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My generation is ambitious but we’re also scared

Valeria Laura Rigo. (Photo: Natalia Rigo)

It’s Tuesday night. I’m doing the same thing that I’ve been doing for the past week, which is studying for a very difficult exam so I can get into a famous consulting firm. I haven’t been able to sleep and everything I eat makes me feel heavy. But I take breaks to cry and watch Gossip Girl.

I’m good at worrying. We have a saying in my family about how we worry about things no one even thinks about: I get anxious on the bus when I’m three stops away from home and I’m sitting too far from the bus door, thinking I won’t be able to get off. I stress about how I’m going to be able lie to my children about the existence of Santa Claus, and I’m many years away from having kids. And of course, I spend many hours of my day concerned about what’s going to happen with my career and my future.

You see, I know that having challenging goals is a blessing – but it’s also a curse. It’s the motivation to wake up every day and give it your all in whatever it is that you do. But it also leaves a big question mark. What if you don’t make it? What if all that effort was for nothing? You hear the success stories all the time of those who have achieved what they wanted. But there must be some who haven’t.

I take breaks to cry and watch Gossip Girl

After my wonderful exchange in Denmark, where I had the time of my life in experiences as well as in education, I set some incredibly challenging goals for myself. So now, every day when I wake up, there’s this train of thought that goes through my mind. It’s like the demons and angels that pop up over a character’s shoulder in TV shows, except that it’s just the devil speaking, and it won’t stop. And since I’ve already proven that I love to share my personal life in my posts, I thought I could share this too. It goes like this:

So this is the last year of my Bachelor’s degree in International Business and things have been fantastic. I’ve had great grades and scholarships, several exchanges and two great jobs. But that’s not enough for the job market nowadays – especially if I want to work internationally or move abroad, which is exactly what I want to do.

So, I need to get a full-time job, which means leaving my house at 7:00 in the morning to get to the office for 9:00. I’ll work until 18:00, then go to university from 18:30 to 22:30 and get home at 23:30 if the bus is on time (and it never is). The fun I’m going to have living that life is already making me feel excited, so much so that I feel like throwing up as I’m writing this sentence.

I stress about how I’m going to be able lie to my children about the existence of Santa Claus, and I’m many years away from having kids

But of course, I can’t just get any old job. It needs to be a great one. This means I’ll be spending a lot of time working on landing a dream job that will be hard to get and then I’ll hand over part of my soul to this company. If I’m lucky enough, I’ll get the job that I want. If not, I’ll have to settle for what I can get.

Weekends will not be for friends or fun, since I need to keep up those good grades to graduate with honors and get a scholarship in case I want to do my Master’s degree in Argentina (Master’s degrees are amazingly expensive in this country). But what if I want to do my Master’s abroad? My new goal is to do it at CBS where the acceptance rate is 70 people out of 291. So encouraging!

And all the money I make will go towards funding whichever option I end up choosing, so not a penny on luxuries for myself or overpriced detox juices that I enjoy so much. At least I won’t have time to spend my money; so unexpected shopping trips are not going to be a concern.

Some more last things: I’ll need to keep in shape, which means I should spend at least one hour a day working out. I need to maintain my creative side, so I should keep writing. And what about a boyfriend? And making new friends? Isn’t this the best time of my life when I should be creating wild memories?

My new goal is to do it at CBS where the acceptance rate is 70 people out of 291. So encouraging

I know. All of these are definitely First World problems. I’m writing this on my Mac in my own room, in a house with a loving family with food in the fridge any time I want it. Out there, there are so many people who have bigger concerns and issues. But these ideas and questions are permanently dancing around in my head, and the headache is nothing but strong.

But I know I’m not the only one with these thoughts. Our generation is ambitious, but we’re also scared. There’s so much we want to do, but so many questions as to how we’re going to do it – and if it’s possible. The world out there is amazing and full of opportunities. But when failure is a possibility too, it’s easy to get discouraged.

I’m proud of my efforts and will keep it up in the future. I’m also incredibly scared and worried. So if anyone invents a crystal ball, please reach out to me. But I need to think rationally, as I say to my friends when some dumb guy dumps them: Everything happens for a reason. So I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll be for the best.

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