As you go through your college career, chances are you are going to experience a fair amount of uncertainty. Is your professor going to buy the bull you wrote in that essay yesterday? Will your debit card be accepted when you buy Taco Bell tonight for supper? Should you buy alcohol or actual food at the grocery store? These questions never end, and they will only get harder to answer if you’re having a quarter life crisis.
1. You find yourself binge-watching TV shows from your childhood.
You tell yourself you’re only watching “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” or “Lizzie McGuire” because you have to see the holiday episodes. That’s okay, right? That’s normal, right?
Yes, it’s okay to do this, but you’re not just doing it to watch special episodes. You’re doing it because you’re getting older, and, chances are, you feel a lot better about yourself when you’re watching these shows and pretending you’re still 10 years old.
2. You freak out when you realize you graduated from high school almost four years ago.
It gets worse when you realize you started high school eight years ago.
3. You don’t understand “kids these days.”
You don’t understand why people say things are “lit” or “on fleek.” You don’t get why dabbing is a thing, and you’re not even sure what that whole juju thing is. It’s incredibly disconcerting that you don’t get these things because not only do younger people understand them but people your own age also get them.
4. You realize that your parents got married when they were about your age.
And you don’t have a boyfriend– not that you really want one, but realizing that people actually get married at your age is terrifying.
5. Your little brother or sister is preparing for college, and that is just not right.
You used to watch “Barney” and share goldfish with the kid when you came home from a hard day in second grade, and now the kid can drive himself or herself to school everyday. God, where did the time go?
6. You’re finally a semester away from graduation, and you’re second-guessing your major.
You love English, Business, History, Political Science, Biology, or whatever your major is, but now that graduation is in sight, you wonder if you made the right decision. Which is ridiculous because you know you did. But you can fret, so you will.
7. You catch yourself saying things like “when I grow up, I’m going to…”
And then you remember that you are a grown up.
8. You have a mini-panic attack thinking about the fact that you’re really not that far away from 30.
It may still be quite a few years away, but the thought of being 30 is nonetheless alarming.
9. You feel that you have accomplished nothing so far in your life.
Never mind the fact that you’re working towards a college degree, you’ve been on successful sports teams, or are a part of an active group on-campus. None of these things matter when you’re having a meltdown about how meaningless your life really is.
10. At the same time, you wake up every morning mentally, physically, and emotionally drained because of all the things you’re trying to do.
And then you ask yourself if getting perfect grades or being a part of your club is really worth it. Once you think about it, you’ll probably find that it is, but maybe you need to dial it down and also stop being so critical of yourself. That could be the only reason you feel so exhausted.
11. You get emotional whenever you drive by an ice cream shop.
You remember when your parents used to take you to get mint chocolate chip ice cream and sit outside and look at the stars, while you were silently thanking God that you got to stay up past your bedtime.
12. You dread holidays.
Not because everyone will ask you if you’re seeing someone or if you know what you’re going to do with your degree yet. No, you dread holidays because they used to be so fun, and now they just make you sad. For one thing, they’re here and gone so quickly. For another, they remind you of when you were younger and every holiday, especially Christmas, was magical.
13. You question your relationships.
You question your friendships and your romantic relationships because when you feel so disenchanted with your own life, you might first wonder why people would want to be friends with you. Second, just because you can, you’ll wonder if these relationships actually mean anything.
14. All of those little high school juniors and seniors who come to visit your school look like babies to you.
Seriously, though, they all look so little and young, like they should be entering seventh grade, not college.
15. You find yourself scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and comparing yourself to everyone you follow.
And you either end up feeling pretty low because their lives seem so much better than yours (They’re not.). Or, you end up feeling high and mighty because you’re a little more to put together than them (You’re not.)
A quarter life crisis is by no means fun, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. If you’re feeling down or can relate to any of the signs here, talk to your friends. They’re probably experiencing the same things as you.
Here’s to getting through your quarter life crisis and getting closer to your mid-life crisis.