Your 20s are supposed to be some of the most exciting years of your life. Graduating from college, getting your first job, hating your first job, getting a better job, etc. Some people get married, some people figure out what they want to do as a career, and some people freak out because they haven’t done either. Thus, the quarterlife crisis of –wait for it– 25.
How do people who are so young go through a life crisis? I freaked out when I was 13 because I didn’t want to get any older, freaked out when I was 18 because, you know, the college thing. I freaked out all throughout college because I didn’t want to leave, and I’ve been stressed lately about where I’m going to end up next. At each of these ages, I didn’t know how good life was going to get, instead choosing to focus on what I had to leave behind.
Who decided what the measure of a good life is, anyway? What right do we have to say “my life will be successful if I make a million dollars by 35, am married and have 2 kids.”? How would we even know? We could get there and be miserable. I would like to propose that the solution isn’t to have a goal of being married by 30, or being a millionaire by 35. What if everyone focused on earning enough to meet basic needs, doing something they enjoyed everyday and being open to meeting new people who may become lifelong friends or partners?
It says something about our society when 25-year-olds feel entitled enough that they believe they should have everything figured out by then. It comes from both an arrogance in your abilities and a lack of confidence in the future. Frankly, I’m beginning to realize that 25 is too young to have figured out what you want to do and who you want to marry. There are undoubtedly some lucky people who find their soulmate early, and who have known what they wanted to do since they were 10 (“mom, I want to be an astronaut” could end up happening). However, I have a sneaking suspicion that most people who decide on their career path by 25 just end up sticking with it and settling instead of questioning it and having to start over.
The worst excuse for sticking to a job you get bored with is because you want more money. (There are some good excuses for sticking with bad jobs though–supporting a family, basic needs, rationality, being able to stand on your own, etc.) The worst excuse for being in a bad relationship, or marrying someone you aren’t sure about, is because you’re worried that’s the best you’ll get.
Given my previous years of mini-panic attacks, I am determined that I’ve stressed out enough about all that, and it’s time to just focus on doing good, being with the people I love, and being happy. So follow the sources I’ve listed below to find out a little bit more about happiness, and a little bit more about the bullsh!t that is a quarterlife crisis.
Boyles, S. & Chang, L. For Happiness, Seek Family, Not Fortune. WebMD.
Gray, K. (2005, April 21). Quarterlife Crisis Hits Many in Late 20s.
Jessica. (2013, August 6). Because I’m a twentysomething. Today was meaningful.
This Emotional Life. Happiness. OPB.