They call us the adultescents
So I thought I’d write a blog on my quarter life crisis because it sounded kind of depressingly cool to suffer from a quarter life crisis. Yes, I’m shallow like that. Besides, I didn’t have anything interesting to say about anything else. I first heard the term being used by my classmate in our second year of graduation. He was three years older to us and used to spout Tarantino dialogues while conversing. (So clearly he was going through a quarter life crisis.) At the time, I thought he made up the phrase and I was real impressed until a year later when I realised that everything he said had already been said by someone famous.
Turns out, this quarter life crisis business is serious stuff. It’s not just another twenty-something fad like drinking wine and eating cheese together or watching foreign films that you only half-understand and then pretend to love. A cursory Google search revealed websites, books, medical research, tutorials and of course several thousand other blogs devoted to this phenomenon that I so casually tossed around as fodder for my blog.
According to most sites, the phrase was coined by one Abby Wilner in 1997, who like all good ol’ twenty-somethings couldn’t figure out what to do with her life after she graduated from college. It must have hit her pretty hard considering she co-authored two whole books on it – Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your 20s and Quarterlifer’s Companion.
There is also another book by this dude called Lee Wellman who was “blindsided and knocked down by an anxiety disorder one idle winter afternoon” only to realise it was driven by a quarter life crisis. But he did get back up and recovered well enough to write a book called My Quarter Life Crisis. Wonder what it was about?
Then there’s an official QLC (let’s call it that because it just sounds cooler) website too – which claims that’s it’s a one-stop info shop for recent grads and beyond. I mean seriously, what do they sell – money and alcohol?
Several other people have written realms about this predicament and have described it far better than I ever could. Sample this blog post on Healthy Living – It’s a “sudden reality check where we overanalyze our current lifestyles in comparison to the lifestyles of our peers. For others it’s about doubt – always wondering if I’m making the right decisions. You wake up one day without parents or schools to point out your next step. Some of us are thrown expectations of adults but are still treated like children, and some claim to go to sleep most nights overwhelmed, constantly settling for safety, and wishing on the lottery instead of getting out there and chasing after all those big, bright dreams. Others are just trying to find the right balance between life, work, love.”
So here’s my take on the QLC: “The QLC is suffered by one who just cant be sensible enough to face the adult life without constant self-introspection and self-doubt and is either too stupid or too pathetic to just suck it all up and get over oneself. Also thinks of it as something that is depressingly cool and then goes on to write a blog about it.” Yeah, sounds about right.