I turned 25 recently and babe it was truly something. Reaching the halfway point of your 20s is a reminder of your own mortality. This milestone marks the halfway point of the decade in which you determine most of who you are. So it’s ok to freak out.
In fact, in the lead up to 25 I was truly having a massive quarter-life crisis. Like many other millennials grappling with late capitalism, a difficult job market and persistent financial insecurity I was ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN!
Luckily, my impending birthday was good encouragement to enter the second half of my 20s in a better place. I hustled a new job, worked on turning my passions into something bigger and went from the housemate from hell to a roommate you’d recommend. All that and I got my mental health under control! So, here are my 10 top tips for surviving the dreaded quarter-life crisis.
1. You Are Not Alone
Honestly, the best way to feel ok about being extremely TBD is to hang out with people in the exact same boat. All my friends have just finished University, drink too much and find adulthood anxiety-inducing. Moaning about it over drinks or dinner is a surefire way to feel a little less lonely and a lot more normal.
2. If You Don’t Like it, Change it!
A big cause of my freak out was this truly dark call centre job I was trapped in. It consumed all my energy and made me feel like a true failure. So I quit and found something better. Honestly, if your not happy start making the decisions that will get you there. Break up with that bad boyfriend, quit your shitty job and cut out toxic friends.
3. Have fun, you’re still young
Although I thought my obsession with partying would die down by this age, it seems the opposite is true. But I’m not mad – getting crazy actually is a great release for the anxiety and stress of real life. Go on: dance till sunrise, try new drugs and go to the house party. Just don’t go too deep or you’ll start to feel like Lindsay Lohan right before she went to jail babes!
4. Be ok with the struggle
Look, real life isn’t all roses. Bills pile up, the job market is competitive and relationships get complicated. Be ok with not being ok. Just put in the work and you’ll find it easier, bit by bit.
5. Go to Therapy, stat!
No one likes an emotionally broken psycho and will increasingly have less time for it. Start working on those deep-seated issues holding you back. Find a good psychologist and work on your shit.
6. Get healthier
Frozen pizzas every night of the week is not a balanced diet. Get into exercise, eat well and practice mindfulness. Trust.
7. Change your surroundings
The best decision I made to make the most of my quickly evaporating 20s was moving cities from Sydney to Melbourne. I forced myself out of my comfort zone, made amazing new friends and had to grapple with the big post-Uni questions life was throwing at me. I’ve also got it on good authority that travelling the world is another good option. Just get out there!
8. Figure out what makes you happy and make it a career
Even though the media is a tricky industry to land a job, it’s something I feel passionate about. So I’m working hard at making it a reality. I’m volunteering, doing new internships and writing nearly every day. Figure out what you want to do and chase it hard – it’s easier now than 10 years down the track.
9. Do something valuable
To feel fulfilled, I need to be involved in contributing to meaningful change. For me, this means being involved in activism and protesting. Find something that makes you feel like your making the world a better place.
10. Remember life is beautiful
It’s not easy but it’s worth living. Make sure to enjoy your journey and know you deserve happiness. You’re gonna get through it. At least until your mid-life crisis!