College Graduates: It's Not A Quarter-Life Crisis, It's A New Beginning

If you’re in college, according to very notable comedian Louie C.K., you probably haven’t done anything for anyone in your life.

You have just been living in a fantasy world of free liquor, bar tabs, fraternity formals and apartments you probably couldn’t afford if they weren’t located in college towns.

You’ve probably taken part in your fair share of dating, hookups and maybe a few long-term relationships. Ultimately, though, you’ve spent past the last four years focusing on yourself, your social connections and breaking your record time for a keg stand.

Now, graduation is finally approaching. Some of your friends are taking the MCAT, the GMAT or the LSAT, and then there’s you. You have no idea what to do next. You may have a few job or internship offers, but you’re not sure about them; you want to have the availability to stay open to different ideas.

All of a sudden you’re feeling overwhelmingly stressed. You have spent the last four years operating on a schedule that someone else made for you. You took classes based on what your advisor said you needed to satisfy your major requirements and acquire a degree.

You have slowly been passing through a system -- taking tests as planned, writing papers as assigned and following the path that someone else paved for you.

Now that you are graduating, you are being forced to make a decision for yourself, which you haven’t had to do for at least four years. You start thinking that because you can’t make up your mind about what you want to do, that you’re having a “quarter-life crisis.”

Now, I don’t know how this term came to be, but whoever coined it should be rich because it seems that every person who falls in the appropriate age range has one. However, YOU ARE NOT HAVING A QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS.

You, my friend, are experiencing something far more enjoyable and you would realize it if you could remove yourself from this fantasy world in which you have been living. You’re in your 20s, and if you think your friend who’s taking the MCAT can’t wait to save lives, you’re kidding yourself.

It’s unlikely that friend is looking forward to the four years of medical school and the seven years of residency coming his or her way. No one knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives. If they say they do while in their 20s, my guess is things will probably shift and change over time.

This is not a time of crisis, but one of opportunity. You are now part of the 30.6 percent of Americans who have bachelor’s degrees, which gives you a huge boost in the job market.

You are part of one of the most socially connected generations in history and these days, finding a job is based 80 percent on social networking. Since you just spent the past four years boosting your social standing, chances are, you will have many opportunities coming your way.

So, no, you are not having a quarter-life crisis. You are simply just experiencing growing pains associated with the transition into real life. This will be the first time you are truly responsible for yourself and ultimately, for your happiness.

This is just your first foray into taking charge of your life, which, my friend, is a privilege, not a crisis.

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