What would you say if someone asked you if you agreed with the below statement?
“I’m confident that eventually I will get what I want out of life.”
I would say yes. But I happen to be a pretty optimistic person generally (if, anxious).
In a study at Clark University completed by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, 655 thirtysomethings were asked the same question – if they agreed with the above statement.
And guess what percentage said yes? 87%. Not only that, but more than three quarters said they still feel like “anything is possible.” That’s pretty impressive, especially considering how many thitysomethings feel like they aren’t where they want to be career-wise or personally (That’s my informal, completely un-researched opinion after talking to my friends).
Arnett, the researcher, was surprised by these results, and while he said they are admirable, he also felt they were unrealistic. That’s because he also asked these thirtysomethings if they have gotten as far in their careers as they’d hoped to be by now. And 56% of respondents (born between 1975 and 1984) said they haven’t gotten as far in their careers as they’d have hoped to by now. And 17% said they are not in a relationship now but would like to be.
Maybe it’s because we may not feel like we’re at the ‘destination’ of where we want to be, but we’re enjoying the ‘journey’ a heck of a lot. Personally, I do love the fact that I have more time and freedom right now than people with children or very demanding jobs. That time has allowed me to explore screenwriting and TV writing as a career.
We also might not be settling for less. We’re realizing that it may take a longer time to get exactly what we want, but it’s way better than settling for a mediocre career or relationship situation that society tells us is what we should have in our 30s.