If You Are an Engineer in Your 20s, It’s Okay Not to be Okay

It’s all part of the process of growing up. Or adult-ing, as others will say.

“This wasn’t the life I imagined when I was young.”

Perhaps there was a day that you have said that line or just even thought about it. You have come to question what was wrong with the paths you tread, what was the wrong turns that you made. You ask the what ifs. You wish there was a restart button to live your life again the way you want it.

You are in engineering, a field that many like to be involved with, and yet you seem to be not happy about it. It’s as if it’s not what you really want after all, and yet you are already there. It feels like you are stuck.

It’s quite alarming that this kind of existential problem is common among millennials. Millennial engineers, at one point, have become unsure of their being. There is no feeling of contentment, no direction to take regardless if employed or not. There is a certain yearning for something that cannot even be explained.

But you know what? What you are feeling is perfectly okay. It’s all part of the process of growing up. However, let’s not dwell in that feeling because that would be fatal later on.

Somehow these personal crises are deep-rooted from the lack of inspiration to proceed with life. You have family and friends, maybe a girlfriend or a boyfriend, and yet you still feel alone. Nobody has filled that emptiness inside you.27

To be able to conquer that sad part of yourself, you need a great leap of faith – a leap so great that it needs to change your perspective, perhaps a hundred and eighty degree turn, about the things that really matter to you; a leap so great that is has to wholly change parts of who you were. That will do it. It is all in your mind; because the truth is, no one can actually help you but yourself.

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Of course that great leap of faith doesn’t come overnight. It will be a gradual process of healing your old wounded self; all it needs is for you to commit.

Take the baby steps in keeping yourself better. Indulge in the things that keep you genuinely happy. Stop comparing yourself to others. Loosen up. Be the better person when you are in an argument. Keep changing yourself until others will notice.

Once you’re done with the baby steps, it’s time for the big steps. Are you no longer happy with your job? Are you planning to have your own family? Are you going to work abroad? These kinds of questions require serious thinking and rational assessment because they will entail major twists in your life. List down the pros and the cons then evaluate which decisions will make your life better. The process will be difficult and you will be judged. But you live your life, make them live theirs.

It is also important to note this: it’s not too late to start again. Whether you are 21 or 29, never forget to live your life at your own pace. Early success is sweet, but later on, yours will be sweeter.

Some may say that this is easier said than done. Well, okay, pessimism is still consuming you and there’s nothing I can do to change that. You are definitely not yet ready to change for the better.

Dion Greg Reyes
A young civil engineer finding his place in the industry. Pilipino.

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If You Are an Engineer in Your 20s, It’s Okay Not to be Okay

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