I recently went through what I thought was a difficult period of having to grow up and be an adult, but apparently has a name: quarter life crisis. It’s big business now. Every magazine aimed for young women is sure to include an article about your quarter life crisis and how to get through it. Some magazines that have covered it include Marie Claire, Glamour, and even fitness magazine Self. These articles mainly state that this is a scary thing and you’re allowed to be scared and here’s how to not be scared anymore, you scared thing.
The UK edition of Marie Claire calls it a “phenomenon”, saying, “Dr. Robinson blames the phenomenon on the frenetic need to get a job, make money and be successful quickly, while under pressure to meet the demands of parents. Young adults are becoming less content with a mediocre, ploddy, conventional life.”
Do we really think we are the first generation to feel pressure to find a job, make money, be successful, meet the demands of our parents, and want more than a mediocre and conventional life?
Glamour goes even further, saying that now there’s a thing called a “post-quarter life crisis.” It’s described as, “the awkward transition phase into adulthood, which happens at some point in your late twenties to early thirties (with the big 3-0 serving as a milestone birthday).”
We have to be the only generation to break down these decades in our lives as a “crisis.” None of this is a “crisis.” This is growing up. This is being an adult. This is life.
I have never met anyone who freaked out about their “quarter life crisis” who wasn’t entitled and privileged, myself included. This is for them, for me, and for the people who coined this phrase.
I love my friends. I understand they face challenges in life. I do too. I understand that sometimes you feel pressure and that it’s okay to feel sad or frustrated. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to admit that you’re having a hard time finding your way in life.
But Jesus Christ, get it together. You think this is tough? You think your life is tough because you don’t like your job so you quit to be a blogger and no one wants to pay you to be a blogger? So you’re calling this a quarter life crisis instead of calling it making mistakes and becoming an adult and being disappointed that you’re not immediately successful? You think life is unfair because Lena Dunham wrote a TV show about your exact same problems but she’s the one getting paid for it, not you? You’re upset because you’re having a hard time finding a job because you majored in typography and playwriting (I actually did major in playwriting) and no one wants to pay anyone to do that so you have to get a job that isn’t your dream job so you can pay rent?
Everyone who writes about being in their twenties writes about it as though they are scribbling on parchment while riding in a covered wagon across America with the great hope that, at most, they’ll get a job in an orange grove and make the absolute minimum to support their spouse and 6 kids, as grandpappy is slowly dying of cholera in the back and probably won’t make it. “Tell the people,” they weep, hoping that the Pony Express will get their letter in time, “Tell the people that I have to work at a hipster bar that’s totally annoying and I had 3 interviews for a graphic design job I would have been really good for but probably won’t get so now I’ll have to take a second job at American Apparel. The people need to know.”
I made a chart that might be helpful.
Let me know if you need me to make it bigger.