27 Going on 50: Signs You’re Going Through A Quarter-Life Crisis

August 9, 2012  |  
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A mid-life crisis isn’t the only kind of crisis people go through when they’re overwhelmed by the realities of their ever-changing (or stagnant) life. Nobody really talks about it, but in your early twenties to mid-30s, ish gets a bit too real. You’re an adult now (a real live one! *in Pinocchio voice*), and with the title comes a whole bunch of responsibility you saw coming, but weren’t as prepared as you thought to tackle. It’s all good, many of us are going through it, or have been through it, and we probably didn’t even realize it. (Unless you’re one of those people who fell into a deep depression the day before your 30th birthday, then yeah, you know.) Here are a few signs that you’re going through or went through a quarter-life crisis at one time or another.

You start second-guessing your choice of work…

Sure, working at the bookstore has been cool, but you don’t have any insurance, you don’t make enough to get out of your mother’s crib, and there isn’t much room for advancement. On the other side of the fence, you can be that young businesswoman on the rise, making a mean salary (in comparison to your meager earnings that could only afford you noodles in college), and are slowly but surely paying down those student loan debts. However, you low-key hate getting up in the morning to go to work. For some reason your job isn’t fulfilling, and maybe it’s just your place of work or the the occupation altogether. Is this where you see yourself in 10 years? Getting a job is a huge step in moving out of helpless collegiate territory and into adulthood, but when the job you have doesn’t seem to be the job you really want, or you just feel unsure about your choices when it comes to that job…you could be going through a quarter-life crisis.

You start reminiscing about your old size…

Gone are the days of size 8 jeans and baby tees, boo. As you get further up in age, you’ll notice that the body you coveted through team sports and mad exercise (due to an amazing amount of free time from a lack of responsibility) in high school and college is replaced with a wider waist and hips, bigger thighs, a baby (or huge) gut and more cottage cheese on your legs than you previously remembered. A lot of people get over it. But if you spend every other month plotting a new diet plan to get back down to that size, or mourn that weight while eating McDonald’s, you might be going through a quarter-life crisis.


You start looking at the dating game differently.

Is it just you, or did everybody you used to go to school with start getting married??? It isn’t just you, dear. For some people, their 20s are all about dating exploration: that is, seeing how many folks they can mix and mingle with (or bed) until they find someone they’re interested in. But for others, dating slowly becomes less about having someone to be booed up with at things your friends won’t go to, but for looking for Mr. Right. Blame it on all the propaganda about the necessity of having a man, but folks want to spend less time entertaining jokers, and start asking themselves after dates, “Could I see myself with this person long-term? F*** having fun, the clock is ticking!”Other questions include: How old is too old for me? What kind of qualities am I looking for in a man? And on and on and on.

Your relationships with your friends start to change, and not always for the better.

While you might have pictured a scene from “Sex and the City” when it came to your friends at this age, sometimes the reality is this: folks don’t have time for that mess. Maybe one of your friends went and had a baby, maybe another went and got married, and maybe the other is dominating corporate America as we speak and is leaving ya’ll in the dust. When you start to fear that you’re running low on homies to kick it with and realize they might have changed in the path to adulthood (which makes you question your own path), you guessed it, you could be going through a quarter-life crisis.

The idea of kicking it in a packed club or lounge makes you sleepy…

This is probably more catered to those in the late 20, early 30s bracket, but nightlife fatigue is real. While your friends might want to make every Friday and Saturday a scene from Save The Last Dance and the very ratchet Step Up franchise, you’re trying to be in the crib watching those horrible movies for free on Netflix. The concept of being out late after a long week makes you do that loud huff and puff as you stand in front of your closet of clothes, and after an hour in the club, you’re giving your friends the eye to see who has the guts to admit they’re already ready to go. Maybe once, maybe even twice a month is cool, but not every weekend is one you want to make an event anymore.

Your spending habits actually start to worry you.

There comes a time when you start to think that your money needs to stop going to H&M and needs to be invested in an IRA instead. It’s easy for money to get funny in this economy, and you know you’re getting older when that trip to the local mall and the bags it brought with it made you feel less excited about your purchases, and more worried about how you spend your money. It means you’re becoming more responsible (a good thing), or at least you want to be, so shopper’s guilt, the amount you spend on groceries, and the clearance rack all become the norm for you. You’ve got plans to get a bigger place (or an actual home), to start your own business, or invest your dollars, and to do so, you realize that you need money, honey.

You start making a slew of MAD random decisions to try and make yourself “Happy.”

Sometimes you have to just stop and ask yourself, “Baby, girl, are you really happy?” And while some people have an epiphany and start making slow but steady changes to get to happy, others are erratic as hell. Though they haven’t figured out what they’re good at and want to follow when it comes to their career path, if they want to go back to school or what, they move to another state, or country with no job (which is okay for the hustler), and no plan (that’s not okay for anybody). They quit their job and follow a boyfriend across the world (sorry, I love Lost in Translation), and just do irrational things to find the path they want to be on. That’s not necessarily a horrible thing, but it definitely is a big sign of a quarter-life crisis…

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