Is a quarter life crisis even really a thing? For that matter, is a mid-life crisis? Or is it just a way to write off the fact that we’re confused, maybe misled, oftentimes doing out-of-the-ordinary things? I’m going to say it’s a real phenomenon, because I need a good excuse.
Four years ago, after four years of dorm living, I moved back into my parents’ house. I’m pretty sure this is somewhat common but it’s not what anyone wants to do. I had a great relationship with my parents and still do, but at 21 I wanted to be free; I wanted to see the world and go on adventures. However a resident assistant doesn’t have a salary that can afford that lifestyle once college is over and a degree in English Literature with no teaching credentials attached? That will really get you nowhere, believe me.
I moved home. I got a temporary job with a state department doing work any brainless monkey can do. I didn’t have a boyfriend. I didn’t own anything substantial. Most of my friends lived in other cities or were moving to other states. And I had that itch. Travel? More school? Become a side-show attraction? What could I do that will make me happy? Should I be an adult now or wait a little while longer?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how unhappy I was in Massachusetts. I had to go back to California, where I was born. I have sunshine in my blood and the idea of surviving another winter in the Northeast made my stomach turn.
I took a chance and applied to one school for a graduate program in English Literature. I figured if a BS in English didn’t do anything, a Master’s would totally turn things around, right?
I told my parents my decision. I told them that I wanted to spend more time with my grandparents that I hadn’t seen in 5 years. I told them that I had to get out. They supported my decision but they weren’t happy about it. To this day I still get offers from my dad to help me find a job near them.
So I took a chance. I found a house with three other girls that I had never met in a city I hadn’t lived in since I was six. And here I am, three years later, no worse for wear, with an MA under my belt.
I didn’t buy an expensive car. I didn’t get an outlandish tattoo to prove my independence. I didn’t do anything that crazy. Unless you consider moving to a place where I knew no one but two 86 year olds to go to a school that had rapidly increasing fees as crazy; and for what reason? An itch. An itch I had to scratch. An itch that if I didn’t scratch, I surely would have lost it and done something absolutely bonkers. An itch I’d like to call my quarter life crisis, if for no other reason than validation. I turned it into something positive though and couldn’t be happier with my decisions.
Paige is a self-proclaimed bookworm who does not willfully use the Oxford comma. She lives with her boyfriend and ginger fat-cat and is working for the state of California doing research and writing. She is always looking to expand her goodreads shelves and for new beers to sample. Follow her on twitter sssspaige or read about how awkward she can be on her blog paigetopus.
If you are interested in contributing to the Quarterlife Crisis series feel free to contact me.