We always hear about people having a mid-life crisis around age 40, but in this day and age, I’ve seen more and more people having a crisis around the ages of 25-30; myself included. I think one reason for this is our troubled economy. Traditionally, we’ve all been told that if we pick a career, go to college, we’ll get a good job and make a good living. Boy have times changed.
I know so many people who have gone to college, got out and found themselves with no good job prospects. So then they go to grad school to get a leg up on the competition and when they get out, guess what? Still, no good job prospects…
Now people are starting to realize that they need to do things differently in order to reach the American dream. Time has flown by and one day we wake up and realize that a quarter of our life has passed and we are not in the place that we thought we’d be by now. We start to wonder what our place in this world is.
I’ve certainly gone through this phase myself. But deep down I’ve always been a writer and writing is what I turned to when I was lost. What I find to be sad, is when I’ve tried to talk a few of my friends through this phase and so many of them don’t have anything to turn to. They don’t know what their passion is. They don’t know what they’re particularly good at. They have no idea what they want to do. This can make a person feel defeated, like you have no choice but to stay, feeling paralyzed on your current path. But this isn’t true, there are some things that can help you to get through your own quarter-life crisis.
1. Daydream. Take time out to just dream. Think about what makes you happy. Don’t just think in terms of obvious career choices, but just list the little things that make you feel good, whether it’s something as simple as eating ice cream, walking your dog or skate boarding. Make a list. The honest truth is, you can create a career out of damn near anything, ANYTHING you could possibly think up, you just need to use your imagination.
2. Experiment. After you make your list of things that make you happy. Do some research, find out what kinds of careers can be made from those things. Give them a try, one at a time. Do them as a hobby. Take an internship. Volunteer your time. Interview someone who is already doing it. Do whatever you have to do to test the waters and find out if this is something that you really want to do. A lot of times certain careers look really glamourous and we later find out that behind the scenes, it’s pretty brutal. And sometimes we may enjoy something for fun, but find that we really aren’t talented enough to do it professionally (like my singing abilities). But you’ll never know until you try. So get out there and experiment with your life.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail. Believe it or not, this is the perfect time for you to have a crisis. Think how much harder it would be if you had it at 40 or 50? By that time you’d be super advanced in your chosen career field, you’ll probably have a spouse that you need to make joint decisions with and a couple of kids that you have to support financially. But at 25, you probably have way less responsibility. All you need to think about is you. You have much more flexibility to try new things and it won’t be all that devastating if you fail. And by the way, if you do fail, it’s no big deal. That’s a part of life, I haven’t heard many stories of super successful people who have never failed in the past. You keep trying, you learn and you eventually achieve greatness.
A quarter-life crisis is just your inner self’s way of telling you that you need to change your life. Do yourself a favor and listen. The longer you wait to make the change, the harder it will be. Your best bet is to keep a positive attitude, try new things and don’t let fear get in your way. This is your life we’re talking about. Start living it.
What else can you do to get through a quarter-life crisis?