Forget mid life crisis and men with motorbikes and women with a butterfly tattoo - a quarter life meltdown is where it's at (doesn't my blog name look appropriate now?)
A quarter life crisis is when somewhere in your twenties (ideally 25, mid twenties would be great) you have a bit of a flap over where your life is at, where it's going and wtf are you going to do about getting out of your student overdraft let alone a mortgage. Not only is this crisis a real proper thing, I don't know about you but I seem to be having them every 6 months to a year let alone one in the decade I am twenty something.
You come out of university approximately aged 21 ish and you find yourself with no job prospects, back in your mum and dad's spare room with 30K in fees to pay back. Crisis.
You realise approximately aged 24 that the degree you did in no way prepared you for life and actually you'd never like to work in that field again and you'd like to start afresh please. Crisis.
You start thinking approximately aged 27 that maybe you shouldn't have spent all that money on clothes and blog props and homeware and maybe you should have set up a savings account and thought about what to do when your MOT is up. Crisis.
You panic approximately aged 29 that you are nearly out of your twenties and you haven't got married and bought that dream house and that dog and had those children you'd planned by now and holy fuck you're thirty soon and where did your teens go. Crisis.
*I should probably point out I am 24 this year so I am only imaging the future life crisis I will have. It's on the cards, I embrace future panicking me.
Everyone says your twenties is when you can be most selfish and when to have the most fun, we've all pinned the Pinterest quotes, we've all used it as a motto when buying another pair of shoes. What they didn't tell us was that our twenties is also the period of our lives where we can't be that selfish because we haven't got any bloody money because we couldn't get graduate jobs that required anything less than a First Class degree, 5 years experience and our right arm yet we still have phone bills and cars and rent to pay for. Nobody mentioned that.
I think a quarter life crisis (even if it's a fresh one every year) is alive and well because it's the few years when we have so much change. Most of us do go to uni and have to move back in with the parents, thus loosing the independence we just spent the last 3/4 years building. Most of us do struggle to get a job that pays enough to take us out of our overdraft and gives us enough money left over each month for cheese (it's expensive for real). Most of us are likely to chop and change and muddle our way through and decide it's not what we want and break up and make up and go through new relationships and come out of this decade like holyyy molyyyy what a ride. Maybs not one I want to repeat.
Our lives as a twenty something in this day and age is changing from the way our parents experienced it and I don't know if any other generation realises this. Ask your grandparents or parents how they expect you to move out and outline to them exactly what money you make per month and exactly what outgoings you have. Me and my friends were talking about this the other day and honestly our folks have no idea. These days can you really see people staying in one job for the whole of their working lives? Maybe moving up the ranks or changing roles slightly sure but staying with one company till they're well in their 60s? No way - but that's what my parents and most of their friends did. We live in different times, we experience it daily but I don't think anyone else is moving with us.
I feel like everyone I know (and I am sure this is not a common vibe) is either floundering, flitting between minimum wage jobs and trying to travel or are married with babies and a house. Even my baby brother has a 13 month old, a flat and a fiancé. THERE IS NO INBETWEEN. Or so it seems. We're back in our childhood bedrooms, we have a job that doesn't pay enough to save to move out and we daren't even think about when the time comes to pay our loans back and I dunno, that can feel like a bit of a backward step. It did for me anyway. I wanted to come out of uni, return home for a summer and then be off in the world again and when life just don't go that way it can all get a bit overwhelming.
Social media only heightens the comparisons and feelings of failure and as much as I love the internet and Twitter and Insta, I am mindful to remember I only upload the brightest, whitest, most hilariously captioned parts of my life....and most other people do too.
At the end of the day a quarter life crisis is alive and well because we are all experiencing it through most of the decade. Go have a chat with pizza and friends like I did the other week and you'll end up doubled over in pain from laughing too much about all the shit you go through with people who go through exactly the same thing. We need to put a lighter spin on our lives because it's not the end of the world to be back living with mum and dad, they have a fridge you can raid after all. It's not the end of the world to be undecided about your future career, whatever you're doing now is good experience and a life lesson learned.
My suspicion is we'll look back on our twenties with the same rose tinted glasses we look back on our university days with when they're gone. We remember the late nights and the takeaways and the friends we made at uni and we conveniently forget the sleepless nights from twatting flatmates in halls and all the crying fits over our dissertations and the homesickness. I suspect we'll remember all the adventures and the holidays and the blissfulness of having our ironing done every now and then and conveniently forget the lack of dollah and the stress of job applications and the OMG I THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE 2 KIDS BY NOW when we wave our twenty somethings behind. We can only hope our thirties will bring us a whole new level of calm and stability and if not then at least I can change my blog name to thirty something meltdown when the time comes.
We are all in the same boat my friends and I shall sail the seven seas of the twenty somethings with you all willingly.