We help you survive your quarter-life crisis
Oh, the quarter-life crisis. We’ve heard a lot about it over the past few years as the age range for the crisis has steadily increased. Something that was very Reality Bites has become more Thirtysomething. A recent Globe and Mail article calls that age group “thirtynothings.” With that kind of encouragement, it’s no wonder people in their twenties and thirties are having an identity crisis. But what can be done? Well, here’s your quarter-life crisis survival guide.
Step one: Realize that it’s normal.
It’s actually quite common to question your life while you’re in your twenties. Heard of St. Elmo’s Fire, anyone? Reality Bites? The Last Kiss? Heck, even The Graduate. This is nothing new, so hold on and sit back. It’s going to be okay. Whatever the issue – love, career, not knowing what you want – it’s all pretty common.
Step two: Write it out.
If you really want to start dealing with all that ails you, write down a bunch of stuff. Most quarter-life crises come from being overwhelmed with opportunity. There’s plenty you could do with your life, you’re just stifled with the actual choice of it all. Try to map out what you expect from life and where you expect to be in ten years, twenty years and thirty years. Do you want a job that will require you to go back to school? Enough savings to buy a house? Making a list of what you want will help you understand what you need to do to get it.
Step three: Define your own success.
Success isn’t just Benjamins and little ones. Everyone measures success differently and just because your parents think you need to be married and have kids doesn’t mean that you’re unsuccessful if you don’t. A lot of people look at success from a career perspective – try to look at it from all angles, and think about work-life balance. Look at the list you just made and figure out what success means to you.
Step four: Get busy.
No, not that kind of getting busy (well, that might help, too). Look at your list and your definition of success. Is there anything that you can get started on now? Are there activities that you’ve been meaning to try? Accomplishments that need accomplishing? If you can define some of these things, you can get started. If that means finding a great mentor or other role model to help you, then do that.
Step five: Don’t listen to the haters.
Everyone’s got an opinion about what you should be doing. That’s fine, you have your own opinions (see step three). And you’re doing something about it (see step four)! Just don’t get confused and do things without thinking them through first. Now all you have to do is relax, resist the urge to freak out and know that this too shall pass. While you’re relaxing, check out these films and listen to these songs. For a good long read on the topic, check out 20-Something, 20-Everything by Christine Hassler (New World Library, $20.50).
Written by: Nicolle Weeks