I'm here to prove that the quarter life crisis is real. Twenty-somethings and the one's who lived to tell the story, read away.


  • Jul 14, 2009 9:50 PM GMT
    So it hit me today. I'm twenty-two and I know everybody's first reaction is you're so young, you have so much time but I'm at an age where everybody is graduating, moving, and trying to make a name for themselves in the working world. I see a lot of people go to school exactly for what they always intended to, move to some awesome city, and land a job even in this 'recession' economy.

    Here's a little background on myself. I, like a lot of people, had no money to go to college so I worked hard and landed myself a scholarship. One problem, the scholarship had to be used in the current state I'm living in. I never knew exactly what I wanted to go but, I liked production so I went to school for film where I learned a lot about camera angles, how to edit, etc. I think if I had the option, I might have went to school for apparel design or something.

    I never knew what I wanted to do. In fact, at 22 today I realized I still have no idea. I found myself the past five years trying everything. I bought a DJ set and go good enough to tour around a couple cities in the US. I couldn't keep up with it financially with equipment etc so I quit it. I went and bought a really expensive camera and some books. Did a couple photo shoots, and did some nightlife photography and I just lost interest. I was a pharmacy technician for a couple years but it was boring so I left. I'm now a computer specialist for one of the best companies in the world, which is awesome, but it's not my passion at all. I always had this big interest in fashion, but I never couple push myself into sewing. Though right now and usually I'm wearing clothes mostly found from the clearance rack of an Urban Outfitters, I know more about Christoper Kane, Rachel Comey, and Raf Simmons then most. I just never knew what to do with it all.

    So I just broke up with my first love, where I lost a ton of friends, and am thinking about filing a restraining order on. Moved back into my parents, getting a degree in something I'm not sure I'm going to use, and working a job that's not my dream job at all. I know I shouldn't be bitching. Some people aren't as fortunate as me, and never get to go to college at all. Some people work really stressful jobs with a lot of manual labor and little pay. I have it pretty okay, but how can you settle on okay when you have one shot at this all?

    I give myself some credit. I am pretty ambitious and people-friendly. I work hard, pull in good grades even if my heart isn't fully in it. Oh yeah, and being gay even in 2009 isn't exactly so easy either. My therapist says I need to work out more to get me out of this rut. She's right, but instead of hitting the gym I sit here pondering what is my next attempt in a path. Maybe I should ponder more on the treadmill, but how did you find your way in being content and happy?
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    Jul 14, 2009 11:07 PM GMT
    Try being 23 year old virgin and stuck in the hinterlands of a 3rd world island country with no jobs around that would match your skillset.

    icon_cry.gif

    But yeah. I am following my dream job (games artist - which isn't exactly stable nor pays for much at all even among the best of the best in the industry, but hey, it's my passion), it just takes harder work, but I'll get there.

    Meanwhile... survival mode.

    IMO, working for money and stability and that chance to retire and pursue your dreams isn't my thing (although some people are contented with that, I'm not judging, I just have different priorities). Better to pursue your dreams while you're still capable of actually enjoying it, resilient enough to bounce back, adventurous enough to not give a fuck, and young enough for the dreams to still hold wonder for you.
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    Jul 14, 2009 11:21 PM GMT
    Life isn't easy for any of us, we all have our crosses to bear. I think in the end, how we deal with obstacles is what ultimately sets us apart.

    Being 22 as well, I can relate to your sentiments in regards to feeling as though your life is over before it even really begins, as I'm not perfect either. We all make mistakes, but we must learn from them and turn them into something positive.

