What happens to life after college? For so many of us it’s a time where we don’t know exactly where we are going or heading. Friends get engaged, married, and pregnant while we wonder if life is passing us by faster than we thought. We worry about finding jobs and wonder where to go in our careers once we do find that first gig. In short, the Quarterlife crisis is where we stop being kids and start being grown up.
For the next few days I’ll be hosting different perspectives on our post-college lives because even though we maybe going through times of personal growth and exploration- we aren’t doing it alone.
Today’s post is from Miss Procras at Running Fashionably Late, who reflects back upon her college years and wonders if she’ll have a 1/3 life crisis down the road.
Oh, the quarter-life crisis. It really is shit-acular.
What I want to know is, has this time period always sucked so much, or did it just start with our generation? I don’t remember my parents warning me about turning 25. Then again, the rents were married and pregnant with yours truly at that age.
I do remember them telling me to live up my high school and college years. Those are the most carefree days of your life, they so wisely advised. I know I used to hate admitting when you’re right, Mom and Daddy-O, but y’all were dead-on.
It got me thinking – is it really that this time period is so bad, or were the college years just that good?
Three-day weekends (my major didn’t have Friday classes), $2 pitchers of Natty Lite and $1 rail drinks for happy hour, having 100 + friends on my buddy list (oh, AOL Instant Messenger…) to IM for lunch dates, cheering on my school as they won the Division 1-AA National Football Championship, feeling accomplished by receiving an A on a project/test/paper…
But most of all, ignorance. Ignorance from the reality of life after college.
No more 3-day weekends (unless it’s a National/Federal holiday), feeling isolated from not having your best friend down the hall, shelling out $5/beer and $10/cocktail, starting at the bottom of the totem pole in corporate America and having to prove yourself, all the while unsure how you’re REALLY doing. (Annual reviews are a joke.)
The toughest part for me has been learning to identify myself independently of my friends.
In the four years since I’ve graduated college, I can’t say that I’ve earned a law degree, gotten married or had a baby. I can’t even say that I have money in my savings account or a 401K started. PS-Why is shit like a 401K and health insurance important now? Just another pitfall of being a grown-up. Le sigh.
So far, my mid-twenties have been about becoming comfortable in my own skin. Realizing it’s okay if I’m not a lawyer, or celebrating my second wedding anniversary, or pregnant with septuplets. (Let’s hope that last one never happens.)
I’ve had to learn – and am still learning, to become content with where I’m at in my own life, regardless of where my friends are. Even if that means I’m not as close with some of my friends as I used to be.
Life isn’t as simple as pulling all-nighters and having weekend-long drinking binges. And maybe the demise of a carefree lifestyle just smacks us on our ass so hard we need a few years to recover.
I’ve still got some bumps and bruises, but I’m beginning to come to terms with this part of my life. I hardly have all the answers, nor do I feel like I truly know who I am yet – but I’m slowly getting there.
I keep hearing that by the time I hit 30 I’ll feel more sure of myself – I’m beginning to wonder if that’s really true or if people just made that up to make them feel better about leaving their twenties behind them. I’m gonna go with the latter – if only because it will make for more blog fodder in ten years. 1/3 life crisis, anyone??