Many people know about the mid-life crisis but few know about the quarterlife crisis even though many people go through it. It is not talked about much. The quarterlife crisis happens in your twenties after you have graduated from college. It is a period of anxiety, uncertainty, and inner turmoil.
I am definitely in this period. I graduated from college in 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have realized that I do not want to work with kids. I really don’t know what I want to do. I have a lot of passions but haven’t been able to figure out a career that encompasses those. Nor have I found a job that interests me. I have done a lot of job-hopping and location-hopping. I have been a hiking guide, substitute teacher, preschool teacher, camp counselor, ski instructor, ice skating instructor, telemarketer, and banquet server. I have lived in Denali, AK, Fort Collins, CO, Stowe, VT, Asheville, NC and Bellingham, WA. There are so many opportunities which makes it hard. Honestly, I do think it is a good idea to try out different jobs and live in different places. It helps you discover what you don’t want and what you want.
Life is overwhelming and exciting. You may compare yourself to your peers and become upset because you haven’t achieved as much as them. You may think that everyone else has figured out their lives and what they want to do with their lives. You may not know what to do next. You may be disappointed that your day-to-day isn’t living up to all the expectations you had for it.
I have been reading the book, “Quarterlife Crisis.” This book contains real life experiences from twentysomethings. Here are some quotes that I like and relate to:
- “What do you do? Do usually refers to a job and doesn’t have anything to do with whether the person dances, is an activist on the side, has a family, takes classes, paints, and so on.”
- “focusing so hard on fitting into her perceived image of herself that she lost sight of who she actually was”
- “so worried about having a job that impressed people even though I had no clue what that job would be”
“If I can go to work, not mind it, and enjoy myself to some extent, my hobbies and personal life are how I live my life.”
“fear falling into a pattern of the 2 month itch in which after some time at one job, they will get bored and look to switch”
“Job-hopping is a method of trial and error that allows twentysomethings to narrow down their fields of choice.”
“Don’t worry about what others think.”
I am definitely guilty of taking a job because it sounded cool such as ski instructor and hiking guide. I wanted people to be impressed. These were great experiences, however they aren’t something I would want to do for a career. I love skiing and hiking but I do not like teaching skiing, learning about the technicalities of skiing, or saying the same thing over and over.
I am trying to think about myself more and what I would want to do instead of thinking about what others think of me. I have been living in Bellingham, Washington since late August. At first I didn’t want to get a job. I wanted to learn more about my passions. I focused on my photography, entered a photography show, joined the Bellingham Photography Club and bought a DSLR. After a while I started to get bored and I started applying to jobs. I applied to jobs that sounded interesting to me but I never heard back from them. I would call and leave messages but I still didn’t hear from them. I wanted to work at a hotel as a banquet server but unfortunately I did not get the job. I interviewed at Fred Meyer and decided to take a job as a cashier. Even though it is not my dream job, Fred Meyer is a company that allows career growth and has a variety of jobs. I like that they have benefits for part-time positions. I want to pursue my passions by working with non-profits. I signed up for an orientation so that I can volunteer at the Whatcom Humane Society. I also have an interview to volunteer with Compassion & Choices of Washington which helps people with end-of-life choices. I am excited about my future and the experiences I will have.
You can always redefine your life (change jobs, change location, change friends, etc)
You are not alone!
Follow your heart.
*Information from the book, “Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties” by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner