The Importance of Independence for Millennials

“Who do you picture standing next to you, when all your dreams come true?”.  This is my favorite quote from One Tree Hill.  It was spoken first by Brooke Davis, a character portraying an 18 year old girl in her senior year of high school.   She is asking her recently lost love, Lucas Scott, who has now had the epiphany that he only has eyes for her best friend.  I am here to tell you- The question that Brooke Davis asks Lucas is not the question to be asking yourself.

I grew up absolutely absorbed in love stories.  I read all the Nicholas Sparks books, and cried in the theaters when his romantic words were put on a screen.  My friends were right along side me.  We cooed about the lives we would have some day with a loving husband, our dreams of a ring taking up any and all space that could have been used to dream about goals for ourselves.  Goals as far as careers, recognition, success.  And that is where the problem is.

I was born in 1997.  This is technically the last year of the millenialls, and the year before Generation Z.  Both of these groups have lived an altogether different lifestyle from their priors.  So why is it I think independence is so important?

I-like Lucas Scott- had an epiphany.  Along with many of my millennial counterparts, I have never had any independence.  The largest way I’ve missed out on this is my relationship status.  Throughout high school and my first two semesters at college, I dated an array of boys, most of which gave me a twenty-four seven type of attention, waiting at the phone to hear about my day or act as my knight in shining armor whenever I had the slightest of inconveniences.

Things have changed.  I broke up with the boy I had dated my entire freshman year of college.  Not because I didn’t love him, but because I saw my chance to be me- just me, by myself, in a college town – slipping away.  Since I have had nights where I feel sure that no one has ever felt so lonely.  But I’ve also been a better person, and a better friend.  I’ve been there for my now future roommates and best friends when they fail a test or have a crazy night and just have to tell someone the wild story.  I feel more confident. My ability to take care of myself is something I am sure of, and I would not trade that for the world.  It’s tough to take a step back from our world of on-screen fairytales and serious relationships that are starting at younger and younger ages.  But if you do, there’s a lot more to discover.


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