Ignore my perfectly imperfect nails, please.
I just returned to LA after a long 2.5 weeks off- the longest amount of time I’ve ever taken off. While I was gone an article on Buzzfeed went viral titled “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation”. A few of my friends sent me the article and it took me up until my lengthy flight from Boston to LA yesterday to read the piece. I’ve spoken openly about burnout, the obsession with “hustle culture” and why young adults are skipping college to pursue their side-hustles when they shouldn’t do that just because it’s a trend on This is Life Unfiltered. After finishing the article (a solid half hour read) I texted my friend Daniella and asked what she thought about it. Since I talk so much about the topics brought up in the article, I didn’t necessarily walk away from any new knowledge from the piece but I totally see why it went viral. How many millennials, even Gen X/Y are out there talking about the hustle obsession and burnout? We’re truly so focused on success (by we I mean you, me, probably not your mom and dad) that we’re sacrificing crucial parts of life to in return hopefully get that success. And those who are talking about it are just as confused with how to handle burnout and stress that they’re admitting it but aren’t necessarily handling the issue at heart.
What the heck is that success we’re all so desperate for? What success do you truly desiure and what do you think you will be brought by that idea of success?
Over the weekend my mom and I got into a fight because she started throwing out things to me she thought I needed to be paying more attention to, like an IRA fund, a social security fund, health insurance- all topics that 21-year-old me could care less about. As I sat on the stairs of my parents’ house and wanted to cry and scream (are any of my friends being asked if they have a social security fund set up? if you are, text me please!) I realized that I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a successful entrepreneur who just happens to be 21. When I’m 55, I’m still going to be an entrepreneur but with no savings fund or retirement fund unless I make one on my own. Unfortunately my parents’ aren’t entrepreneurs or anything close to one so they’re the type of people that tell me things and just expect me to figure out and solve them on my own.
Following the savings fund conversation she sprung on me that I will probably not have any insurance by June of this year because she’s getting laid off or something. Then I really started crying! What the hell am I supposed to do with no insurance? Not that I’m some hypochondriac or anything but I enjoy being able to walk into CVS minute clinic if I fall on a scooter, have my birth control paid for, know that god forbid something terrible happens I won’t be out $1,000. Like many young Americans, not having health insurance is a pretty terrible feeling. Most of us won’t have to deal with it until age 25 or 26, but having no insurance is no fun for anyone. So, what to do?
My first piece of advice is to pursue a career path that you know will support you. We all have so many fun and unique ideas, but how can you pick the one that makes the most sense for you and your future? I would sit down with a pen and paper and literally write down all of your ideas. From there, let your gut lead you. If you don’t have one idea that stands out to you, pick the most practical one. I’m not saying to give up on yourself or take the easy way out: I’m suggesting to pursue the degree you like even the slightest with the assumption you’ll eventually change degrees once you figure out what your true calling is. Like marketing? Take one marketing or business class before you jump into a degree. You can’t run before you know how to walk.
Find yourself in the exact position I’m in right now (minus the whole entrepreneurship side of things)? Look into state insurance: my dad isn’t on my moms insurance in Connecticut and his insurance is paid for by the state. A few more ideas I found online:
Short-Term Medical Insurance: temporary benefits for those in-between times
Bundled Benefits: alternative insurance products combinations for a range of healthcare services; fixed-dollar benefits for hospital, surgical and critical illness care
Individual Major Medical: an ACA-compliant option that may include access to catastrophic plans and subsidies
Job-Based Coverage: major medical insurance through an employer
Medicaid: a low-cost or no-cost option for those who qualify
IMPORTANT: Student health insurance: major medical offered by some colleges and universities
If you’re forced to pay out of pocket like me, consider a lil side-hustle. Wouldn’t you rather have your insurance paid for by the side gig you’re making money from? Consider starting an account on Upwork or Fiverr (I did this when I first started blogging) or find a local store in your town that you can get a few extra hours of work a week at. Unless you’re trying to run a company full-time, you’ll likely have insurance provided by your employer at some point during your career, so don’t worry too much. Always focus on the now and the small steps you have to take to get to your end goal. It sucks, but there are options out there to help young people deal with things like insurance. Do your research and don’t stress out like I do!