There is a lot of advice out there for young people. And a lot of it contradicts itself. On the one hand there’s all of the “Be yourself! Follow your dreams! Blaze your own trail!” but then there’s also all of the “Be realistic! Suck it up! Get a degree in Econ!”
It’s hard enough being a struggling twenty-something without hearing about all the ways we may or may not be doing it all WRONG. But I’m pretty sure there are a few pieces of advice that we can all safely ignore:
- Focus on building your resume.
Focus on your passion, and don’t stress if it doesn’t look that great on paper right now.
- You should settle down/have kids/earn a certain amount by a certain age.
Don’t worry about someone else’s schedule.
- If you have sex on the first date, he won’t respect you.
If he doesn’t respect you, he’s an assh*le. No one should ever feel pressured to have sex when they don’t want to, or feel shamed for wanting to have sex when both partners are willing.
- When dating, ALWAYS wait the exact right amount of time to text/call/whatever.
Eh. Who cares?
- You only find love when you’re not looking for it.
I’m pretty sure it’s all kind of random. You find it when you find it. Just do your thing and trust that you’ll find your person eventually.
- You need to put yourself out there more!
…Where is “there”? What? What does this even mean?!
- Everyone hates their job, just suck it up.
Um… what? So the world is just a spinning ball of misery and disgruntled employees, and we’re supposed to be fine with that? Life is short. Don’t waste time on a job you don’t like.
- You can’t make a career out of art/writing/music!
Yeah, artists aren’t real! All those books and paintings and TV shows that we see everywhere are pure illusion! Except that lots of people make careers out of art. It’s hard, for sure, but without artists we wouldn’t have cartoons or museums or Game of Thrones or music or cute cell phone cases or awards shows, and who’d want to live in that world?
- Millennials are SO entitled. With their unemployment and their unpaid internships. Be less entitled!
Pay us a living wage and we’ll talk.
- You can’t wear that/pierce that/dye your hair that color because people won’t take you seriously.
If people don’t take you seriously, don’t take them seriously.
- If you don’t get married or have kids you’ll regret it FOREVER.
Everybody, chill out. People live their own lives in their own time and that’s ok.
- You must establish yourself in a career path right now.
See above re: chilling out.
- If you do get married or have kids you’ll be throwing away your career.
- You need to get a REAL job.
What is a REAL job? There’s nothing wrong with taking an undemanding job so that you have more time to pursue other interests.
- Play hard to get/don’t be too available/girls only like jerks etc.
- It’s all about who you know.
Ok, maybe networking matters, but actually being good at what you do matters more. Worry about doing the thing itself, don’t worry about talking to people about doing the thing.