The other day I heard the term “quarter life crisis” to refer to the 20-something group of kids who are coming to grips with their mortality, insignificance, and emotional impotency (and, well, other forms of impotency). I thought it was some new term designed to drive book sales or create movie spinoffs, but it has been around for at least ten years (ultimately creating lame movie spinoffs and books from that time period that I will refuse to read for lack of technological relevance alone).
In any case, I googled it because that’s how I find my facts. Google led to Wikipedia (read it) which led to my new-found expertise on the matter because, let’s face it, Wikipedia knows what’s up. Basically, young kids who might be reading this, here’s what you can supposedly look forward to:
- confronting one’s own mortality
- insecurity concerning ability to love oneself, let alone another person
- insecurity regarding present accomplishments
- re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
- lack of friendships or romantic relationships,sexual frustration, andinvoluntary celibacy (which, for some of you poor suckers, will be an all-life crisis event)
- disappointment with one’s job
- nostalgia for university, college, high school, middle school, or elementary school life
- tendency to hold stronger opinions (gasp!)
- boredom with social interactions
- loss of closeness to high school and college friends
- financially-rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unexpectedly high cost of living)
- loneliness, depression, and suicidal tendencies
- desire to have children
- a sense that others are doing better than oneself
- frustration with social skills
Awesome. But I’m a visual person so I wanted to see what a quarter life crisis looks like. Sweet Jesus! First of all, don’t people of all ages deal with things from that bullet list? Moreover, aren’t we supposed to hate our jobs in the beginning? It’s kind of natures way of weeding out the leeches. Those who are motivated to move on from whatever crappy position they’re in will eventually improve upon their general state of happiness (here’s a helpful chart for those of you who are into that sort of thing). Those who don’t will forever work at their local crap-store jobs, get wasted every night, and hate their lives. It’s how our society is supposed to work.
And feelings of insignificance are normal. We’re tiny specks on a huge planet in an infinite universe. We don’t register on any scales of significance save for our own self-created, superficial ones. Excluding the obvious poster-children for life/world significance (Mother Theresa, Ghandi, etc.) most major claims of fame and/or notoriety (see also: our definition of significance) are based on completely idiotic and superficial grounds. Half of the world probably knows who Snooki is, and I’m supposed to feel bad because half of my town doesn’t know who I am? Suck it, MTV.
If you haven’t already read the article, I’ll go ahead and save you the trouble with this simple circle-your-answer cheat sheet that you can decide on when the freight train of the quarter life crisis rams you in the rear:
- Suck it up
- Quit life