having graduated two years ago. It feels disappointing that I still feel lost today. I thought this was just something college students would feel as they go through a phase of existential crisis. But in my case, it got worse. Way worse. Not only do I have to feel this way, I can no longer ask for financial support from my parents. I’m a civil engineering graduate and I’ve been working on a private company for more than a year already. What the internet promises as a fulfilling career with a high salary doesn’t really apply in reality. In my country, we are paid the minimum wage despite the cost of living in our area. I am left to pay my own bills, learn how to budget my money just to make it through the month and develop a certain lifestyle to stay fit and healthy. Everything gets more challenging when the competition gets tougher everyday. With thousands of civil engineers competing for few positions, one has to standout and be the best just to get that raise. So, now, I often ask myself, “What am I supposed to do with my life?”
It doesn’t help that everyone around us lives in a way that they have figured out the secret to success. Some have gone to further develop their knowledge by taking Master’s while others have gone abroad to get better and high-paying jobs. There are people my age who are starting their own business and buying their own cars. I know it’s bad to pity myself and compare, but here I am, still working at a private company with no signs of personal and professional developments. The more I start comparing myself to other people, the more I feel lost. Am I supposed to follow what they’re doing? Am I supposed to apply for a job abroad? Should I get back to school? Will life be easier if I just find someone rich I can marry? Clearly, everything gets confusing nowadays. It also doesn’t help that our parents have different ideas on how we should be living our lives and they look at our actions with a constant look of disapproval. While this confession may seem to be more of a rant with no resolution, I do know that what I feel is not something I only have. A lot of my peers also share the same sentiment. Some gave in to the pressure and followed the path everyone else is taking while a few special people chose to create a new way for them to take, unafraid of what will come tomorrow as long as they believe in their dreams. I admire these brave souls and hopefully, one day, I will start enjoying the feeling of getting a little lost with my professional (and personal) life and explore what the world can offer with a strong faith in myself and my engineering degree.
So if you’re reading this and you feel lost as well, hang in there.