This article I ran across is very timely, though its already been out since April. Really interesting and funny – read here!
The gist: it’s about the “Quarter Life Crisis,” which is a life-time phase when twenty-some year olds, generally people who are two years or so into the real world after college, start to lose track of themselves within the haziness of what they should be doing with their life, partly fueled by all the possibilities and potential out there. Apparently, it’s associated with a kind of private worry that manifests itself as this “ennui,” or “fucking around,” or “self-flagellation,” as the article calls it, haha. It’s a socially constructed, middle-class issue that only emerged as a term in 2001, but has become a pervasive problem that people at this age apparently struggle with, whether delusionally or in reality.
Some gems from the article:
“…Attempts to manage the Quarterlife Crisis might be as banal as drinking a lot, doing a bunch of drugs, sleeping with idiots and myriad other kinds of self-flagellation, but broader attempts are made to find some sense of purpose…”
“…This isolation and its private anxiety are pervasive, as is a longing for the way things were in the predictably structured eras of high school and college or university. The directionlessness and resulting immobility is made worse when twentysomethings going through the Crisis compare themselves to their peers, past and present, further convincing someone in the throes of it that they’re not only alone, but the worst kind of failure…”
“…“There is life on the other side of this, and it’s actually a pretty good one. Growing up may be hard to do, but in the end, the gains outweigh the losses.” In other words: it might just be time to grow the fuck up.”
It’s entertaining, if not slightly enlightening. I think 2010 Seniors haven’t quite gotten to this state of disillusionment yet. I think we’re more excited about the prospect of this final semester and what’s coming in post-college life, as well as, relishing in the few months and moments we have left with people here, as we should be.
While this “Quarter-life Crisis” may be something of actual concern in this population of adults, part of me discredits it as an immature and formalized expression of laziness and and unwillingness to work hard. (I’m not accusing all 25-year-olds of being lazy, I just think that is problem is partly the result of laziness…) I certainly don’t mean to discredit the fact that we all have every right to happy with what we make of our time, whether it be in grad school or at a job or in a relationship – everyone is entitled to satisfaction and fulfillment. What bothers me is when people think things are meant to be easy, or that things like happiness and a strong sense of purpose in life are supposed to come without the work.
I agree that a lot of people feel entitled, or feel that just because they are young and have the time to figure it all out, they should be out there having the time of their lives and being spontaneous and taking big chances. I obviously don’t mean that this is altogether bad; leaving your options open, being willing to try things out, and living large is important when you have the time, energy, and resources for it. But moving around from thing to thing, waiting until you find something that’s ideal or perfect, because you think your life should be ideal or perfect, is stupid.
Things are meant to be hard right? Or else doing things wouldn’t be worth it. Yes, when you’re young, life is supposed to be a little less hard than when you’re older. And by all means, don’t settle (if you can help it). But all in all, people should be realistic. Instead of looking around for things that are bigger and better, take the initiative to make the most out of things that are in your control. This is, of course, easier said than done. But it beats feeling aimless, helpless, and powerless. If anything, being at the 25-year-ish mark of your life means you actually have the ability to do something about it.