The Painful Reality Of The Quarter Life Crisis

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Recently, I have seen a lot of posts and blogs about the infamous Quarter Life Crisis. This is the point of a young adult’s life where you’re in the middle of young adulthood. You’re at the age where you feel like you have to know what you’re doing with your life if you don’t have your life figured out by now. At this stage, you tend to worry when you see people your own age and younger making substantial accomplishments, but you’re just living and going with the motions. Many of your friends are working, in graduate school, or both; they’re getting married, engaged, or having children, but you’re just sitting at home eating ice cream. My friends and I always talk about this stage in our lives. We wish someone would have told us how life begins to change at 25, rather than how life changes at 30. How you get annoyed with the younger 20-somethings when you go out to party, how you cannot party like you used to in college, and how you have to ask yourself if you were as immature and reckless at that age. If you would have asked me at the age of 15 what I would be doing at the age of 25, I would have said, “I’ll be a college graduate, working, possibly married, and have one child. If you asked me the same question at 20, I would have said the same thing minus the married with a child part. Ultimately, life is rarely what you imagined it would be.

Life taking on a course of its own became a big reality for me when I graduated, and it was waiting as soon as I crossed the stage. I was a 22 year old college graduate with no job and returning home to live until I got my life in order, my worst nightmare. I was in a fairly new relationship that was going places, so I could cross that off my list of things to do. The next step was to get a job and my own car so I could begin my quest to having it all by 25. Two months after graduating, I had a job, a great boyfriend, and a car, but I was bored. I knew that I had to get an advanced degree if I wanted to make any money in the Psychology field, so I decided to go back to school for a Master’s degree in Human Services Administration.

At 24 I had a job, a relationship that was heading toward marriage, my own car, and I was an exceptional graduate student. The next goal was to move out by the magical age of 25. Life was great on the outside, but I was miserable. I hated my job! I despised the drama between my co-workers, management not being able to do their job, and not having the support from them to do my job. I began to pray that God would direct me to a new job, but as people say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways”, and two years after being miserably employed I was laid off.

Normally, I would have been distraught, but it felt as if a weight had been lifted… at first. Then reality hit. I was 24, a graduate student with real bills, and had no job! I decided I would take the time off to get myself together mentally, physically, and spiritually. I began to pray more, focus on my health, devote more time to my studies, and work on my relationship, which had hit a rocky point.
So the day finally came, July 4th 2013, my 25th birthday! I was a 25 year old graduate student. I had no job, a great relationship, and my boyfriend bought us a house. At least I was moving out by 25, right? I was genuinely happy, even though I was missing the job, marriage, and kid. In October of that year, my boyfriend proposed.

As I write this post, I am waiting the arrival of my 26th birthday and taking stock of my life so far. I am a 25 year old honors grad student, graduating in May, working part-time and still paying the bills, engaged, and living in my own home. No, I am not where I thought I would be at this point, but I am where God sees fit at this stage. I am ready for anything the future holds, and living in the moment. The quarter life crisis is real. At this stage we worry about our progress compared to other people in our age group, but as Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.

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