    Best wishes to you.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 15, 2009 1:00 AM GMT
    I think it's important to do what makes you happy. As a writer once told me, "I hate writing. I only do it because I hate everything else even more."
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    Jul 15, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    22 and not sure what you want to do.... hmmmm just start with something and the rest will work out, I have 2 degrees and a designation, my current career is not directly related to any of them. Life's a journey without a map. Enjoy the adventure.
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    Jul 15, 2009 1:20 AM GMT
    I completely identify with your situation. I always wanted to study business and grow up to be a bad-ass executive making tons of money and traveling around the world since middle school. I did everything for THAT purpose, from joining the Future Business Leaders of America in middle school, to now about to graduate in about 6 months with two bachelor's: one in International Business & one in Marketing plus having studied abroad in Japan and Brazil.

    Everything in my life before this point in time was preparing for the big day when I would walk to stage receiving my degrees in business and get to say that I was the first in my family to go to college. However, I realized recently that I forgot to make more concrete goals for life after college. I feel like I'm already falling behind because I, like you, have friends around me graduating, and landing some really awesome jobs while I am working the front desk of a local gym. Not exactly what I had planned. This summer I was suppose to be getting some awesome experience with Hormel Foods interning in their Food Service Sales branch. That didn't come through and I am terrified that I didn't have a plan B.

    What am I going to do? I still don't know. I feel for you.
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    Jul 15, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    Hey quarterlifecrisis, Welcome to Realjock!


    We'd be of the Daddy-age to all you guys here, so we'll vamoose.



  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jul 15, 2009 1:51 AM GMT
    quarterlifecrisis saidMaybe I should ponder more on the treadmill, but how did you find your way in being content and happy?


    I told myself a long time ago that I was a beautiful person. I made a commitment to love myself, to respect others around me, and to not carry around heavy weights in life - such as animosity or regrets.

    Being happy and content is not dependent on what degree or job you have or whether you make alot of money. That is a fundamental and pervasive lie of our culture.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 15, 2009 2:02 AM GMT
    I've been going through a phase like that. For the last several years, I've been working on my degree as a part time student in government. I want to be a policy advisor or a public adminstrator. I still want to be involved in government, but I have a new found passion for renewable energy, so I've been learning more about that evolving technology and trying to keep up with state and federal incentives and legislation.

    Last year, I contemplated my upcoming retirement from the Army (IN 3 YEARS!!) and broke it down to the simplest question: Do I want to work for somebody else or myself? I quickly answered for myself! So now I'm trying to learn what it's going to take to startup a business, how to get started and next year, I hope to move near the area where I want to get started so that I can begin my retirement transition into my new career.


    You have to determine what you're good at, what you want to do, and ultimately, what do you want for yourself. Is it just a job or career or is it something more for you? Make goals on how you see yourself in 5 or 10 years in your respective career and map out a plan to accomplish those goals. That's all there is to it methinks.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 15, 2009 2:06 AM GMT
    styrgan said, "I told myself a long time ago that I was a beautiful person. I made a commitment to love myself, to respect others around me, and to not carry around heavy weights in life - such as animosity or regrets.

    Being happy and content is not dependent on what degree or job you have or whether you make alot of money. That is a fundamental and pervasive lie of our culture."




    I went through something similar. In my Junior year in high school, one of my teachers was talking to us about our futures and careers and told us that we need to decide if we want to do our jobs for money or for happiness. I immediately vowed to myself that I would not sacrifice my happiness for money.
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    Jul 15, 2009 2:13 AM GMT
    Im now 22....try going to war at 19!
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jul 15, 2009 2:13 AM GMT
    I'm 39 and still don't know what I want to do.
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    Jul 15, 2009 2:14 AM GMT
    Timberoo saidI'm 39 and still don't know what I want to do.


    young hot guys?
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jul 15, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    RST2009 said
    Timberoo saidI'm 39 and still don't know what I want to do.


    young hot guys?


