I talked the other day about how the current generation (Generation Z) and my generation (the Millennials) differ from each other and from those previous in terms of living healthily – exercise, food, smoking and drinking. The generation thing is something I’ve actually been thinking and talking a lot about recently, calling it my “Identity Crisis”.
A little while ago, I realised I was no longer the “baby” in my office as one of our newer guys was just a couple of weeks younger than me. Okay, nothing major, but I’d been the youngest one for a couple of years and had thought he was a couple of weeks older – doh! I had my mini identity crisis then. And now my bigger age related identity crisis has suddenly kicked in – I can’t possibly the responsible adult in situations, can I?!
Well, actually, yes I have to be! The other evening I was at Brownies and we joined with another pack for a tea party. I was put in charge of the cupcake decorating stand with a volunteer from another unit who happened to be part of the Senior Section which is girls from 14 to 26. Now technically I could be a part of this, but only just, with my 26th birthday approaching in 2 months. But never having been in Girlguiding before I decided I wanted to volunteer with them, I hadn’t gone through the process to become part of the Senior Section, so I went straight into leadership and doing my qualification. Anywho, the Senior Section girl turned to me and asked: “So what do we do then?”…a simple enough question but one that made me go: EEK, I’m supposed to be the one in charge here!! Then there’s the fact that I’m becoming our pack’s main leader in September once I’ve finished my qualification as our leader is stepping back.
My mini-crisis is tied to the fact that I’m wondering where I now fit. While on holiday, I kept seeing young people (ie. teenagers) and thinking of myself as part of their generation then realising that at 25, actually I’m completely alien to them. Remember when you were a teenager and 25 felt so old…yeh, that’s what I’m thinking! (I know it isn’t, by the way, but remember how it felt when you were a teenager?!)
Fortunately it’s not just me though – talking to my friends I’ve realised that we’re all wondering how we suddenly got to this age of being mid-20s, being “grown ups”, but not really feeling it. Even my mum says she still doesn’t feel like grown up.
Then again, looking at where I’ve got to at 25, I’m feeling happy – I have a steady relationship (8 years, whut?!), a job I love (3.5 years, whut?!), a mortgage and a house, and most importantly, 2 cats ;D Everything points towards me being a “grown up”!
And there are real stats behind this feeling of inadequate grown-up-ness too: according to this post by Money Life, our generation of Millennials are finding it so difficult to establish themselves as independent adults because house prices are so high – over 2 million of us have moved back in with our parents between the ages of 20 and 35. The cost of raising a child has gone up by 58% in the last decade alone – no wonder the average age for our generation having their first baby has risen to over 30 years of age (30.2 to be precise according to the ONS) for the first time ever.
But then again, our generation doesn’t have it too bad – think about what I was saying in the last post about the leaps the media has taken recently towards promoting more healthy body images (I’ve personally felt the effects of this in my life, going from a terrible body image as a teenager based on the media to now strongly wanting to be fit and healthy over skinny). We’ve also got the highest rate of car ownership ever as well as far more women entering the workplace and more full-time earners. We’ve got education and better rights. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty awesome.
Now someone please tell me how I start feeling like I’m 25 and not 15!
PS: The picture on this post has absolutely nothing to do with it – it’s just a pretty picture from my holiday and I can’t post without an image!