It’s the new midlife crisis.
It has become hip and cool to joke about the “quarterlife crisis.” The “oh shit” moment when you realize you aren’t in college any more. The fear and uncertainty that fueled many applications to grad school; the little things that make you realize that you are no longer 21 and that maybe those four years may have been the best of your life.
When I turned 25 back in December I joked to my friends that I was looking forward to the crisis. It would be the biggest crisis in my life since that time I struggled with who to start in my fantasy football league. The quarterlife crisis is a joke you can see on anyone’s Facebook wall when he/she turns 25.
Recently I’ve found joy and pleasure with my return to theatre– an interest and hobby I’ve left dormant since I left high school and college. In fact part of the reason I enjoy the work is because it harks back to fond memories of working on the stage back home. It’s not a red sports car but could it be that I’m living vicariously through stage management?
When I wrote about actually enjoying conversation with my long lost relatives, a generation that is now married and having kids, am I quickly maturing my taste of nightlife?
Long gone are the days of heavy drinking and partying from Thursday – Sunday. I’m now on the “every other day” rule when it comes to how my body will enjoy wild Clarendon nights.
Last year I saw friends become engaged, friends unite in holy matrimony, and me still left without a girlfriend. Is my clock ticking as result of the new social landscape I find myself in?
Why am I asking so many questions without answering them? The attempt to build suspense is mediocre at best.
What I loved about Lilu’s post was the concept of having a foot in both camps. It is definitely the feeling I have as I ponder these thoughts.
The more popular Midlife Crisis is defined as, “A period of psychological doubt and anxiety that some people experience in middle age.” So is the Quarterlife crisis the same period but at an earlier stage of life?
It makes sense to think that, you are fresh out of college and all of a sudden you have a full-time job or struggling to look for work while the structured life you once lived is no longer there. You find yourself wondering, “what do I really want to do?” It’s no longer a question for the yearbook- you are now out there trying to make it come true. You may have doubts that you know where you want to go, or if you will really be able to realize the idyllic visions you had lying on the grass of the quad. All of a sudden the world looks harder to change than it did sitting in a classroom.
So is that what the Quarterlife crisis is to me? Not really.
It’s a transitional phase where you are still a kid in a grown up world. You may have a 9-5 job but you still play hard on the weekends. You may start having more happy-hours and dinner nights with your friends, but you are still tailgating at concerts and tearing up bar crawls downtown. You may have fond memories of living in a dorm but you are more than happy to be paying rent in house where there’s no RA to stop you from lighting candles and drinking beer.
You may no longer have awkward stories about your roommate walking in on you having sex- but now (if you are lucky) you no longer have awkward stories about your roommate walking in on you having sex.
And hopefully sex isn’t that awkward anymore.
It’s a time where you have a chance to look at the landscape and realize maybe you don’t want to do what you studied in college- but now you know what you want and you will be a happier person for finding it.
The quarterlife crisis maybe a period of doubt, but it doesn’t mean that you are hopeless. To me it’s just another transition and even though we may be afraid of change, it’s the spice of life that keeps things interesting.
I look back at the first quarter of my life and I have my moments I’ll never forget, but I’ll never think they were the best times of my life. The best times of my life are ahead of me and they are right now.
And for me, that’s how I’m doing splits in the grown up world.