Growing up, us millennials have been labelled many things, reckless, fortunate, social media slaves and even avocado toast connoisseur, but I draw the line at phrases such as nonchalant, carefree and entitled. From worrying about the ever-rising cost of living to striving for a more #woke and inclusive society, we have a lot more on our plates than just romance related problems and Instagram-spawned rainbow food.
Determined to dispute the reputation that millennials have ‘earned’, I’ve decided to ask 15 millennials what their greatest fear are. And no, FOMO isn’t on the list.
1. Not having enough money
My greatest fear is not having enough money to support myself. Without money, I wouldn’t be able to afford basic necessities like food and water. Even public transport will be inaccessible for me. Plus, I don’t like to rely on other people. If I have no money, I’ll have to go around borrowing money from others and I personally hate doing so.
– Melissa, 27
2. Not living up to expectations
Since young, many people have told me that they see a lot of potential in me. Be it doctor, lawyer, or a successful businessman, they are convinced that I’m going to do great things. Because of that, I’m always fearful that I’m not going to reach that level of potential that they’ve set out for me. Thus, I always push myself to work hard everyday so that I’ll be able to match up to their expectations of me.
– Daniel, 26
3. Settling for an unfulfilled life
In Singapore, a lot of emphasis is placed on financial success. My parents want me to have a corporate job so that I’ll be financially stable, but that’s not where my passion lies. So I made a promise to myself to ‘sell out’ and settle for something else instead of chasing after my passion.
– Edirina, 20
4. Losing my loved ones
As a mother of two, family means a great deal to me. I had my first child when I was just 19 and it has taught me so much about love, patience, family and compromise. I’m really grateful for my parents, my husband, and my two little girls. I can’t imagine life without any of my loved ones.
– Esther, 26
5. Getting kicked out of home for coming out
As with most asian families, my mom is conservative and fierce (aka tiger mom). As much as I love her and am thankful for her bringing me up all these years, I’m afraid of coming out to my family as I don’t want to risk getting kicked out. I’m not sure that their love for me will be able to overpower the disdain they have towards more liberal ideas.
– Scott, 25
6. Self-imposed Inadequacy
My parents are super chill and they let me do whatever I deem fit. Because of that, I’ve always had really high expectations of myself as I feel that if I don’t take control of my own life, no one will. Further fueled by my own insecurities, the thought of being inadequate in any sense, be it at work or life in general, just doesn’t sit well with me.
– Zul, 24
7. Being judged
Back in primary school, I was always afraid of getting called to answer a question in class as I was afraid that if I get the answer wrong, people would laugh at me and make nasty comments about me behind my back. I would get anxious easily and sometimes, that stops me from doing the things that I like. Because of my anxiety, I would always be afraid that people are judging me, even if they aren’t.
– Anna, 25
8. Not going to heaven
Whether you’re religious or not, I’m pretty sure that you know what Hell is about: basically, a lifetime of torture. I wouldn’t want to end up going to Hell because I don’t want to suffer and be tortured for the rest of my life. I can’t even handle life, how am I supposed to handle Hell?! In my religion, we believe that Heaven is a really great place to be at. So I want to end up there when I die and just enjoy.
– Matthew, 21
9. Losing my arms
I’m a designer and an avid gymmer so my physical body parts mean alot to me. Thus, I would say that my greatest fear is losing my arms as that will mean that I can’t do the things that I like anymore. I can’t imagine living life without designing, drawing, painting, and weightlifting.
– Jan, 26
I fear death as it means that the whole world will continue to go on without me after I’ve passed and I’ll be non-existent and slowly forgotten. I also fear the unknown. None of us truly knows what is going to happen after we’re dead, and that scares me.
– Shi Ling, 27
11. Dying alone
I’m a romantic. I believe in ‘The One’ and I yearn to meet someone whom I’m able to connect with on all wavelengths. So I’d say my greatest fear is not being able to find someone that can stimulate me both intellectually and emotionally and I’ll die alone, with nobody to love and no one to love me back.
– Mabel, 22
12. Never being able to love myself
As a child, I was overweight and ugly. I would get picked on by my peers and my parents would make insensitive comments about my appearance. I wasn’t taught how to love myself and I grew to be my own worst critic. Till now, I struggle with low self-love and I can’t seem to be comfortable in my own skin. I guess my greatest fear would be that I will never be able to learn to love myself for who I am till the day I die.
– Alethea, 21
13. Losing control of myself
Not having control over my own life and decisions, be it consciously or physically. Maybe I’ve been watching too much ‘Black Mirror’ but I imagine not being able to control my own thoughts or actions and that’s so scary!
– Alanna, 22
14. Being the same as everyone else
As I grew up in a family where sibling rivalry is ever present, I always pride myself in being different from my sister so that my parents wouldn’t compare us as much. I think that led me to always strive to be different from everyone else.
– Melodie, 20
15. Not being able to make it
It’s very competitive in the Arts industry so I’m always pushing myself to learn more and create things that are fresh and unique. I really want to be an Artist and I can’t foresee myself doing anything else, so my greatest fear would be not succeeding in the field that I’m passionate about.
– Karen, 20
Not Just Young And Nonchalent
After speaking with these millennials, I realised that many of us have very practical concerns. Most of us just tend to keep our concerns to ourselves as we’re afraid that our worries will be deemed insignificant because of our young age. But that shouldn’t matter. Be it age 18 or 35, we’ve all got our own set of worries and problems that we have to deal with.
We might be young and throwing around phrases like YOLO and ‘live fast, die young’ but our worries don’t just consist the common irrational fears and superficial wants, many of them stemmed from our upbringing and culture.
So here’s the age-old question I’m throwing back at you, what’s your greatest fear and how do you deal with it? Share with us in the comments below!