How A Networking Event Full Of People Your Age Is Different Than An Event With Older People

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In September of 2014, I went to a couple of networking events. I had seen that there were networking events going on at different schools other than my college, so I decide I should get myself signed up for these events. I had only done this because I had realized that I needed to branch out and get inspired in real life opposed to only getting inspired from the Internet for my website.

In one event in particular, I met a lot of industry people; CEO’s, Executives, Founders, etc. Now at the time, my website had generated roughly 16,000 views and little over 60 countries had viewed the site. I remember when I got inside the event, I had to write my name down and stick it to my chest.

I remember everyone my age was dressed in suits and ties. I was dressed up too, but I didn’t go too far to dress up, but I was still formal. I stuck by the dress code, because it was a formal event, but still, everyone looked 10 years older than they had actually appeared. Everyone seemed like they knew what they were doing with their lives, but it didn’t seem real to me. It felt like an act.

At this time, It had been around two and a half months of me actually owning my website and suddenly industry people were interested in my website when I talked about it. It was crazy to me because I didn’t even know exactly what my website really was at this time, but people seemed amazed at how fast, I grew it. People seemed interested. People were handing me their business cards and telling me to contact them.

I remember leaving the event happy because people who were older and more successful than me recognized that I had achieved something, but something that left a dent inside my mind was how everyone my age in the room seemed to have it all figured out. I just couldn’t shake that feeling,

Fast forward one year, in September of 2015, I went to a networking event. The difference between the events last year and the event, I went to this year, is that people at the event last year were my age. The event I went to this year wasn’t. When I walked into the event, I realized I was the youngest person in the room by a landslide. When I looked around the room at this event, I noticed there were people who were in their mid to late 20s, people in their 30s, maybe even people close their 40s.

And yet, I didn’t feel out-of-place and I didn’t feel weird. I don’t know why I didn’t, but maybe it’s because of how much had changed in a year for my website. In September of 2014, I had 16,000 views. In September of this year, one year later, I was generating over 300,000 views and over 190 different countries had viewed the website. And the crazy thing is, even though there was an age difference, I felt more comfortable at this event than I did at the ones in 2014.

In this years event, these people who were older than me, came to the event to learn more about how they could advance their creative careers. They came to the event to gain more knowledge and to get inspired. They came to the event for all the reasons that brought me to the event. These people who were older than me didn’t seem to have it all figured out and instead of me having a weird, shaky feeling, after I left the event, I felt happy and only happy. Because, just like them, I don’t have it all figured out. And yet, it seems like people my age want to seem like they do.

For some reason, people my age want to be appear like they have everything mapped and planned out. And all be honest, I map out my life based on the goals, I set for myself that take months or even years to achieve, but I know that these goals won’t be met without resistance. Without unforeseen events that I can’t predict. People my age make it seem like everything is perfect. People want to make it look like,  they have this perfect life, where they’re getting perfect grades, and they’re going to land their perfect internship and then get hired in their career job.

And the worst part of this all, is that people my age buy into the illusion of others. People my age, will see people going to networking events, showcasing themselves with industry people and think to themselves, damn, I got to get my life in order, but it’s just a facade. And you can see the facade when people talk about how stressed they are. And, I don’t know why, but maybe, this is just my generation.

A generation of people, who are incredibly insecure about themselves, to a point where they’d rather live a life that seems perfect than living an honest one. A generation of  people who will delete a photo on Instagram if it doesn’t get the right likes. And I can’t tell you, I’m not a product of my generation, because I’ve been there, It’s just, I’ve snapped out of it, when will everyone else?

If I learned anything in networking, it’s that there’s this weird pressure in our early 20s to succeed and some people will go so far as to make it appear, they’re succeeding.  And for some reason, as we get older, we realize, this pressure we put on ourselves in our 20s, to achieve, some sort of perfect, was a waste of time, and yet, for some reason, it takes going through this pressure to realize it was a waste of time, now isn’t that, just a  waste of time?


From The 6ix,With Love

Thank You For Reading

Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix

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