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 Patrice, a good friend from high school and is now married and resides back home in Massachusetts. This guest post will be her first foray into the blogging world and reflects on being 24, married, with a home and career.
When Patrick first sent out the email looking for guest bloggers I was instantly intrigued. Although I have never blogged before the idea was of interest to me. I have always been a writer, from dark poetry when I was a depressed preteen all the way through a Journalism degree. I obviously thought about blogging before but the whole “audience” part was extremely frightening, or maybe it was the lack thereof that was the frightening part. I mean can you be considered a blogger if no one reads your blog? Anyways, the topic of Quarter life crisis hits home for me and is extremely relevant to me at this time in my life so I decided to give it a try.
The past 2 years have been a bit of an identity struggle for me, when I turned 24 I was married, buying a house and established professionally making great money. Although most might say that I am ahead of the game and have a lot to be proud of, and I agree with those people, but unfortunately those people tend to fall in the 35-50 age range.
When I took a minute to stop and assess myself related to my peers I faced my worst fear: we almost had nothing in common. I found myself amidst this constant struggle to try not to sound too young to my coworkers, who up until now have mainly fallen in the 35-50 age bracket, but in the same turn not to sound too old to my friends. I was living a completely different life than the people who had been my friends for the past decade. It started to be hard to relate to them or have them relate to me.
Could I tell them that the reason why I wasn’t out drinking on a Thursday night anymore was because I would be presenting to the executive board in the morning and I needed a good night sleep!!! Or maybe I needed to replace an appliance that week or some other godforsaken household expense because those were always good for a surprise appearance.
As I finish my second week at my new job I reflect upon these types of things. I am in my second major job after graduating college and it is nothing like I thought. The “REAL” world, and not the MTV interpretation of it, was not at all what we spent our four years of college preparing for. I am strangely okay with that though; I was up for the challenge. I took every opportunity that presented itself and ran with it. I refused to spend my nights and weekends working in the restaurant or retail industries. I wanted to make money and lots of it and the only way that I was going to do that was to work hard, and getting a jump start on it wasn’t going to hurt either.
I quickly found myself among people with titles like “Director”, “VP” or “CEO”. I was traveling internationally and making decisions that would impact the core business. I thought that this would be strange, that I wouldn’t know what to say or do. I mean I have always been a driven individual who will do anything to get what I want but I never thought that at the age of 25 I would be where I am today.
Strangely enough it came natural. This is what I was meant to do. I was meant to work hard and be successful.
I have learned to accept the fact that people choose different paths and as a result their lives take different turns. My friends are my friends regardless of what we do 9-5, I may have my priorities in a different order but that doesn’t change who I am or why we were friends to begin with.
All in all 25 was not at all what I expected but in the grand scheme of things I would say that it’s better!