The Quarter-Life Crisis: What It Is and How To Manage One Part I
Over the past year or so, many of those around me have been going through what is termed the Quarter-Life Crisis - myself included. Here is my guide on what it is and how to manage one.
Similar to the more well-known 'Mid-Life Crisis', the Quarter-Life Crisis, as it has come to be known, is a recent phenomenon increasingly afflicting people in their mid- to late- twenties who have been diligently working away at crossing off everything on the Great Checklist of Life.
Such items on said Checklist include, but are not limited to:
- decide where you want your life to go at around the age of 17 (make sure it's a "sensible" career path)
- gain a university degree or other tertiary qualification in order to achieve the career goal of your 17-year-old self
- find a job, any job, on chosen career path, just to "get your foot in the door"
- begin saving from your first pay cheque for a house
- work tirelessly in a job that you told yourself at 17 you would like for the rest of your life, even though maybe it's not really what you want to do anymore but you've got the qualifications and experience in that field already so it's probably too late to change
- spend too much money on an absurd deposit on a house/apartment you're not sure you really want because the Sydney property market is fucked and it's just what you should be doing by now
- find a partner you can tolerate and even when things get tough or completely dysfunctional just power through anyway because that's just what you're meant to do
- achieve all of the above by your mid- to late- twenties (number 7 is optional but encouraged)
The onset or exacerbation of a Quarter-Life Crisis most often occurs when interacting with someone of a similar age who has ticked off more items on the Great Checklist of Life than you - perhaps they've just bought a property (one you know that you'll never be able to afford) or they recently got engaged or even *married* (reminding you of just how far off that milestone you are).
The unnatural, but expected response, is to be happy for those who have achieved more on the Great Checklist of Life than you, and make known your efforts to mark off the outstanding items from your list - you're going for a promotion even though it's not your area of expertise but the extra money will be good for saving for a deposit; you've downloaded tinder and are swiping right on everyone in the hope for a match and subsequent long-term relationship.
At all costs, suppress the burning desire to quit your job and go on a ridiculously long holiday before fulfilling your whimsical dream of being a florist, because
a) that's not on the Great Checklist of Life; and
b) it will jeopardise your financial/life security and hence your ability to complete everything on the Great Checklist of Life, thus eliminating your opportunity to be happy according to society's standards
Repeat the following mantra over and over until the burning desire for a life surrounded by horticulture and ikebana subsides:
"The Great Checklist of Life is the only road to happiness and security"
Stay tuned for Part II.