During your years in university, there’s only one thought that keeps you going on with all the deadlines, assignments, and group projects; you in your cap and gown heading to receive the certificate and kiss education goodbye, for good. I know it because I’ve been there. Three months ago I was a student, but today, I’m a grown up working woman and I have no clue when the hell did that happen. 8 am lectures, midterm exams, and group project fights seem like forever ago. The people I used to see on daily basis are no longer around.
I feel lost. Not sure where I’m heading. I don’t quite know what to do with the rest of my time. The one good part is that I’m not alone in this, and I know that this phase is going to pass soon. This, my dear, is a very known phenomena called the quarter-life crisis. Simply stated, it’s a phase where 20-something feel pressured due to the transition between being students and entering their adulthood.
Now that you know the main reason behind your constant fear, depression and anxiety, here’s how you can get over it.
- Your experience should be totally different.
The moment you graduate, you’re the boss of your own life. There’s no guideline on how to live from now on. Want to travel the world? Take a gap year? Start working one day after your last final exam? Work in something other than your field of study? The options you have from this moment are endless. Don’t let anyone force you into a specific path, there’s no right or wrong now; it’s not an exam. What worked out with one person -or even a hundred- might not work out with you. Create your own experience and appreciate every mistake and every lesson you learn about the real life!
- Lower your expectations.
This is something we all tend to do. We graduate with very high hopes; we won’t be like the rest. We all believe that we’ll find a job that we LOVE, a super cool boss, and get paid really well. Time for some financial independence y’all. But, welcome to real life. The above mentioned scenario will either happen if you’re super lucky or, no, that’s the only way that could happen. Most probably you’ll end up in a job where you feel lost, your boss might not turn out to be the greatest man in history, and you will still need your parents’ money because salary is shit! But that shouldn’t last long. If you’re somewhere you don’t like, quit while you still can. Look for a place that respects you and your abilities; at least that’s what I’ll do.
- Don’t let your job-hunting pressure you.
Looking for a job is not an easy task, and it’s definitely pressuring. So, how about we make it easier? First things first, decide on what you want to do. Don’t search haphazardly or you’ll end up waking every morning cursing the day you graduated. When you’ve put your hand on what you wanna do prepare your CV, find all the available vacancies around you and apply. Seems hard, but thanks to the internet, you can do that while lying on your couch listening to your favorite music!
- Never cut ties with your uni friends.
Yes, life will drive you in different paths. You might not see them as often, some might even move to different cities or different countries; but that is not a reason for you to cut them off your life completely. Personally, I believe that that’s one of the greatest reasons behind facing a quarter-life crisis. Those people have faced everything with you for at least four years, and now that you no longer have them around, you’re facing everything on your own and it’s alarming. However, when they’re around and you’re all going through the same phase, well, that would definitely make life easier for you and them. Stick to those friends you’ve made, they’re precious, and you’ll have many memories to laugh about in the upcoming years; don’t deprive yourself from that.
- Don’t freak out, and get yourself some endorphins.
This is all new to you, mistakes will definitely happen, and IT IS FINE. You’re not used to the whole routine and the surrounding environment, and IT IS ALSO FINE. Now, the more you stress, the worse you feel about your whole upcoming life. Go get yourself some coffee every morning and try to enjoy this new experience as much as you can, and if you can’t, then look for something that you genuinely enjoy doing. When work is over, meet up with friends, go for a run or hit the gym. Don’t turn into a workaholic, you need to enjoy life!
Now remember what the great Monica Geller once said: “Welcome to the real world. It sucks, you’re gonna love it!”