For many young people, life has always been busy. It’s even been said that life was overscheduled as youngsters, perhaps a reaction to my generation’s childhood of latchkey kids and freedom like the kids from Stranger Things. For some that did not stop in college, whether it was continuing on with community service projects, joining a fraternity/sorority, playing a club sport, becoming “woke” to a number of political, societal or environmental concerns.
But what happens when you graduate, and you start working? What happened to those days when you could take a nap after your 9am class, what happened to those emails or sign up sheets for reading to the local elementary school kids, what happened to that weekly game of pick up, and friends who were always available to go out for a smoke, or make a late night run for food?
It’s common for recent high school or college grads, young professionals, or others in transition to often feel disconnected from others. Leaving the comforts of face to face friends in close proximity, as well as many organizations and clubs pining for your attention makes getting involved so easy in a school setting. Once one leaves the bubble of school, one actually has to be intentional about seeking people and activities out.
It is really no surprise that fitness world has figured this out, whether it be group classes for cardio, spinning, yoga, or Cross Fit. They all incorporate a social factor that allows people to have fun, feel connected in their accomplishments and experiences. The sharing economy, whether that’s Uber, bike shares, Airbnb, etc., are also ways that have gotten to connect even for a short period of time, and sometimes a spontaneous acquaintance or friendship comes out of these interactions.
The reality that one lives to work, and works to live, is a sad existence. Even when your job or career is your passion, there’s got to be other things to look forward to, bring harmony to your life, etc. Hobbies or activities once known as extracurricular activities still exist in adulthood, whether it’s volunteering for the United Way, being on the board of non-profit org, joining a sports league for kickball, ultimate frisbee, bowling, darts, etc., there are also maker spaces for those who want to create/invent, libraries that offer the use of their 3D printer, cos play, community theater groups, outdoor activity Meetups, a community of faith or like-minded people, etc.
Back in the day Skate or Die was a game that many kids played on Nintendo, it was also a sticker that many people had on their skateboards, as well as elsewhere. The idea that one needed to skateboard or they would die or not skateboarding would equal death was a pretty radical idea, and is still a pretty bad ass statement. Getting involved and being connected are definitely ways that young people can find meaning and pleasure in their lives.
What do you need to be involved in as if you life, sanity, or happiness depended on it?
What is your equivalent to Skate or Die?
What do you need to seek out today?
photo credit: nesguide