Are Millennials Quitters or Doers?

Starting from college dropouts to adults quitting their jobs, millennials are frequently resonating a muddled state of mind. A decade ago, college dropouts were thought to be of two archetypes: intellectuals who went on to be on the Forbes’ Lists and truants, people who were the bad apples. Previously the triggers for dropping out were largely financial reasons. Students were either burdened with debt, or their parents were. It was arduous to afford tuition. However, in our days, motives for dropouts run deeper than most can fathom. One doesn’t quit college just because he’s a failure, loafer or an idler. Only the societal stigma makes it seem that way. According to a statement Bill Gates made last year, only 54.8% of students finish college in the USA. On deeper speculation, some professors have theorised the behaviour of drop-outs using their grades and mental stability throughout the semester. I believe that these theories are just the tip of the ice berg.

Millennials are intrepid individuals. They understand the repercussions of their actions and choose to take unflinching decisions of changing their course of life at any given moment. Gradually, they’ve gained the support from their family and immediate society. Colleges abroad offer to switch their subjects and courses before graduation, granting them a chance to move to a field of their own choice while allowing them to test waters in different career options. However, the status quo in our country is a little more complicated than that. Children are not immediately accepted if they desire to quit college. They’re offered counselling and are persuaded into changing their sentiments. Often, it is done forcefully. This causes permanent ripples on the attitudes of those individuals. They are coerced into staying in a particular field of activity which majorly alters their perspective of everything, life even. The most common result of such coercion is a pessimistic outlook of the individual’s convictions. Life seems unjust and not worth living, this is often called being in an “existential crisis”. It can be followed by indifference concerning routine tasks. And mind you, these are long term effects which can even grow into suicidal thoughts.

Every so often, one can see a similar circumstance in an adult edition. People have begun to notice a steady increase in adults yearning to quit their jobs and follow other interests. This could happen if they did not get a chance to alter their directions at an earlier stage. Nevertheless, it is certainly not too late to do something you like, although that is not the perception everywhere. Interviewers badger interviewees to uncover the reason for a hiatus. When they happen to find traces of psychological trauma, they do not prefer that candidate. Altogether, this is not favourable for the people in between jobs who are trying to find footing in a career they prefer and want to pursue for the rest of their lives. This is the social stigma I had mentioned earlier, it is a deluded perception that persons who are willing to change their paths midway are not loyal and would do the same in the present field.

Very frequently, the extent of courage it takes to make such changes goes unnoticed, specifically when the society is not in support of such decisions and they personally have a lot at stake, their family, relationships, financial burdens, self-actualisation goals and so on. Being the most important need in Maslow’s Hierarchy, self-actualisation, is progressively becoming one of the reasons for millennials diving into a change in career. It has become important for everyone to realise their true potential and not just be herded by the inclination of the populace, which is very common with the Indian society. We are all aware of the tendency of Indians to pick one thriving field and saturate it, it is now happening with engineers. There are hundreds of thousands of engineers, a few well-paying jobs and lesser still, satisfied engineers who are content with their jobs.

Gone are the days when it was easy to be content with the job they got when the primary goal was to feed the family and put a roof on their heads. In our day, children are taught to compete very early on, they are constantly exposed to new things, their interests keep changing as their natural environment keeps challenging them. It is unjust to expect their minds to be preoccupied with one thing in the age of technology. It is their instinct to experience new things, because that is what the society has taught them to do.

Picture Credits : sickchirpse.com

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