Quarter life crisis

I’d like you all to think back to when you were a little person, sitting  crosslegged on the carpet of your classroom at school. Do this properly: the smell of Crayola in the air, the itch of the carpet on the side of your legs, the enormous jumper you mum bought you that you would “grow in too” etc. Your teacher asks the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
There were two ways you could respond to this question. Either a) throwing your hand up in the air with great enthusiasm to tell everybody about your dream career as a vet/astronaut/police officer etc or b) keeping your head down and your hand firmly by your side with absolutely no idea. I definitely fell in to the latter category. I did at one point entertain the idea of becoming the sixth Spice Girl or one of Charlies Angels but I’ve never really had a realistic ambition to aspire towards. Really, my ambition is to have a nice quiet life with a continual stream of tea and biscuits.

I have now hit a snag. At 21 years old and only a matter of months from graduating I still have my eyes to the ground and my hand firmly in my school cardigan pocket without the foggiest what I want to do with my life. I’m going through what I like to call “an existential quarter life crisis”. According to Wikipedia, a quarter life crisis is “a period of life following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Every time I turn on my TV there’s a new story about out of work graduates getting rejected by McDonalds or some such horror. What I’ve realised is this: I am only 21 years old. I’m probably (hopefully) only a quarter of the way through lifes journey. What I chose to do now does not dictate what I will be doing by the time I retire. What I find comfort in is the fact I am certainly not alone. Speaking to friends and peers I’ve discovered that quite a lot of the “just-about-to-enter-the-real-world” demographic are scared shitless by the idea. Perversely what I’m most afraid of is going to a school reunion in 20 years time and meeting an old acquaintance who’s done fantastically well, being asked what I’m up too these days and being laughed at when I answer. Take solace: If this happens, that person is clearly a wanker. Chins up friends. We’ll be alright.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY: To the kind man who lent me a tissue when my foundation exploded all over my belongings – thank you



Filed under Rants, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Quarter life crisis

  1. Cai

    I just turned 26 and with my 5 year head start I wish I could give you some kind of profound knowledge about the future, but I’m still in my quarter-life crises too. Haha. So glad that there’s a word for that. Things are looking a lot sunnier though. I may not have all the answers to my life but I began taking this new direction in life 2 years ago and currently I’ve discovered life is pretty awesome when you don’t desire too many things.

    Really I’ve cut all my desires down to stability and comfort for my parents, peers, and family. As for me, all I really want is to publish a book or two complete with pretty visuals. Hahaha. I feel like I sound like a hippie right now but I’ve learned to be patient and have faith in time. Not saying things are automatically going to get better because who knows what the hell could happen in this crazy world we live in but through heaven or hell, wherever I end up down the road, I’m defiantly gonna enjoy the ride.

    • Wow, thank you for such a nice comment! I’m fairly confident things will all smooth out given a few years – this is just a particularly turbulent time especially considering the state of the jobs market at the moment.I’ll just try to enjoy myself and not stress out too much I think!

  2. Being roughly the same age as you. I feel weird being on the other side. i see you among all my other friends still unsure about the path they wish to follow and what they want to be doing. Whereas me somehow i stumbled upon the path i wish to follow.

    Now i’m not saying we will all be this lucky. But for me i found my career by looking at my dad and the person he is. This made me the person i am today, and found me a career in Local Council.

    The only advice i can give is look at all the jobs available and try as many of them as possible, worst case scenario you get a job that you really don’t enjoy and you can move on, there is no loss there. Just a bit more experience to add to the ol’ CV.
    If you ever did want to talk about jobs etc i’m always open to discussions 😀

  3. Pingback: The Quarter-Life Crisis: It’s a Thing « Writer Girl Diary

  4. Pingback: Happily explore the options « sweetlyindecisive

  5. Pingback: The Quarter Life Crisis: part II | Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History.

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