I have been sitting on this post for several months now. I was listening to a Stuff You Should Know podcast sometime early in the summer about what quantifies defining someone as a ‘genius’. Naturally Albert Einstein was discussed. Listening to the podcast, and hearing about Einstein’s successes really struck me.
By 26, Einstein:
- Proved atoms exist
- Proved light behaves as a particle and a wave
- Developed the “Theory of Relativity”
- And developed the famous E= mc² equation
Well let me tell you. I will be turning 25 in mid April, and the likelihood of me coming close to accomplishing even one thing at the level of Einstein’s successes by the age of 26 is in the negative range of possibility. Not to say I really measure myself against a known genius, but when put into perspective like that, it truly is amazing. And terrifying.
What is it about today’s society that permits young adults to take their time ‘finding themselves’ and delaying the process of developing their own successes? I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want to be rushed into adulthood at the moment, but isn’t there something about how when boundaries and guidelines are slack (if made at all), we go a little crazy?
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m in the midst of a quarter life crisis by any means, but when reflecting on how society grew up during our grandparents’ and even our parents’ generations I find myself stunned. Between depression, wars, segregation, and movements all around, people were pushed into roles where responsibility and development took precedence. I love being a Gen Y baby, but there are times I struggle with the notion that we have been given so much freedom to do as we please that our generation has developed a complete lack of direction and motivation.
I can’t speak for everyone but I know when I was tossed from my senior year of High School into University I had NO idea what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to be. My decisions of where I went to school had very little to do with the path I wanted to take in life. Even though I ended up pleased with attending the University of Guelph it had more to do with the friends I made and experiences I had, over the education and direction I received. I even switched my major after my second year because my original choice was such a random one a friend had recommended (I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing). Fresh out of university I felt even more lost. Welcome to the real world kids! Didn’t take a co-op program? Spent your summers working jobs as far from your field as possible? Congrats, you’re screwed! I spent my summers lifeguarding between university semesters. I had a blast making friends, getting an endlessly fab tan, and collecting oh so many stories about people who can’t swim. I don’t regret these summers, but it would have been nice to be clued in that I would have to work twice as hard once graduated because my work experience, while honourable, had nothing to do with marketing.
I am now working up to having a year and a half work experience relevant to my field. Nine months of it working for a start-up getting paid slightly above minimum wage (and don’t even think about benefits) and coming up to seven as an unpaid Marketing Intern (I can’t complain about this one, while unpaid I LOVE my job). More often than not it’s more about who you know and not what you know. This fact is unfortunately driven into my brain all too frequently. I have done my best to network and make connections in the right places but at the end of the day I am still looking for that opening in the market where someone will finally feel I have enough experience and the passion to get the job done, and at a nice ticket price of course.
Until then I will continue to work as hard as I can, adding experience under my belt, and ponder what life would be life if I were an accomplished genius like Albert Einstein…
Let me just say…
Hell you can drive at 16
Go to war at 18
You can drink at 21
And retire at 65
So how old do you have to be before your love is real?
“I’d like to be making babies, but I’m not, so I’m making movies. When someone comes along, I don’t think I’ll be able to do both… I’ll make movies until I make babies.”
I’LL MAKE BABIES WITH YOU RYAN!!!