Quarter-life crisis questions road ahead

Caleb Bruynes


The other day I noticed that I’m halfway to my inevitable mid-life crisis, which means I’m right in the middle of my quarter-life crisis. Wikipedia defines a quarter-life crisis as, “a period of life following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.” Yep, that sounds about right. Thanks, ‘Pedia.

Becoming an adult is difficult because being a kid is so easy. Our parents are to blame, really. Remember middle school? High school? Yeah, we didn’t do anything, ever, because we didn’t have to. No trials, tribulations or failures. Lesson one: nothing ever works out the way you planned. Was that so hard, mom and dad? Six-year-old Caleb could have handled that bombshell. Well, maybe.

I’m kidding of course. Nothing can prepare us for what’s about to come, not even our parents. We can take comfort in knowing we’re all in this boat together. If anyone knows where the boat is going, though, please let me know. I have friends joining dating websites, being nice to strangers, posting annoying, inspirational quotes on Facebook, reading books for pleasure and joining bowling leagues to meet “new people.” The other day I considered opening a 401k and I started following Tony Robbins on Twitter. (I recommend doing both) But seriously, who are we?

The difference between a quarter-life crisis and a mid-life crisis is that mid-life crises are fun and something that I’m kind of looking forward to. Forty-somethings generally have some extra money to spend on a new car or a trip around the world. They get to go out and party with the younger crowd and neglect their children to live it up for a bit. Afterwards they just go back to their normal, familiar lives. And yes, these are our parents (take a closer look). Us twenty-somethings have no disposable income or time to blow on our (hopefully) temporary crises. And what happens after is still to be determined. We just have to sit here. Thinking. About. Everything.

Wikipedia also says that the notion of the quarter-life crisis is shown in movies like The Graduate, Garden State, Office Space, 500 Days of Summer and Lost in Translation. As if I wasn’t already sure I was in the midst of my own crisis, these are five of my favorite movies. Anyone who hasn’t seen these must do so immediately. And if you have, but didn’t particularly care for them, watch them again if you’re in full crisis mode. You will truly enjoy them.

The truth is that nobody has it figured out. If somebody says they do, they’re lying, and you have my permission to call them a lying liar. We’re real people with real life problems, and it’s okay to acknowledge that. All we can do is the best we can and trust that everything will work out in the end, because, it will. I promise.

I hope everyone has a wonderful finals week. Summer is right around the corner. Congratulations to those of you who are graduating! I wish you all the luck in the world with your 2/5-life crisis.