Quarter Life Existential Crisis

I have spent so much time doing one particular thing and now I don’t have to do that thing anymore and I have started to wonder what to do with myself and how I’ve been defining myself by this thing. (How much of my grammar has to be sacrificed–hello, run on sentence–for the sake of making a point?!?) Also, am I really lost or just being whiny about something inconsequential? How much of myself did I lose in the process ? What can I do to fill the void?

These are the types of things I’ve been thinking since I graduated from my Master’s program last month. It’s not really a big deal right? School is just an agreement: spend money, get an education that matters (achievement unlocked).

#Graduation #Selfie

A post shared by Heather Allen (@hahanella) on

I have been in school for so long that it became part of my identity. High school to undergrad to graduate program. There was no stopping. Many people take breaks and give themselves time to adjust to the “real world,” especially the time between undergrad and a master’s program, if one were to even choose to go that far with their education. In the UK they have a system where a “gap year” is encouraged between high school and university. So when I chose to keep going with school, it was because I didn’t know what else to do with my time (and I thought that the undergraduate degree I had wasn’t enough for the “real world,” Ironic because now I’m still figuring out what to do in the real world).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the path I’ve chosen, in fact, I think it is one of the better decisions I’ve made with my life. In reality, now that it’s over, I am staring into a void of the rest of my life and cringing. I’m young enough to make mistakes, but I’m old enough to know better and that leaves me in a place where I need to make smart decisions about how to spend my time. I have never imagined myself past this point of my life or past this age. I should be thinking ahead. I have a vague sense of the direction of my career (thanks, Master’s degree!). It is overwhelming to be looking at my life from the spectrum of “life is full of possibilities.”

I have a job. That’s not the issue. The issue is what do I do with my free time? I’ve spent my free time studying or preparing projects for a class, how does that translate to real life?

  • Option one: become a couch potato. This seems really depressing because I know that if I don’t have certain motivations I WILL end up this way. I joined a gym. I watched the entire 5th season of Community in one day. Maybe it’s a balance.
  • Option two: continue educating myself. I think this is the answer. Like I said, I’ve been learning all my life, I don’t want to stop, it’s what I know best. I have to adjust the goal, however. I’m not aiming for a grade, but rather a skill.
  • Option three: get out more. This option coincides with option two, but is slightly different because it will force me to socialize, meet people, and do things I’ve never considered doing before.

This is a weird time for me. I signed up for a dance lesson. I am planning out my weekends for the rest of the summer. I think I might visit my family in October (unusual because it is the middle of a would-be semester). Yet, I’m still left with the question, what am I going to do?

Thanks for reading! If nothing else, this crisis will make for excellent future blog posts!

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2 thoughts on “Quarter Life Existential Crisis

  1. I like what you said, the ‘I’m not aiming for a grade, rather a skill’ part. I think I’m gonna make that my motto for my remaining semesters. 🙂

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