Big Issues

The Quarter Life Crisis You’re Having Isn’t Real; Here’s Why

Almost every person I know reckons they’re in the midst of a quarter life crisis. Some of them are 18 or 19 some of them are in their 30s (which, if you’re having a quarter life crisis at 30, is a fairly impressive life span).

I, however, am not convinced. Hell, I think the whole quarter life crisis thing is a joke. Or rather, it potentially was real and is now a joke. What’s different from everyday life?

The hallmark of a mid-life crisis, for example, is losing the plot a little bit and, being too scared to face mortality, buying something crazy expensive or doing something you’re way too old for. Enter my entire life. For me, every day is a new crisis.

All these people who think they’re having a quarter life crisis have been having the same crisis for weeks, months, even years.

After every single breakup I’ve had (and there have been a lot, I’m evidently unloveable) I’ve done the whole hair dye “new hair new me!” thing. Sometimes I’ll do a new piercing to switch things up a bit if I’m feeling fancy. The whole buying something ridiculously expensive? Sir, that is a TUESDAY. Internet shopping exists, I have nothing else to spend my money on (refer beck to chronically single fact) and I’ve watched Parks And Rec.

All these people who think they’re having a quarter life crisis have been having the same crisis for weeks, months, even years. At some point that quarter life crisis stops being limited to a quarter of your life and just becomes an existential crisis, and that is what I think quarter life crises are now.

I’m yet to see a person I know, myself included, have a quarter life crisis and then get past it. These crises are just part of everyday life now. Take me for example: my existential crisis is my permanent life. Either that or I’m so bad at dealing with my problems that I’ve never moved past my one crisis.

It’s almost understandable that existential crises are just life now.

It seems to be the in trend to be having an existential crisis (or quarter life crisis, but those aren’t a thing, so…), regardless of whether or not you’re actually having one. That’s why nihilist memes are so popular and every single day someone I know who has their shit together (read: people who actually completed law school after I dropped out) are commenting on them with ‘it me’ or ‘MOOD’. First off, it not you.  But secondly, crisis in this day and age? FAIR.

It’s almost understandable that existential crises are just life now. Way back when, you didn’t have to make your life decisions yourself (I know, woe is us. We have control over our own lives, boo hoo). Even now we’re realising new things we have to decide.

People, I get it. I know the feeling. But stop trying to make ‘quarter life crisis’ a thing. It’s not going to happen.

In 2010 I wrote an essay for a competition that said the toughest thing teenagers have to deal with is choice (I was a winner, NBD). I hadn’t even considered HALF the decisions there are to make. A friend of mine was sitting at my kitchen table the other day and said “we were taught growing up that we were going to have kids. There was no if to it” and daaaamn it that ain’t true. Half the decisions we need to make and are now told we have choice over directly counteracts things we had drilled into us as children. Making the opposite choice or even thinking about it feels like we’re doing something wrong. Is it any wonder our lives are in continual crisis?

People, I get it. I know the feeling. But stop trying to make ‘quarter life crisis’ a thing. It’s not going to happen.

(Lead image: Lost In Translation / Focus Features)