I turned 30 last year. It was not a reality-hitting-hard kind of a moment, but it made me think about certain choices I made so far and how that is going to shape up my future. It made (and still makes) me anxious about direction and quality of my future life. Recently, I realized there is a term for this — Quarter Life Crisis. So here are some pointers of “wisdom” from someone who is trying to handle quarter life crisis -
1/ NOW is the time to experiment
By the age of 28–30, you are mostly independent, have fair amount of stability in life, know at least something about your interests. So NOW is the time to experiment with your job, routine, interests and even other small things in life. Want to take that expensive trekking trip, try now. Want to try sabbatical, try now. Want to find a job abroad, try now !
2/ Most of the decisions you took are reversible for the next 5–7 years
You may not always be on-board with all the decisions you took, but good news is most of those are still reversible. Dated a wrong person, you can still find someone else. Took up a loan without thinking, you can still plan to repay it. Took up a job you didn’t like, still can find a new job.
3/ Your body is no longer 22 years old
Yes, your body will not be able to withstand a night-out and busy next day or a hectic 1 month trip. Your might fall ill more often. You might not be able to eat and drink as you used to before. It’s okay. It is an indication that you should start taking care of your body.
4/ You’ll face bigger trade-offs with profound implications
Quarter-life onwards, you will be heavily invested into your work and family. You might have to choose between demanding work and taking care of family or prioritizing your ‘earning years’ over your parent’s well-being. These choices will not be easy. You cannot make everyone happy, definitely not at the cost of your own happiness.
5/ You’ll think about Essence more than Outcomes
Unlike first 20–25 years of life, effort-to-reward cycle is not as simple after quarter-life. You’ll end up doing things just for the essence of doing those, without expecting any returns. You’ll start valuing efforts more than outcomes.
6/ Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride
By now, you would probably have realized that not many things are in your control. So it is better to do you part and enjoy the rest of the journey.
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