The Quarter Life Crisis It's a new phenomenon that my generation is experiencing. It's not hard to see how we might start panicking about our lives at 25. We live in a highly populated, rapidly moving world. There aren't enough jobs, there definitely isn't enough time, and the cost of living is ever rising.
When you feel like you're competing all the time for the best job/boyfriend/apartment/car/gadgets/clothing/vacations/lifestyle, it's easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed. When things don't work out the way you had hoped or planned for, it's not shocking to feel scared and start reevaluating your whole life up until that point.
But let's think about that for a second.... your whole life up until that point. How ridiculous is that? I mean, how much life have we really lived by the time we turn 25? HARDLY ANY. There is this unreasonable expectation my generation has of having all the answers and being 100% settled by the time we are 25. There is this unreasonable pressure we feel when we turn 25 to suddenly have the perfect job, be married, maybe even expecting... and it just seems completely insane to me.
Maybe it's a result of pop culture? Those Hollywood movies that represent the FEW young, rich, and powerful 25-year-old success stories. But see, that's the thing... those kinds of success stories are few and far between. They are the exceptions, not the rule. But when we've seen movie after movie after movie centered on those lucky bastards, it's hard to not expect the same thing of ourselves. And as humans, we want to believe that we are capable of anything. I mean, if Shia LeBeouf can become a Wall Street Mogul in his 20s, why can't I do/have it all too?
Maybe it's a consequence of social media? When we're constantly being bombarded on Facebook with photos and status updates advertising the highlights of our friends' lives, it's easy to get discouraged. Suddenly, your life as a single gal in her 20s running two companies in Manhattan doesn't seem so glamorous. At least not when you have friends that are getting married or having babies or backpacking through Southeast Asia.
Maybe it's just the world we live in today? The bar for "comfortable living" has been raised to a new high in the last decade or two. "Comfortable living" has never before included things like smartphones, fancy laptops, over-the-top presents, lavish vacations, designer clothing/footwear. All of these things existed for previous generations, but that feeling of "I NEED THESE THINGS" that so many 20somethings feel today was not so strongly prevalent in generations before.
We are a generation of competitive consumers. Maybe that's our biggest problem.
Whatever the reason, it all seems very silly to me. So I'm taking a vow to stop worrying about where I thought I would be by now. I'm taking a vow to recognize that things change and life is full of variables. You can't plan your life out. But if you try to, you can't start panicking when things don't work out the way you hoped they would. I'm on a mission to roll with the punches better. I'm on a mission to love every second of my life and be grateful for everything and everyone in it. Because, really, at the end of the day, that's all that matters. Really, at the end of your life, nobody's going to give a shit if you had it all together when you were 25.
A happy 20something, xx Nikbear
P.S. - Check out this great video from Buzzfeed about the quarter life crisis epidemic: