This is a response article to My Quarter Life Crisis Changed Me For The Better
Quarter-life crisis: a crisis "involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one's life" which is most commonly experienced in a period ranging from a person's early twenties up to their mid-thirties.
Ever heard of this definition? Well, if you’re in your early 20’s, you might have heard about the inevitable quarter-life crisis. Maybe you have had one or are going through one right now. Whatever the case, the quarter life crisis is inevitable for everyone in their early 20’s. Even to those who think they have their life planned out to a T. As Emily Maitland quoted in her own article, our 20’s are full of various transitions: graduating college, dating / getting engaged/married, career changes, etc. With the heightened use of social media, it may look like there is one particular path to navigate in their 20’s. But that’s a myth. We’re so used to following the traditional path that is set out for us since birth (I know that’s the situation for me personally). But we’re allowed to deviate from that path.
Some of you reading this article might be questioning your career path. You might have checked all the boxes and committed yourself to a major and gotten a full time job that is financially stable, yet you feel a sense of dread waking up in the morning. You might feel burned out and are just trying to do the bare minimum in order to get by. You’ve been working hard for the past 20+ years and listening to your parent’s advice of being practical, that as soon as you get X amount of money, you’ll be happy. So why does it feel like something is missing?
Don’t worry if this is you. There’s nothing wrong with you. It just means you’re questioning the status quo. The “traditional” type of advice doesn’t work for everyone. It’s much harder if you belong to a different culture / raised by parents of immigrants.
I know friends that have spent four years in a major, only to realize that’s not the career they wanted to pursue. Does I mean that their degree is a waste? Absolutely not. It just means that they have changed. College / your 20’s is a time of self-discovery and growth.
In my opinion, quarter-life crisis means that there is something missing in your life. Have you abandoned a hobby that you once enjoyed in high school? Maybe it’s the time to pick it back up again? Feeling burnt out? Maybe it’s time to set some boundaries. The quarter life crisis doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you decide what you’re going to do with it. If you can, take some time away from work, travel and explore outside of your comfort zone to recognize what you’re missing and reconnect with yourself. Take some time to reflect in a journal or record through voice memos and be honest about how you’re feeling. You might be surprised by your answers.
Perhaps you’re feeling lost and not know who you are because you wrapped up your entire identity in school. Remember, that school only lasts for a season, but you live with yourself through every season of life. Wouldn’t you want to make the most out of it?