The quarter life crisis; whether you believe it is a ‘thing’ or not, it’s no secret that there are hundreds of twenty-something graduates out there who have absolutely no idea what they are going to do with their lives. It might be because they don’t know what they want to do, perhaps they have studied for 3 years and decided their degree subject actually isn’t for them, or perhaps, and most likely, they know exactly what it is they want and have absolutely no idea how to achieve it.
This is an area which is surrounded by debate with people arguing that you shouldn’t go to university if you are not sure what you want to do, or that university is just putting off entering the real world. But from a student’s point of view, the truth is, it all just kind of crept up on us. I, myself am reaching that point in my life, the point where I am about to graduate, get a job, a mortgage and all the other expected things that follow university and in all honesty, I have absolutely no idea how I have got to this point already.
One minute I was getting acceptance letters from universities and finding out which halls of residence I would be placed in, the next minute I’m writing my dissertation and frantically looking for jobs. All things in between have become blurred and I am left wondering how this all happened so soon. It’s a very daunting prospect, and I think people underestimate how scary it is for us to leave education, which for many of us is the only thing we have ever known, behind and be thrust into the working world. That doesn’t mean to say we aren’t excited for this next chapter and ready to work hard, it’s just a little scary.
However, throwing the term quarter life crisis around straight out of university is a little over the top. Many people come out of university with an air of entitlement surrounding them. They feel that since they have studied a subject for three years, they deserve to go straight into a well-paid, prime positioned job in that industry without any hesitation, and when, unsurprisingly, this doesn’t always happen, people begin claiming they are never going to find a job, enter: The quarter life crisis.
Of course, everyone has their dream job, and it’s essential to dream big and have goals, but believe me when I say you are not the only person out there who wants to be the next editor of Vogue, and you most certainly aren’t going to be handed your dream job on a plate as soon as you finish uni (unless you are really, really lucky!). The attitude I’m taking upon graduation is: Just say yes! Of course I have my goals and my ambitions, but they won’t make me rule out any other paths. As much as I would love to work in fashion journalism, I will explore every journalistic path which I come across, because you just never know. Like they say, no experience is bad experience, and I for one tend to follow this mantra until I find what it is that I really want to be doing. But in the mean-time, I understand that It is going to take years and a lot of hard work to reach the job of my dreams, and just because it didn’t happen for me, or you, or the thousands of other people who are struggling to get to where they want to be straight out of uni, doesn’t mean we won’t get there eventually, and it doesn’t mean you are suffering from a quarter life crisis. What you are facing is reality; you just have to embrace it with open arms.