A while ago, I posted this piece on my impending Quarter Life Crisis. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phrase, a quarter life crisis is a period of a persons life, spanning from their late teens to late twenties, during which some individuals face tough existential questions. What am I going to do with my life? Am I going to be stuck in this hideous dead-end job and hate everything? Will I work as a wash-up girl at the local garden centre forever? I don’t think this is a recent phenomena. I’d wager this has been happening to young people for a good long time to be honest, it’s just that given the ease with which young people can express themselves to an audience these days – through blogging, social media etc – us Quarter Life Crisisers are becoming more vocal.
My quarter life crisis hit during my first year of university. I’d done what I was told and expected to do by my parents and my teachers without question up until this point, going from high school to sixth form and now, to university. I was a “bright girl” with “great potential” and us “bright girl’s” should to university. It was only right. I hadn’t really known what I wanted to do or what I wanted to study so had plumped for Geography because I was good at it and liked holidays. By January 2011 I was living in halls of residence at Royal Holloway, studying Geography and… it was fine. I was doing well. My mum wasn’t very well and I had a lot on my plate but I was a-okay and on track for a decent degree. I don’t know why I suddenly started questioning my very existence but at some point at around this time I did. I dabbled in meditation. I read a lot of Beat generation literature. I considered running away with my tent and living on a mountainside somewhere, not worrying about “real life”. Oh God. Real life. I started blogging, I got in to politics, I met a whole load of amazing, inspiring people. I realised what I wanted to do with my life.
I am now a graduand. I worked fecking hard and got a 2:1, despite my mum passing away in February, going to a crappy Croydon comprehensive school and most people expecting me to bomb out at some point in the past few years. I am proud of it. I want to write for a living; it’s what I’m good at, it’s what my passion is and I feel it will add greatly to my happiness. Quarter Life Crisis over.
… or is it? Upon leaving Royal Holloway and entering the real world, it has become apparent to me that the real world is a horrible place. Even now I know what I want to do, I must jump through hoops to get there. As such, my quarter life crisis has entered a new, even more frightening phase. Now I know what I want to do, how the HELL am I going to do it? Is the world actively conspiring against me? What if I never get to do what I want to do and end up washing plates at the garden centre again? Oh god, not the garden centre.
It’s a tough, scary world out there. I suppose the message of this blog is that, through the process of university, my experiences and my quarter life crisis thus far, I have learnt that all you can do in life is try your best. Keep plugging away. Pursue happiness. If anybody reading this would like me to write for them, please drop me a line. I’m happy to make tea and photocopy and I really am a good writer, I promise.
Anyway, if plugging away and trying my best doesn’t work, I’m going Jack Kerouac on you and running away with my tent.