Surviving Your Quarter Life Crisis

by Olivia Barker

Last night I received a phone call from one of my best friends who happens to be a former student of mine. She is currently experiencing her quarter life crisis. She’s a few years early, but the timing is actually really accurate. She just graduated in December, she moved home, has a job that has nothing to do with her degree and she’s trying to navigate all of this while processing a break up...if this doesn't induce a quarter life crisis, I don’t know what will.

I've shared with you all before that I went through a period called “funemployment.” I graduated with my masters in August and spent the next several months day drinking, working 20 hours a week and applying to jobs. I was living at home with my mom and for a while I thought it was awesome, but then one day I polished off my second margarita before 2pm and thought “I have to get my shit together.”

I can look back now and recognize that I was going through a rough patch, but for a while there I thought my world was crashing down. I was well educated, but didn't have a job, I was living with my mom at 24 and I didn't know what was going to happen next. I felt so out of control and lost...but you know what? It happens to all of us and the hard truth is that it’s going to happen to you at some point. There will be some point in your life when you’re out of control, when you don’t have your shit together and you don’t know what’s going to happen next, but you are not alone. Mine happened at 24, my friends is happening at 22, other people I know are going through this at 30, you just have to know that you are not alone and even though it feels like the end of the world, it is not.

You may still be checking Tinder in between meetings, you still might be getting paid in circus peanuts when you have a masters and work 60 hours a week, you or your friends might move away and you might only get to go to work and the gym during the week because you don’t have time for a happy hours or hangovers, but where you are is right where you are supposed to be. Things change every single day and no matter how much you plan, you never know what curve ball life is going to throw. So be open to possibilities and work hard. As long as you are working towards being happy and healthy, you are where you should be. It’s also important to use your resources-call your mentor or friends. I guarantee they have had similar experiences and can either talk you through some of those challenges or point you in the right direction to someone who can!

Life is hard and you may not be where you thought you’d be, but always remember to have faith and let the universe do it’s job!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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  1. Olivia, I love your honesty. In a world where people only show their best, or most professional, side it can be very discouraging. I enjoy reading your post every week. They remind me that I am human, and also allow me to realize that I am not alone.

    Love you girl.

  2. Christine, I will always be honest because life is really hard and it's unfair for us to paint an unrealistic picture for those looking up to us! you're awesome and i love you!


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