“What Should You Do Now?”
Exposing the Quarter-life Crisis
By: Jenn Stepic M.A.
As you look across the auditorium, you notice the smiling faces of all you fellow graduates. The last tassel is thrown and you hear the words, I now present to you the graduating class of 2013. After the ceremony, you are greeted by your beaming parents and your great Uncle Harry reciting various cliché phrases, telling you the world is your oyster. Suddenly, your mind is filled with endless possibilities and the realization that you are about to enter into the “real world.”
We have all heard of the notion of the mid-life crisis, which often includes red Ferraris and returning to the care free days of one’s youth. But for you twentysomething individuals, the time between adolescence and adulthood rears its ugly head. In an effort to draw attention to this distinctive time in your life, authors Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner coined the term quarter-life crisis to address the unique challenges that befall the emerging adult (Robbins & Wilner, 2001). What used to be thought of as “the best years of your life” is now being recognized as a time when you are forced to decide who you are, what you want, and how to achieve this. Gone are the days of reading, writing, and arithmetic. In between the college football games and frat parties, academia was a place where your goals were specific with the expectations for success defined by studying and earning honors. After graduation; however, its decisions, decisions, decisions. This transition into adulthood is marked by a series of firsts. What direction should your career take? Should you relocate in the pursuit of finding your dream job? How will you make that first loan payment? Should the quest for love be your first sought after goal?
Transitioning between adolescence and adulthood is characterized by a unique set of challenges that at times, may lead to intense feelings of isolation, inadequacy, and stress. While this quarter-life crisis may send your head spinning, keepin mind that this period of your life is defined by both your successes and setbacks (Robbins & Wilner, 2001). So as you are sitting alone in front of your computer screen, researching job listings, apartment deals, and going back and forth whether or not joining a dating site is really what you want to do, remember that you are not alone.
If you are struggling with unanswered questions, doubts, or insecurities regarding what direction your life should take, therapy could be the answer to your search for support. Contact Healing Hidden Hurts at 888.349.1116 to schedule your first appointment.