You know what’s weird about being a millennial? Being surrounded by people in such different stages of life. Some of your peers are in college, some are traveling the world, some are married with kids. It’s hard to look around and compare yourself to others that are living such different lives.
It’s human nature to compare yourself to your peers. It helps set some kind of social standard. But what about when the social standard is that there is no standard?
I think, when you’re in high school, it’s easy to be friends with people because you’re almost forced to. You meet these people that you see every day, and to survive, you have to make alliances. High school is tough (socially), so you need friends to get through it. But after you graduate, you drift apart.
Part of this is because everyone has such different dreams and passions. It’s good for everyone to have their own dreams but it also makes it harder to stay in touch and keep the friendship alive.
In today’s society, we’re not all expected to graduate high school, get married, have children, and work a 9-to-5 for the rest of our lives. Millennials have the benefit of choosing to travel, not have children, and get outside of years of the “societal norm.” We don’t have to do things the way our parents and grandparents did, we can — and do — choose a different life path.
Generations before us didn’t commonly do that, which is why it seems like they have a lot more friends whose life path aligns with their own. They have friends from their childhood that they still maintain relationships with. Now, I’m not saying it’s easy for ANY generation to keep solid friendships — but as a millennial, it’s really difficult.
I bring this up because I had a baby in 2019, got married this February, and I just submitted an offer to buy a house. Since we put in the offer, I’ve wanted nothing more than to share my experience with someone. But none of my friends have ever bought a house. None of my friends are married, and none of my friends have children. These are all friends from high school or college, and we are all within just a few years of age of each other, making them my most reasonable comparison.
It’s kind of isolating to not be able to fully talk to any of my friends about parenthood, marriage, or the home-buying process. I love my friends and I am very happy that they are happy with their lives. I wouldn’t change my friends in any way.
But it’s hard to look around and feel out of place.
It often makes me wonder if any of our friends look at me and my husband and feel like they can’t talk to us because they are on such different paths. I wonder if they ever feel isolated or out of place.
I feel very fortunate to have friends that live differently than I do, but still care enough to put a little extra effort in our friendship … even if they can’t always relate. I hope my friends feel the same way about me.
If you are surrounded by friends but still sometimes feel alone because they have chosen different life paths than you, you can always reach out to me. I can’t promise to always be able to relate, but I can promise to be a listening ear — everyone deserves someone to talk to.