As the year winds down, millennials in Los Angeles have started to look back on the past year, and ahead to the future. For many, 2017 was a chaotic roller-coaster ride through young adulthood, and while there’s some optimism for 2018, there’s also lots to worry about.
We talked to a group of young adults in Los Angeles about what they hoped to see in 2018.
According to The Guardian, nothing topped the list of millennial fears in 2016 like the economy, and that didn’t change this year. Photographer Indigo Halverson, 23, said that her lifelong goal has been to start her own business. Although she’s been taking classes in business management and plans to file an LLC, she’s worried that the future will prove too risky, despite preparation.
“Honestly, in this current political climate I worry about starting a business in such tumultuous times,” Halverson said. “With net neutrality so up in the air right now, I think many, if not all, businesses that rely on social media/other internet resources should be worried.”
Halverson isn’t asking for much, either. She said that her goals boil down making more than minimum wage, a sentiment shared by her former college classmate, Nicholas Hanashiro, 22. For him, any full-time job will do, since just a few weeks ago, he was one of the 48 percent of millennials who, according to The Huffington Post working a job they were overqualified for. In Hanashiro’s case, it was a food court job that barely scheduled him any hours.
“The goal is to become financially independent and stop burdening my family,” Hanashiro said. He’s one of the 22.9 million millennials who, according to The Hill, lives with his parents, but he doesn’t plan on staying at home forever. Although 2017 presented him with some rough waters, he believes that there’s nothing to fear from 2018.
Halverson said that although New Year’s provides a great starting point for many when it comes to self-improvement resolutions, following through with a concrete timeline is everything, especially when those goals have less to do with employment, and more to do with personal character.
Melissa King, 24, works in San Diego’s real estate industry, and while she’s pleased with her professional life, she has some serious goals for her personal improvement next year.
“My goal is to maintain more of a balance between the ‘friend and critic’ relationship I have with myself,” King said. “Too much of one leads to stagnation.”
To accomplish this, she’s planning to use daily reminders to meditate on the kind of person she wants to be, rather than get bogged down on her current flaws. This is a strategy that Los Angeles-area actor Matthew Medrano, 24, also plans to use, with the same goal.
“`A lot of my goals are based in self-reflection and self-criticism,” Medrano said. “I realized I missed too many opportunities, and it bugs me to wonder what would have been if I did act on these opportunities.”
Medrano said that although many people see New Year’s as a false-start for self-improvement, he believes it’s a naturally reflective period of time, and let’s people reflect on the good times, and the bad.
And few times are as bad as breakups, Sylmar pipe fitter Jimmy Kneifl, 30, said. After the end of his most recent relationship, Kneifl stopped making serious efforts in the romantic realm, but after turning 30 earlier this year, he said that he was inspired to get back out there. 2017 saw Kneifl expand his social circle and make new friends. In 2018, he plans to be even more social, go out at least three times a week, and try his best not to become a homebody.
“Some people fall into the trap of not settings goals, thinking that if we don’t set goals, we can’t fail,” Kneifl said. “Instead, when we don’t set goals, we are constantly failing without knowing it.”
But a serious relationship, like the one Kneifl is hoping for, isn’t on everyone’s list of priorities. In fact, Los Angeles-area actor Erik Escobar, 27, said that his goal next year is actually to stay single! After spending the past few years trying his hardest for romantic companionship, Escobar said it’s time to focus on himself.
“The last few years I feel like I may have wanted a “relationship” more than I really just wanted to be happy solo,” Escobar said. Like Kneifl, it’s small and daily changes that he hopes will propel him to success, but in Escobar’s case, it’s more about staying off the dating apps, and going out with his constant companion – himself.
While New Year’s can sometimes be seen as a drag, or just another year to wallop us with controversy and unexpected calamity, millennials are a hopeful bunch. Just as there’s much to worry about in the future, there’s also much to hope for.
“If something happens then I’ll have to deal with it,” Hanashiro said. “Being scared of something that might happen doesn’t really accomplish anything.”