Oh my god I’m a magazine article…

This phenomenon known as the ‘Quarterlife Crisis’ is as ubiquitous as it is intangible. Unrelenting indecision, isolation, confusion and anxiety about working, relationships and direction is reported by people in their mid-twenties to early-thirties who are usually urban, middle class, and well educated; those who should be able to capitalize on their youth, unparalleled freedom and free-for-all imagination. They can’t make any decisions, becuase they don’t know what they want, and they don’t know what they want because they don’t know who they are, and they don’t know who they are because they’re allowed to be anyone they want.

From an article in eyeweekly. Saw it on Mike’s blog. Scary stuff.

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4 thoughts on “Oh my god I’m a magazine article…

  1. Okay, beginning of a rant:

    I think the entire notion of a quarterlife crisis is bullshit. Not that some of the things being described in this article don’t ring true – many if not all of them do for me – but because I hate the idea of labeling the dislocation that comes every time a person’s life changes a “crisis.” For the record, this applies to midlife “crises” as well. Yeah, you’re fifty-two, your whole life isn’t ahead of you anymore, get the fuck over it.

    I don’t mean to minimize some of the things being talked about here. In particular, much of the economic realities being described ring pretty true. Thirty years ago, people in their late twenties were often in an economic position to start thinking about buying a house, getting promoted to a real career track (as opposed to just having a “job”) and affording kids. Not the case anymore. If you’re done paying student loans by the time you’re thirty, well done. Now it’ll just be another five years to put together a down payment on a house, assuming you still have a job.

    Obviously too, the fact that people’s lives aren’t as pre-programmed as they used to be creates problems, in that people actually need to make affirmative choices rather than just kind of letting life happen to them. That’s a GOOD THING though. Believe me, I’d rather face the ennui that comes from not being able to figure shit out for a few years than feel stifled by the expectation to be on a particular track, my own desires be damned.

    Every time a person’s life changes, it takes some adjustment. When you get out of college and, for the first time, don’t have your day-to-day and year-to-year existence nicely mapped out, that’s a change that presents new challenges and new choices. When you get married, that’s a change that presents new challenges and new choices. Ditto if/when you get divorced. Ditto when you have kids. Ditto when those kids leave. Each situation involves a change in what your responsibilities are, what your challenges are, and what your opportunities for happiness and fulfillment are. Often that change is for the better. People at midlife, for example, report being the most fulfilled and happy of any other group, “crises” be damned.

    Again, not minimizing the fact that it’s not easy to be young, and that the first few years out of college, for all their freedoms, can be pretty rough. I just don’t think that everything needs to be called a crisis.

  2. yeah, I wouldn’t call it a crisis either, I agree with you on that. And the part that really scared me (but also made me feel a little better) are the economic implications of these feelings. Makes it feel like maybe it’s not all our fault… there are bigger systemic factors at work.

  3. Agree, it’s not a crisis, but welcome to our sensationalized world. Just like the “WAR ON DRUGS” doesn’t need to be called a war! Small fries.

    I am very grateful for the choices I’ve made and will continue to make, but I believe there is definitely some truth behind people our age group (and other ages) encountering too much choice. So much so that we feel paralyzed about the right choice to make, and become that much more dissatisfied with our choices afterward. Barry Schwartz and the “Paradox of Choice”. It’s on TED Talks in case you’re interested.

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