I think the first time I encountered the term “quarter life” was when I was looking for internships (from the internqueen, actually). It seems strange because all I heard about before was “mid life” and of course the crisis that comes associated with it.
Quarter life crisis has become a more common concept. Books have been published about it. Articles have been written devoted to it. Some TV news segments have been done on the topic. I personally have very mixed feelings about it, because according to this Huffington Post article that identifies the "symptoms," I definitely am experiencing it right now, yet to admit that seems like I am almost using it as an scapegoat. And I know for a fact that some of the issues I am facing have nothing to do with my age.
And just because it’s “normal, and everyone else does it” doesn’t mean that I should fall prey to it as well. I hate being peer pressured into anything. At the same time, apparently my need to “have it all” and often “insisting to do it alone” are also signs that I am going through a quarter life crisis. =_=
I know what I want to do with my life; the trouble is how to get every piece of the puzzle in place. I disagree with the idea that 20-somethings are still “figuring themselves out,” or at least as applied to me. I think the core of me is fully developed and pretty set. The minor things might change but that’s it.
And apparently quarter life is even more difficult for women?! (*grumble* of course, again)
Most authors say that this is kind of a “rite of passage” that’s inevitable (…like puberty?). Good news is that it shall pass. I am going to try to make this phase of my life go by faster then.
Anyway, I have looked through some online articles on how to survive your 20’s/quarter life (ok I admit that most of them happened to be by Christine Hassler. I am sorry! But I like her advice the most). Here are the best ones. I paraphrased most of them and the phrases in quotation marks are direct quotes.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice – I actually do this often, but whether or not I take the suggestions is another story. Some sources say to browse through the self-help sections at bookstores as well.
2. “Up your financial IQ”- I really agree with this one, and I really need to do it.
3. “Know that you’re not alone”- Yes, it’s comforting to know that I am not the only one messed up.
4. “Don't wait for permission, approval or validation” – I whole-heartedly agree with this one! Case in point: my tattoos and recently dyed blue and purple hair.
5. It’s ok to rely on other people…- such as friends and family
6. …but then remember to have some me time – AKA self-reflection and self-investigation time. This one may seem silly especially if you’re a busy person with little resources (um, who can afford a soul-searching journey right now? In terms of money and time?), but honestly, being alone by choice is pretty awesome sometimes. I love watching movies and TV shows by myself because I don’t have to contain my emotions for others’ sake.
7. Balance and prioritize- Eh, I think I do that pretty well. Otherwise I would have breakdowns every month. However, sometimes it really seems like those two things are mutually exclusive of one another.
8. Appreciate what you do have… - Hmm, I probably don’t do this frequently enough.
9. …but a pity party is allowed once in a while- it’s okay to just wallow in sadness or anger in a given time, because it helps you get the upsetness out and then you can move on.
10. Stop comparing- Ie. don’t be jealous of your peers. Know that everyone’s different and are in different situations.
11. Be in the present- In other words, stop being nostalgic about the past and worrying about the future… I think this one will the most difficult one for me to follow. I have extremely good, detailed memory of the things I want to remember, and I am a planner.
12. Stop overanalyzing things, including yourself- But I like and am good at critical thinking and looking at things from multiple angles!... This is going to be another hard one.
13. “Know That 'Having It All' Is a Myth”- Very hard to accept when I want to be the best that I can and improve myself and all that jazz!...
…and then there are a bunch on career, which I personally think I can do without.
That’s all I got. Hopefully I can practice what I preach.
*Sources cited 1 2