The City & the Northern Girl #10

FORGET ‘MID-LIFE CRISIS’, I’M HAVING A QUARTER-LIFE ONE

 

Image: star5112. http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjoh/
Image: star5112. www.flickr.com/photos/johnjoh/

The fact that I’m turning 20 at the end of January isn’t exactly a milestone – it’s not on the same level as say turning 13, 18 or 21 is. Yet since my sudden realisation of the fact I have a mere three months left of my carefree teenage years, I have found myself in a state of mild depression. Laugh all you want but it’s true. And it turns out after confiding in some friends and trusty Google, that it is actually psychologically recognised as the start of a ‘the quarter-life crisis’, otherwise known as a QLC.

My realisation came in the form of music. I was sat with my flatmate going through music videos on YouTube when ‘We Found Love’ came on. Cue me having a bit of a dance around the living room before breathlessly saying “This reminds me so much of town, not been there in forever” – ‘town’ referring to many a Saturday night spent in Warrington town centre back home. The fact I had not stepped foot into a nightclub since April suddenly dawned on me. HOW was that possible? All summer at home and not a single night out, bar the odd drink or two at the local Spoons. It seemed following the common mantra ‘Work hard, play harder’ had proved impossible. ‘Work hard, sleep longer’ had taken forefront. I instantly felt like a 60 year old.

Since my Google-aided self-diagnosis, I have found myself showing certain symptoms of a QLC. Nostalgia has taken precedence as I find myself day dreaming about ‘the good ole days’ of high school and flicking through hundreds of pictures on Facebook. People always say being at high school are the best years of your life, yet you never quite believe it until you grow up and find yourself stuck in a 9 till 5 job or battling with a degree. I find myself wanting to do something utterly reckless and crazy in order to make the most of my last three months with ‘typical teenager’ as an excuse. My new urge to seize every opportunity however is proving to be more of problematic than liberating, as my bank account cries every time I agree to go on another night out (Hail Mary this week anyone?).

You also, according to Google, start to to view dating differently. Guilty as charged. I might not be ready to stop all hook-ups just yet but I’d be lying if the question ‘boyfriend material?’ didn’t flick through my mind whenever someone potential is spotted. And apparently, if you’re already in relationship, you start questioning if it is actually going somewhere long term i.e. whether or not you want the same things.

Seems ridiculous but the thought of being a twenty-something is something I quite often find myself brooding over. This is going to be the decade in which things happen. This is the decade that will shape the majority of your life. You’re going to graduate, you’ll have to find a job, you’ll probably find the person you want to marry, you might even end up with a few kids in tow between now and when you’re 30. It’s a HUGE decade and that is damn scary.

What’s exactly happened in my last 10 years? I left primary school, I started high school; I left high school, I started college; I left college, I started university. Big things sure, but I’m still wrapped up in the cotton wool that is education. A safety net if there ever is one. Yet in approximately 12 months from now, I’m going to have to make some decisions and stop treading water. Masters? PGCE? Graduate scheme? Get a job? Yet I’m plagued with indecisiveness (another common symptom of QLC). I have the freedom to do pretty much anything with my life, yet a fourth year wrapped up in the comfort of my education cotton wool seems more appealing than the thought of entering reality and waving goodbye to my 8 hour week.

I take comfort in the fact I’m not alone; many of my fellow students are probably experiencing the same feelings of panic, fear and being skint due to one to many at the SU. So let’s lose the expectations, remember life isn’t a race and just because that girl in your seminar has 21458 internships under her belt, does not mean you are never going to be able to find someone to employ poor internship-less you. Hopefully. University may be prolonging my need to make scary life-changing decisions but I’ll still be turning ‘twenteen’ this January

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