This article can also be found at Degree180.
I used to assume the alleged “quarter-life crisis” was a myth, but as it turns out it’s a real thing.
I turned 25 in September and I’m not going to lie, it freaked me out a little bit. After all, it’s a fairly hyped-up birthday and not to mention 25 years is a quarter of a century. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Me. Right off the bat the thing that stands out to me the most about myself is that I’m much more confident now than I was when I was younger. As you get older you learn who you are as a person and you stop caring about what makes you seem “cool” or socially acceptable to other people. I’ve stopped pretending that I don’t like certain things because they’re popular (yeah that’s right everyone, I love pumpkin spice lattes and I’m not ashamed), and I’ve largely stopped giving a shit about what other people think of me (but of course, I’m only human and I have my off days just like anyone). To put it more simply, priorities change as you transition into adulthood and frankly life is too short to waste on caring what other people think.
Relationships. Relationships fizzle out as time goes on, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that some friendships are simply not worth holding onto. The bottom line is that you have to surround yourself with people who make you happy and ditch the people who try to keep you down.
Friendships evolve over time as well. I’m at a weird stage in my life where a lot of people are getting married and planning families, and I’ve realized that those things aren’t necessarily for me (at least not anywhere in the near future), thus I can’t necessarily relate to them. While I would like to remain friends with many of these people, I’ve acknowledged at this point that our relationships will likely alter. Again, that’s okay. We’re just at different stages in our lives.
On the dating side of things, I think I now have a better grasp on which personality traits I require of future partners. The more you date the more selective you become. This may seem shallow, but it’s really not. Going along with the confidence thing I mentioned above, the more secure you become with yourself, the higher your standards become for a potential partner. There’s absolutely no reason to ever settle for anyone. You’re worth more than that. Trust me.
Life. I’m going to echo a sentiment that everyone always told me as a kid but that I never really took to heart until now: my happiness is more important to me than making tons of money. Seriously. At 25 I’m already in the midst of a career change because I realized that the potential to make a lot of money in a field I actually hated wasn’t worth compromising my happiness.
Last but certainly not least is this: It’s okay to not have everything figured out yet. When I was 18 or 19 I assumed that by age 25 I’d have a “real” job, I’d be married (or close to it), and I’d have my own puppy. I bet you can guess how many of those things have actually come true (mark my words, I will get a puppy someday!). It’s easier said than done, but you can’t compare yourself to the person next to you who might seem more put-together than you are. Everyone’s on a different path in life.
I’ll end my thoughts with a tried-and-true cliché: I’m a pretty big believer that everything that happened in the past helped to shape who you are in the present and all in all I’m happy with the person I’ve become thus far. So cheers to the quarter-life crisis and to seeing what the next 25 years will bring.