    ::pushes RST out of the way::

    icon_cool.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jul 15, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    RST2009 said
    Timberoo saidI'm 39 and still don't know what I want to do.


    young hot guys?


    depends on how you define young icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 15, 2009 2:16 AM GMT
    Timberoo said
    RST2009 said
    Timberoo saidI'm 39 and still don't know what I want to do.


    young hot guys?


    depends on how you define young icon_wink.gif


    39 minus a day
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jul 15, 2009 2:21 AM GMT
    RST2009 said
    Timberoo said
    RST2009 said
    Timberoo saidI'm 39 and still don't know what I want to do.


    young hot guys?


    depends on how you define young icon_wink.gif


    39 minus a day


    bingo
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    Jul 15, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    Timberoo said

    bingo


    oh you like games too?
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 15, 2009 2:35 AM GMT
    I used to feel concerned that I wasn't all that positive what I wanted to do. I had vague notions that I wanted to teach at the college level, but that was about it. I kind of envied the people who seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

    Then one day a friend told me she envied people like me who knew what we wanted to do and had definite plans. And it dawned on me: I know that others seem to know exactly what they were doing. That didn't mean they actually did, because if I was unsure of my plans and yet gave off the impression of confidence, that meant that there were probably others feeling the same. And once I came to the realization that even many other people who had everything together on paper might not be so prepared for what comes next, not being positive myself was a lot less stressful. I now consider my options, make what appears to the best choice with the information I have, and accept that I will never have perfect information, I will almost certainly reach some less-than-perfect decisions, I'll sometimes have to guess blindly, and that doesn't mean there's something wrong with me.

    I'm also quite glad to see you using the term quarterlife at 22. I have friends still referencing it at 28, to which I have to ask "So you expect to live to be 112?"



  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Jul 15, 2009 2:37 AM GMT
    Even beyond sacrificing happiness for material goods is the issue of how some of the guys here are defining happiness.


    I will probably get flamed for even posting this one, but hopefully this will help some of you.

    http://www.breaktheillusion.com/?p=1623
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    Jul 15, 2009 3:36 AM GMT
    I had my quarter-life crisis at 25 when I was almost finished my PhD but with my job prospects, still living at home, and having been single for about 3 years. I think I actually cried when when I turned 26.

    On the plus side, it actually made mye sit down and think about where I was and where I wanted to be and the steps I needed to take to get there. If you can learn and grow from any 'crisis' then it's not wasted.
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    Jul 15, 2009 3:47 AM GMT
    Diabetic with Asperger syndrome.

    We're all living a hard life with just a little bit of special, huh? icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 15, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    Content and happy are places we can visit often, but no one lives there permanently. Took me YEARS to accept this as truth - I knew it long before, acceptance was another process. And the quarter-life crisis is totally real! I've never had a harder time coping in life than when I turned 25 and didn't know what the hell I wanted to do, while watching my friends moving into careers while I was languishing in grad school.

    I was always jealous of ppl who knew exactly what they want to do and were continuously driving toward it, and I assumed this implied something bad about my character or psychological makeup. I know now that it's just how some (many actually) people are built, and I'm one of them. I do a job for a while and then I get bored and want something else - something new, something that stretches my ability to adapt, something that requires me to learn huge amounts in a short period of time. I started in psychology, went with that all the way through my masters, and now am a database administrator. Took a brief veer into real estate along the way and did a stint as a software consultant and statistical programmer. I didn't set out for this to be the case, I've just learned over time that this is how I am and I look for the next thing to do that's interesting and makes sense to me. And it's working out pretty well. icon_smile.gif



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 15, 2009 4:39 AM GMT
    Shit - I think its Wednesday - I must be having a crisis icon_twisted.gif
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    Jul 15, 2009 5:04 AM GMT
    I think a lot of this stems from our education that teaches us that we need to find something we love and stick to it for the rest of our lives. Its like the whole "soulmate" mentality that there is someone for everyone or there is a dream job for everyone. The reality is thats not always the case, some people need to accept that and find something they are good at and stick to it. Its not always going to be fun and magical like most activities are at the very beginning. I think thats why a lot of people go into the academic world and just exist in a kind of professional limbo.