The Quarter-Life Crisis…In a Nutshell

From getting online to depositing a check, everything is fast-paced nowadays and whatever we want, we want it now.  Our culture has become impatient because we are so used to having the world at our fingertips.  Unfortunately, this has transferred into our life after college expectations.  Just like in the movies, we expect to have the perfect life as soon as we graduate college.  And so, the quarter life crisis came to light. Apparently the mid-life crisis wasn’t tacky enough for one lifetime.

What is the quarter-life crisis?

In a nutshell, the quarter-life crisis is a personal journey that most recent college graduates go through.  It’s a time, usually at 25 years, when you attempt to find who you are and what your place in the world is.  You’ve graduated, are getting into a work routine and slowly becoming a real adult when you realize that you’re too young to be so average.  So you begin to search for a purpose in life.

Just go that way…uh, what?!

The ridiculous, but for the most part true, example:

You graduate with honors ready to rule the world, only

to find that the kind of jobs you want RIGHT NOW ask for this little thing called experience.  All of your applications have either been rejected or were not even worthy of a rejection m

essage and probably got dumped in the trash with the rest of the why-are-you-applying resumes.  Why can’t you be the Associate VP of Marketing?  I mean, you’ve only created presentations and gotten A’s in your mock scenarios for four years.  You even spent your free summer time designing your sorority’s fall T-shirts.  Not to mention, those spring break shirts you made were a HIT!  Delusional much?

For the first time in your life people are finally telling you what most people thought but never said:  YOU SUCK.  You are not as great as you think.  Remember those paintings in elementary school that your parents hung up and were so proud of you for?  Yeah, those.  They aren’t that great.  You may have won first place

in that poem

writing contest, but that doesn’t mean yours was great.  Congratulations,


ur poem sucked the least.

But guess what?  Real life adults don’t care how cute, funny or h

ow many trophies you have.  If you don’t have experience, they don’t want you wasting their valuable time.  Yes, your time is not important when you’re wasting it on an unrealistic goal.  Sorry to break it to you, but this is a reality we all face.  Sad.

Phases of a quarter-life crisis. (Read the entire article on these phases in the New Scientist)

Phase 1 – A feeling of being trapped by your life choices. Feeling as though you are living your life on autopilot.
Phase 2 – A rising sense of “I’ve got to get out” and the feeling that you can change your life.
Phase 3 – Quitting the job or relationship or whatever else is making you feel trapped and embarking on a “time out” period where you try out new experiences to find out who you want to be.
Phase 4 – Rebuilding your life.
Phase 5 – Developing new commitments more attuned to your interests and aspirations.

Until next time,

– Liz C


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