Blissful post-graduate abyss

“Mid-life crisis” is a term most of us are quite familiar with. Bob, a hard-working family man, turns 50, feels the need to re-evaluate his life and suddenly panics. He proceeds to dye his hair blonde, buy a convertible and cheat on his wife. What Bob may not know is his son, 25-year-old Bob Junior, may be experiencing similar feelings of hopelessness, fear and confusion. Some therapist out there cleverly coined this the “quarter-life crisis.”

These "crises" are products of a self-involved society. Before dismissing the possibility of crisis in your twenties, it’s important to acknowledge that many 20-year-olds feel lost upon graduation.

Up until your university years, there seems to be a natural sequence in life. After elementary school there was junior high, after junior high there was senior high and after senior high there was university.

But what comes after university?

For those of you young enough to be enjoying the first years of your university lives this may sound like an absurd question. Naturally, you assume that you get the job you’ve always wanted, become successful, get married and life goes on. You are right, life does go on but everything else is not necessarily so sure or sequential.

Granted, there are many students who have job opportunities lined up once they graduate and this gives them stability, but there are also many that do not. We are lucky enough to have choices, but with choices come decisions and those are never easy-no matter how frivolous they may be.

What career do you want? Will you even get the job? Where will you live? The downfall of being twentysomething is having no answers, no real stability and it is a very frightening prospect.

Our twenties are supposedly the best years of our lives and I do not doubt that. However, the uncertainties are daunting and hard to overcome. When people tell you over and over that this is the best time of your life, there is so much pressure to make everything right.

Twenty years of school is a hard shelter to let go of. The transition is difficult, and no one ever speaks about the possibility that the twenties are just as hard as later decades but in their own way. Of course there are more serious problems in the world but they should not make twentysomethings feel that their fear is unwarranted.

Forgive me for preaching. Hell, I’m having a quarter-life crisis of my own, but it’s important to know that twentysomethings commonly feel lost–my excellent eavesdropping skills have confirmed this. There are other 20-year-olds that don’t know what they’re doing and although I don’t really have a clue, I am sure we’ll all get over it and find ourselves, at least according to the quarter-life crisis book–which is quite a depressing read I might add.

The twenties are apparently so fabulous because there are so many unanswered questions and possibilities. Perhaps we should listen to the wisdom of the elders and realize the question is the best part, it is what keeps us coming back for more. Every day, we are a little more wiser when we just go with it. Perhaps we should just enjoy not having a plan because even though it is so hard, I can imagine that having all the answers just isn’t nearly as much fun.



Feedback on this article can be sent to opinions@gauntlet.ucalgary.ca.

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