Your transition period from 20s to 30s is an inductive procedure of late realizations, unfulfilled expectations, remorseful regrets, haunting aloneness, persistent confusion and existential dilemma. This is what is known as “quarter-life crisis”. So far, your parents have been spoon feeding you, not literally, paying your dorm room fee, sending monthly allowances and solving the questionnaire of life. But, now you are stepping onto the threshold of adulthood and the very thought of it can be immensely intimidating because obviously you aren’t prepared to take full control and responsibility of yourself and your actions. Due to this quarter-life crisis, you might undergo a massive mental breakdown because life can seem to be on autopilot mode at times. You would write down a complete escapist theory and find ways to run away and relive your old life but you can’t unless you have magical powers to find a time-turner (Harry Potter reference, in case you didn’t realize) or you are a time traveler’s wife, that is practically one thing which is genuinely impossible.
A statement which leads to realizing that you are going through a quarter-life crisis are –
“…so much of energy in college, and immediately afterwards, goes into finding that first job. Then you finally get a job, and you get settled in, and you get past that initial hump of excitement. Then you start to ask yourself some big questions.”
Okay, so now you have realized that you are going through a very common yet difficult-to-beat phase of your life, we provide you with real and practical solutions to embrace it, face it and survive like you are the protagonist of Darwin’s theory (Survival of the fittest, we mean). Read the list and be assured to find one particular point which will act as the ‘sorting hat’ in your doomed life.
1. Make Plans
“The world is not a wish-granting factory,” John Green. Life, at certain points, can be a little overwhelming. We tend to falter, fall down, stay uncertain and all these can lead to excessive stress and unhealthy worry. We don’t deny the possibilities of the fulfillment of your dreams and ambitions. But, if you feel that you are stuck on a Ferris wheel, that too on top, don’t look down and get more scared. Look around and realize that you aren’t the most unfortunate person at the fair. So, in a nutshell, we suggest you sit down, maybe with a friend or someone from family, and find answers to questions like,
“Do I know my singular aim in life?”
“What is it? How do I achieve it?”
This will make you jot down little plans that take you a step forward in conquering your quarter-life crisis and you would have an almost clear view of what you need to get what you want.
2. Be Kind, Unwind
We take it that you too, like most of us, have been brought up in a family with plain stereotypical mentality. We know it because blame-games like these, “you are destroying your own life by procrastinating”, “you are always on phone, laptop and hence you haven’t managed to reach a position everyone would envy”, can make you hate yourself and feel like punishing yourself time and again. That might be one of the reasons why you feel that you are going through a quarter-life crisis. Now, have you watched Almost Famous? It teaches us to take risks and learn through them. And for that, you need to love yourself, find your soul first and be kind to your emotions. Take some time off, unwind your chaotic mind by meditation or a short trip and realize that everybody is stuck in middle, away from the first step and towards the last step.
3. Take An Internet Break
There are times when you need to see beyond your mobile screen and wonder more about the purpose of your life than the grey double ticks not turning blue since the time you sent the text (fifteen minutes, that is). Social media or any form of usage of the internet is an addiction like it is your personal brand of heroin. What you need to do is pick up an empty cigarette packet and realize that emptiness doesn’t kill you and what doesn’t kill you, makes you only stronger. It is a metaphor for acceptance of quarter-life crisis. You are feeling lost in the ebb and flow of adulthood and that is quite mutual if you ask one of the other 75% people of your age. Read books, meet your old friends, go to your hometown, start a new hobby or just crash on your couch for eighteen hours straight (it is humanly possible, we have evidence). Do anything but surf the internet and get lost in the endless.
4. Work On Your EQ
Ever had the feeling of being robot-like numb to the agony of another? Ever felt inexplicably blank in times of your sister’s thesis completion celebration? If yes, then you need to analyze your EQ, Emotional Quotient. You were hurt in your past and you grieved over it until you became absolutely dead and desensitized by it. No pain can break you again. You think about, “why can’t I understand the anguish and misery of my own friends?” and there begins a never-ending loop. In order to heal your quarter-life crisis, you have to work on your emotions. By that, we mean learn to express yourself, reduce the negative thought and be a better speaker or a listener. Your heart might wither if it doesn’t unite with another. So, stay proactive, share more and get ready to bounce back.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself
The more you compare yourself to others, the more you feel bad about yourself. It is very, very easy to imbibe that, often subconsciously. It doesn’t matter if you are going through a mid-life crisis or quarter-life crisis because being satisfied with yourself is important in every aspect. If you haven’t, then go right to Amazon and order a copy of, ‘I Dare You Not to Compare Yourself to Others’ by Dija R Henry. Accept yourself, even with several scars of guilt and repercussions of being a back-stabber or any hush-hush mistake. You are unique because you are not a regular blend-in. You have your own complexity that you haven’t uncovered yet. Self-doubt will never end up at being at peace with your mind. You will always be somehow a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend; don’t watch the movie unless you want to terminally traumatized). Someone will be smarter, more adventurous, prettier, and more intellectual. The list goes on and you will only be entrapped.
6. Explore Your Freedom
It might be so that you are into animation but as your fate is considered, you are doing a BTech and that can devastate you because your passion lies somewhere else. Our quick tips to win the battle with quarter-life crisis are:
- Take small steps towards your dreams while being seated into your steadfast reality. Remember, one bite at a time!
- Educate yourself about your phobias. List them down and go to a counselor for advice in case you have quarter-life depression, anxiety.
- Experiment with your life. Let the chips fall wherever they want since after a few years, it will be heaven or hell. Join a salsa class, learn cooking from YouTube, go for small adventurous trips and keep adding on to your bucket list.
Quarter-life crisis can be extremely intimidating and break you down totally. We can’t say that these so-called solutions will make things easier but we can say that you will eventually get to know yourself better and self-actualization begins there.