a quarter life crisis

One of the problems I have with modern life is how fast we grow up. We are told to make so many crucial decisions at a very young age that determine what we can do with our lives.

For example, I was making decisions about my life when I was twelve years old. I was quite young in high school and so in Year Eight I was choosing Year Nine/Ten electives that would impact on my Year Eleven/Twelve electives that determine what course I could do at University. Quite obviously, what you do at Uni dictates what you do when you finish Uni. So effectively I was choosing a job in IT when I was twelve years old at school because I liked computers and I was the ‘smart kid’.

A problem arises after you’ve been in the workforce for a few years and realise you don’t actually like doing what you thought you would like doing when you were twelve. Enter the quarter-life crisis:

From wikipedia:

Characteristics of quarter-life crisis may include:

  • feeling “not good enough” because one can’t find a job that is at one’s academic/intellectual level
  • frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career
  • confusion of identity
  • insecurity regarding the near future
  • insecurity concerning long-term plans, life goals
  • insecurity regarding present accomplishments
  • re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
  • disappointment with one’s job
  • nostalgia for university, college, high school or elementary school life
  • tendency to hold stronger opinions
  • boredom with social interactions
  • loss of closeness to high school and college friends
  • financially-rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unanticipatedly high cost of living, etc.)
  • loneliness
  • desire to have children
  • a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you.

I am not an expert but I thought this shit normally happened when you were going bald and approaching forty, but now it’s happening when you’re in your mid to late twenties. See what I mean about growing up quickly?  They’ll soon redefine ‘over the hill’ to be over twenty-five.

One of the things that I didn’t learn until recently is that is healthy to change your mind. It’s one of the things that growing up quickly makes us forget. When I was young it was okay to change your favourite colour from one day to the next, but now its hard to admit that you changed your mind about what you want to do in life.

It’s hard to tell someone close to you that you’ve changed your mind, especially when you’ve been vocal about your opinion/decision in the first place. Back in the days I told Kitty I would never own a mobile phone and that I hated them (with passion!). But I changed my mind, and I still remember meekly having to explain why to her when I bought my first Nokia. I felt like a hyprocrite.

So maybe its better to take life slow and change your mind regularly. That way, hopefully when you get to a particular place in your life it is where you want to be, not where you wanted to be.

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6 thoughts on “a quarter life crisis”

  1. Twenty-five is the new eighteen.

    Adolescence – according to those pesky, meddling psychologists – is not a physical process, but rather a social phenomenon, and one that now lasts until one’s mid twenties.

    This is not a “quarter life crisis”; it’s “growing up.”


  2. juiced, many of those things don’t go away. By the time you’re old and bald like me the kid thing is pretty much resolved one way or the other, but most of the others are still around. As the great philosoper Fred Durst said, “Life is a lesson, you’ll learn it when you’re through.”


    1. Friendless: I sorta don’t expect them to go away, but it helps being able to talk/write about them. It’s also encouraging, albeit sad, to hear that others feel the same things.
      Nice quote too 🙂


  3. Something like this is why I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling divorced from my peers. It’s been a standing guideline of my to take some time out about once every six months, and re-evaluate my goals, aspirations, desires, and motivations. See if I’m still doing what I really want to be doing. See if I’m happy as I am, and if not, how to fix it. At the same time, some changes take a while; so if it takes a year or two or twelve to achieve a particular goal, that’s okay. Just make sure you’re still moving forwards, is all.

    I’ve been doing this since I was about ten or so. Making long term plans, and reviewing and adjusting them regularly to fit the person I change to. Of course, most people think I’m crazy for having a 20-year plan. That’s alright. It works for me.


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