I was listening to Spotify this morning while getting ready, and one of my favorite songs came on. It’s called Love Yourz by J Cole and there is a line in that song that every person in their twenties, well, even teenagers should live by. “But you ain’t never gon’ be happy till you love yours.”
I think that our generation, that mix of Millennial and Gen Z, suffer from the constant need to compare what we have to what others have. J Cole may be talking about cars and clothes in the song but the same can be said for much deeper things—the idea of someone else’s happiness or someone else’s career path being better than our own.
For a year and a half, I have been in a Career Counseling program and my initial perception of having everything figured out has completely been dismantled. I advise and individually counsel undergraduate and graduate students and a major theme of their career development issues is wanting to compare. They want to compare their path to others, and I tell them that it isn’t possible. You can’t compare. You can’t be in anyone’s predestined plan. No matter how hard you try, it won’t work. And even if you do happen to get there, will you truly be happy? Most likely not.
Graduate school has given me the opportunity to find myself and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have to figure out everything at once. When I see this “life of greatness” on a social media page, I have to remember that where I’m at now is great. I realize that I have to enjoy the moment, appreciate my blessings, and understand that establishing my career isn’t a race against time.