When we’re growing up, 25 seems super old. We picture ourselves married, owning a house, working our dream job. Of course, when we actually blow out the candles on our 25th birthday cake, we don’t exactly feel that old or accomplished. Sure, some of us are married and have awesome careers, but many of us are struggling to figure out what it is that we want to do and would be happy to have one good date, let alone walk down the aisle. But there are many reasons that your quarter-life crisis is actually a good thing.
- You have to feel down to feel better. It’s hard to know what real happiness feels like unless we’ve experienced the opposite. If you’re going through a rough time and it feels like nothing will ever fall into place, know this: it will.
- It’s a rite of passage. Our generation may be much different from the ones before us – we have iPhones, iPads, and Netflix, for one thing. But your 20s are a rough time, no matter what time you’re living in. Finding love, finding a career, finding yourself – these are timeless dreams and struggles. You already know not to settle for someone who’s not right for you. So remember that others have gone through the same stuff before you.
- You can be glad that your 20s don’t last forever. You won’t be 25 (or 26, or 27… and so on) for more than a single year, so accept that this is a rough patch and that things won’t be this tricky for your entire life. After all, everyone in their 30s has managed to survive their 20s, right? You can, too.
- You can weed out negative people. There’s a popular saying that you know who your real friends are when you hit difficult times, and that same thought applies to your quarterlife crisis. If a friend is making you feel bad or being competitive, feel free to end the friendship. Life is hard enough. Why make it harder by spending time with people who are anything less than super supportive?
- Now is the time to change. Not when you’re 40 and married with kids. Of course, you can always change later, but think about how much happier you will be later on if you find what really makes you happy now, while you’re still young. If a job or relationship isn’t working out, let go of it. Something better is waiting on the other side.
- You have to do something you don’t like to find what you do like. After my liberal arts degree, I spent 7 weeks in a TV writing/producing program and then decided to leave the program. It was a tough decision and led to many months of soul-searching and wondering what would come next, but a few years later, I’ve got a Masters of Journalism and am happily working as a freelance writer. The hard times were worth it. I don’t regret those 7 weeks and those lost few months because they brought me here.
- If your friends aren’t having their own crises, they’re lying. Who really has it all together, when trying not to starve is so pricey and your job is exhausting you so much you’d rather stay home on a Friday night? Even that friend who seems to have everything doesn’t. It’s a rule of the universe: everyone struggles, whether or not they choose to share it with others.
- The future is a total mystery. How boring would it be if as soon as we entered this world, we were handed a map with everything that would happen to us? Think about the best moments of your life so far. How many of them were planned? You most likely had the most fun at a party that you meant to leave early but ended up staying until 3 a.m. or met the most amazing guy in your college dorm. So don’t let your quarterlife crisis get you down. Today you’re unhappy, but tomorrow or next month it will be a whole different, better story.
- You will enjoy life so much more when your crisis is over. It’s hard to feel any joy toward the little things – a hot shower after an intense workout, a new episode of your favorite show – when you’re going through something. But once you feel better, you just might find yourself smiling at the sound of rain when you’re falling asleep or a typical how-are-you text from a friend. Life will seem so much more fun because you know it wasn’t always this fun. So enjoy it.