If you’re stressed out about finals week, or if you’re about to graduate this semester and are preparing to enter the real world, I have an important message for you: statistically speaking, you’re not that great.
To be clear, I’m trying to be encouraging. That’s apparent, right?
I’m just saying, when you were six and your parents told you you could someday become the President of the United States, they were lying to you. Throughout history, there have been 107,602,707,791 living human beings on this planet. Only 43 of those people have ever been President of the United States. I’m not a math person, but I don’t like those odds.
That is OK, though. You don’t really want to be president, do you? Honestly, it sounds like a lot of work. And the pay is good, but not Powerball good. And if you want to have a healthy balance between work life and home life, forget about it.
I don’t buy into the whole “millennials are entitled” schtick, but I think our parents did us a pretty major disservice by telling us we were special and capable of doing great things. That’s not how bell curves work, and it can be pretty confusing and discouraging when we realize that we’re not quite living up to the “greatness” we were promised. It can really get in the way of being happy.
So let me lift that weight off of you. You’re a normal person who probably won’t change the world very much, and no one has a right to expect you to. Instead, you get to spend your life doing the things you like to do. Doodling pictures. Playing frisbee. Marrying the person you like. Living where you want. Watching the Kardashians. Whatever your thing is.
I’m not telling you to be completely complacent. There’s no point to living if you’re just going to waste away aimlessly scrolling through social media. But trying to be truly great, or trying to have your future perfectly planned out, is a fool’s errand.
And another thing: you don’t have to have an amazing job that you love. You probably won’t. If everyone had the job they loved, we would have a lot of rock stars and actors and no janitors or mail carriers or accountants.
You are a tiny, microscopic speck in a universe that doesn’t care about you. What a relief, am I right?
William T. Perkins is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. How do you make yourself feel significant? Let William know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.