After I graduated from Grad School, I learned just how real the Quarter-Life Crisis is. I had little work experience, a lot of student loan debt, and little employment opportunities. It was a very stress full couple of months but I did finally find a job and began living a grown up life full of bills and obligations. I took the position because I needed a job, but it has nothing to do with the subject I spent 6 years and way too much money studying.
So, here I was truely on my own in the real world. I was financially on my own in undergrad but thats awhole different set of priorities... Anyway, I now have a grown up job and grown up bills, but no idea what I wanted to do with my life! All my friends from high school and college were getting married and having kids and me....I'm living with roommates, hours from any family members, and trying to figure this adult thing out on my own.
I have been at the same job since March 2007, still not doing what I went to school for and still paying those crazy student loans I took out. I have my own place, a vehicle, a puppy, and a growing business. I think I finally found something I want to do with myself. Still I look around and people from high school and college are still getting married, living the family life, and having babies. I guess my crisis is that I want 2 different lives: the family life and the single life, I want to experience life but I want to settle down.
I know I'm not the only one experiencing this and I don't have the answers to avoid or end it but I do have some tips for managing it...
Step # 1 – Don’t Fight It
Everything isn’t OK. If all your brain can focus on is changing your current situation, listen to it. Just recognize that the crazy ideas that it’s generating may not be the solution.
Step # 2 – Try Something New
Your current level of happiness is complication of your past experiences. Therefore, if you’re suffering from a lack of happiness, you need to create new experiences.
Sometimes this could mean taking a drastic step and quitting your job. However, don’t count out the small experiences such as finding a new hobby, learning something new, etc…
Step # 3 - Think before you act.
Just because you impulsively want a change in life, remember you have responsiblities now. We would all like to quit our job and pursue other things but that may not always be the best thing at the moment. Make a plan A, B, C...to keep yourself from making a mistake that could take years to recover from.
Becoming an adult isn't easy and I'm sure if I would have listened to all those lectures I got growing up, things would be easier now but I didn't. Finding my own way has been challenging but fun, too (and stressfull). It's a bumpy ride; strap in and enjoy the ride!
Life isn't about the destination - it's about the journey!