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Now that the world is busy tending to a global pandemic and chasing after Gen-Z on TikTok, we, Millennials, have valuable introspection time. A time to think of the future, as to speak. What does the future hold for you, young Millennial? Is it as promising and as rosy as what you’ve always hoped for upon graduating from school? If your answer is anything other than a resounding “Yes!” then this article is for you.
Listed below are things that you can do or start planning on doing to ensure that you at least have a fighting chance on a happy future.
1. Upskill whenever you can
Obvs, we’re not saying that you should strive to upskill every time, only whenever you can. That doesn’t mean that you should purposely ignore your mental health in the time of a global pandemic just because you wanted to learn a new skill. What we mean is that you should take advantage of all the webinars that you are asked to attend and sign up on all free courses on new skills such as search engine optimization and graphic design.
That is, if you have the energy and will to do so. No one will fault you for not doing anything extra now. Just going through the day is more than enough, trust us. Especially considering that working from home is more stressful, with or without the added bonus of COVID-19.
2. Keep a healthy body
You might have already heard or read the maxim that your body is a temple of a god. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this is somewhat true. Not in the way it was thought of, though. If you have a thing for piercings, tattoos, or sleeping around, go for it. Just be safe, oks? What we think this maxim means is that you should treat your body like it is a temple by taking good care of it.
Start by eating healthy and getting quality shut-eye. These two things are very important for boosting your immune system, making you more resistant to infections and diseases. And we all know how important a strong immune system is, especially now.
Although we also understand if over eating is your coping mechanism. High calorie food items, after all, bring pleasure, however temporary. Just be sure to always know your limits and motivate yourself to do the bare minimum of physical activity every day. Trust us, you’ll feel better.
3. Keep an emergency fund
We’ve all seen how totally unpredictable emergencies are. One moment we’re facing a potential catastrophic eruption of a volcano and then the next thing we know, there’s a global pandemic on the loose. We’re not saying that another emergency will come, god forbid that happens. We just want you and everyone else to be prepared in case things get south once more.
This is where an emergency fund comes in the picture. This is a fund source that can help you cope with sudden financial problems such as loss of income brought by retrenchment, incapacitating sickness, or a national emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we have now. An emergency fund ensures that you’ll be able to survive these trying times without having to plunge into the ravine of debt.
4. Pursue your interests
We all probably have certain frustrations in life when it comes to things that we really wanted to pursue but we neither have the time nor the will to do any of them. It can be traveling (which can be really trick these days), learning a new language, learning to play an instrument, or something simple like reading books.
Make it your life mission to pursue them. Travel to countries that you’ve always longed to see (when it’s safe to do so) or make visiting all the provinces of the Philippines your goal before you reach a certain age. We’re already bilingual so why not add another language and be multilingual? If you’re not keen on learning a colonial language, you can always start with the indigenous languages that we have here in the Philippines or a constructed language like Esperanto.
You’ll never know when these new skills will come in handy. Or perhaps you’ll never use them. The most important thing is that you pursued what interests you the most, what makes your heath thrum in excitement at the mere thought of, what makes you determined to wake up in the morning every day with a smile despite everything.
5. Enjoy life as much as possible
What’s the use of all that investment if you’re unhappy? If you feel that life is such a drag? Go out of your way to be kinder to yourself, to pursue your happiness. Go on, have your comfort food delivered, binge-watch escapist TV series, visit animal shelters and grant the wish of a good doggo for a forever home, read novels that show alternative realities, instead of drinking straight out of the bottle, why not try making cocktails? Basically, try to enjoy life as much as you can.
If you’re a Millennial who somehow made it to the tail end of this article, we’re pretty sure you’re trying so hard not to roll your eyes or you already had, plenty of times. It’s natural to be cynical, to be distrustful of the system that has repeatedly failed us over and over again. It’s natural to be nihilistic, to be so angry and detached at the same time at the rotten system, ‘burn it all down to start anew’ and all that. It’s natural to feel that investing for the future is pointless because adulthood has somehow convinced us that the future is no longer worth saving….
However, we’d like to appeal to one of the most enduringly Millennial things in the world – betting on impossible odds.
All the things we listed above? Compared to the specter of a global pandemic, they are for naught. With the possible exception of having a healthy body, none of the things above really matter now.
Now - that’s the keyword. However, in the future, they will surely be instrumental in the growth of your career and more importantly, the level of your happiness. Would it be too hard to imagine that our future will be better than the present we have now?
You’ve taken so many leaps of faith in your life, would it be too hard to take a leap because you believe in yourself? Come on, young Millennial. Bet on yourself.
Archieval Mariano is a self-styled digital storyteller.