student life

How you can cope with the quarter life crisis

Something is happening, isn’t it? I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Something is happening, isn’t it? I’m sure you’ve noticed. Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but suddenly that club you’ve been attending religiously every Wednesday night since freshers doesn’t look so appealing any more.

The idea of queuing outside in the cold to get judged by doormen just doesn’t look inviting. Paying to have access to overpriced drinks, crowded rooms and that inevitable fight with that bitch on the dancefloor who thinks those 8 inch stilettos are the perfect accessory for the middle of your foot is just—what’s that feeling you get when you just put your head in your hands and wait for the stupidity to pass you by?

Since when was I not intersted in fun?

Anyway, it’s that. I could continue to rant but that’s another symptom. Since when did I become a person that would moan about going out to enjoy myself?!

Suddenly, I’m not interested in fun anymore and it’s like I’ve blinked to find all of my friends (the same ones who were doing unspeakable things in those clubs) are now settling down (since when did I start qualifying for so many wedding invitations?), moving into new homes (how are you having a housewarming when you’re still using your mismatched cutlery from halls?), and starting new jobs in the city (I remember when you got fired for turning up to a job in a dressing gown eating cereal at a desk, how are you even working now?).

It’s something that all finalists are prone to and it strikes when you’re at your most weakest, two hours into your dissertation writers block, or thereabouts. This ‘something’ that you’ve not quite been able to put your finger on, this is the Quarter-Life crisis.

Life crisis

The Mid-life crisis is old news. Now the recession generation have the pleasure of panicking about nearly everything because our safety nets have gone. Rising house-prices? Awesome, we’ll look forward to renting forever, unless you can stand to regress and move back in with the parents. Working full-time in something you like? Seriously, how many job applications have you done and how many of the call backs have been in recruitment? Finding other people jobs? Brill.

Three years of higher education and my job is to get someone else a job. Apparently the fall in jobs for banks and finance mean it’s even harder for those humanities graduates to get out there (Why did I go to Art School?!).

The value of a degree is being questioned. The government cuts in funding mean that we are filled with a self-righteous sense that we are better than everyone else whilst we queue at the job centre, waiting for our next JSA payment. Doesn’t it feel a bit like you packed your bags, ran away to the big city with the golden pavements only to get there and find some travel agent was really describing the colour of tower block lifts on a Saturday nights?

The rest of your life

So, you’re fresh out of uni with your 2:1, the same 2:1 that everyone else has, by the way, and you find out that actually, every business wants experience because maybe three years of late nights, chardonnay and champagne probably isn’t the kind of experience that law firm were after. Do not panic, because the only person telling you that you need to figure your life out straight away is you. No-one is forcing you to put your deposit down on your first house three weeks after graduation, and no-one is making you decide right now what you are going to do with the rest of your life.

Graduation is a milestone, but only because someone else told you so. Remember that somewhere inside those three years of smokes, Shiraz and ‘finding yourself’ in someone else’s bedroom, you established yourself as an adult. Probably sometime in first year you figured out what happened if you didn’t pay your phone bill, and who knew that banks could charge for an overdraft?

We all had that one friend who chose not to spend their student loan on y’know, rent and things and we all saw how that turned out. Food shopping, you managed that and of course, moving out of halls you pretty much trained yourself to run a household. It didn’t happen in a day, but you learned how to look after yourself. You probably got your personal life sorted sometime in, second year? Second year is a good guess. Probably about half way through, when you started to settle down a bit and decided maybe those rumours in halls weren’t that funny.

Growing up

Third year, you mastered the studying part. Suddenly, all of those deadlines that you used to do the night before on those jagerbombs with whiskey chasers, now you’re doing the reading for these essays. That was an achievement in itself, who knew that there was a reading list for this module? You figured out how to take books out of the library. All of your achievements didn’t happen in a day.

Why force life after uni to grow up before you do? I don’t know if you’ve seen The Book of Mormon, but it’s got some great advice. Apparently, when you need to deal with things, you just put them in a box and crush it.

So very simple, take your Quarter Life Crisis, put it in a box, and crush it.

You don’t need it.

You’re actually doing great.

What do you think? What is your advice to deal with the quarter life crisis? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Photo: Lee Haywood