You've all heard of the midlife crisis. Now meet the new "quarter-life crisis," affecting the lives and mental health of 20-something-year-olds everywhere.
I am getting ready to finish up college and begin on what could very well be my career forever. I'm preparing to go back and start a new program - and I'm absolutely terrified. What if I'm not where I'm supposed to be? What if I don't end up where I'm meant to be?
A quarter-life crisis can be defined as "a crisis which involved anxiety about the direction of one's life." It can start as early as 18 and as late as your early 30's.
The quarter-life crisis is real.
The direction of your life could have taken you to a college where you don't think you belong. You could have joined the military right out of high school, then realized too late that it wasn't the right fit for you.
The entire point of bringing importance to this crisis is that it's normal to feel these emotions. Who doesn't get nervous about where they'll end up?
I panic every day wondering how a graduate program expects me to come in with already having done research in a lab, when I have no time due to the fact that I have to take classes to complete undergrad and work in order to pay for my bills.
People are so quick to discount the fact that young adults can have perfectly legitimate feelings of anxiety regarding their future. I'm here to say that it is 100% okay to feel these things.
There is no exact science to life. If there was a manual out there somewhere, we would all be following it and living vastly different lives in a utopia somewhere.
Life is complicated and messy and not always pretty.
Sometimes it can be ugly. Sometimes the anxiety and worrying are too much.
If I had to give any positive advice, it would be that no matter where you are or what choices you made - you're still at the beginning of your life. There's always time to choose a new path. Some adults don't find a career in something that they're really passionate about until they're much older.
It's okay that you feel these feelings and it's okay that you worry. But remember that the situation you're in now is not permanent.