Quarter-Life Crisis?


Financial Ramifications of the Quarter-Life Crisis

Zoologist, geologist, nun, writer, lawyer, White House press secretary, news anchor. At some point in my life, each one of those titles answered the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m still struggling to find the answer. Like scores of my fellow millennials, I was raised thinking I could truly be whatever I wanted to when I grew up. Well, maybe not an Olympic athlete or a surgeon (I hate blood) — but almost anything. Suddenly, after years of putting such high expectations on your life, you find yourself no longer a recent college grad, just working an average job, living an average life and you realize being whatever you wanted to might not be possible.

The Job Quitter

Enter the quarter-life crisis. While I am currently struggling with my own paralyzing fear of the future — note my recent post about whether or not to get an MBA — I’m going to focus on the larger issue here: MONEY. Over the last few years, I’ve observed this paranoia of mediocrity take hold of my peers. Documentaries are made, novels are written and blog posts go viral about the decision to “follow your dream” and “live a fulfilling life.” A book-turned-movie like ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ inspires a generation to just up a quit a steady job to travel the world teaching yoga classes and communing with humanity.

Give me a break. A majority of millennials are tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt. Going off to find yourself won’t pay the bills. I’m not advocating a life of suits and climbing the corporate ladder (although that does appeal to some), but I am saying your struggles with self-actualization shouldn’t completely come at the cost of your bank account. As I get closer to 25, I’ve started to notice the various types of quarter-life crisis.

“I hate my job.” “What’s the point of sitting at a desk all day and not making a difference?” “I’m not even using my degree.” “This isn’t what I wanted to do.” The job quitter starts with small rumblings. She begins to feel panicked at the thought of getting stuck in a job she hates just to pay the bills. She often dislikes the routine, reads articles about people making a difference before 30, surfs travel sites at work and day dreams about the day she’ll put in her two weeks notice.

The wanderlust!

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