The Phenomenon Known as the Quarter Life Crisis

Most people are said to have a mid-life crisis. I really didn’t want a mid-life crisis interrupting me at a point in my life where it could have a huge impact on my life, and possibly other lives depending on me. So, I had a quarter-life crisis. It wasn’t much of a crisis, I’d say- yet, anyway.

I just graduated from UofMich with a B.S. degree in architecture. On a resume to anywhere other than an architecture firm, that pretty much looks like the same thing as shit smeared on a piece of paper. Sure, it’s great- combined with any other degree: masters in arch, MBA, masters in anything. note: do not have any of the above. I was pushed to get a job ASAP after graduation – while still in my full leg cast recovering from a major knee reconstruction. I took the first thing that fell in my lap, and I hated it. No, really, I fucking hated it. I was physically and mentally drained everyday from pretending that it was the best thing to do at the time- for the money, benefits, career. Nothing was really saving me from the depression I was sinking into- until they made the decision for me and let me go.

Switching from severe part-time to extremely full time at Zing’s, I’m no longer just floating by, barely surviving the day. It’s amazing how ass-backwards some things are in life. It’s not exactly “socially acceptable” to spend thousands of dollars on a good college education to work an hourly job in food & customer service. I’m sure my parents are contemplating how best to word what their daughter does to anyone who asks. The first step was to figure out what the hell really makes me happy. What would I want to get out of bed for? What could service my need for spontaneity, changing atmospheres?

I finally figured out that sitting in an office staring at a computer screen doing monkey work for long hours, getting paid shit, in a field that is as hard to “make it” as an actor in Hollywood, was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Yeah, if I worked hard enough, I could probably have made a decent living out of it. But that was thing, i wasn’t going to be better than decent and I was going to work more than my ass off to get to a mediocre level. SCREW THAT. There was no room in that life goal to actually enjoy life. The feeling of accomplishment and acheivement wasn’t going to compensate for the time and energy I would have to expend just to get to a moderate level in comparison to classmates, friends, and competition. It is much more appealing to get paid (well or just decently) to eat great foods – a connoisseur of sorts, travel the world, constantly learning and mastering different things, meeting and conversing with new people everyday, and – wearing whatever I want to work, making my own hours, and not being stuck in a cube.

I decided to take a job I loved, and add a challenge of my style. Combining some of my biggest passions, I’m going to create my own job; thus, the phenomenon of the quarter-life crisis.

The phenomenon is quite simply to re-evaluate your life in a more malleable part of your life so as to avoid a mid-life crisis. Not enough people really take the time to stop and look around after they graduate college. I see too often people diving right into their “career” for the sole reason of being too afraid to take other options into account before continuing. It’s a simple thing to do, but many think it is not practical or would deem previous schooling and work as a waste of time and would regret a change so drastic. Maybe it is not for every person, but for me, it was a necessity.

I have had ideas of businesses I wanted to start since I’ve been able to realize the concepts of varying qualities of products and reading into the Fair Trade Movement and Slow Food Movement. (i.e. my entire senior studio project). Combined with my overwhelming passion to travel, learn new cultures/languages, arts, and philosophies on living life and balancing lifestyles, I decided I needed to start a business and make my own job.

This whole phase could completely be a self-justification for a career change, but would that really be deceitful if it was? At this point, I can’t wait for opening day, and the idea is just that- just an idea. There is one perk to being raised a spoiled brat: I always get what I want. If I want it, I will find a way to achieve it.

Planning out your life is a terrible idea; goals though, are necessary.


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