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Quarterlife predicaments

Remember the time when you were in college and everything seemed hunky-dory and the world was a sweet place to be in? Do you remember how it had all changed when you stepped out of college...

Written by Rohan Swamy |
May 19, 2009 2:48:39 am

Remember the time when you were in college and everything seemed hunky-dory and the world was a sweet place to be in? Do you remember how it had all changed when you stepped out of college,with a degree and no job,or with a degree and a job that wasn’t even close to testing your actual merit? Well,everyone goes through this once in their lives. Some people call it being in a state of confusion over one’s own identity,while scientifically,it’s called quarterlife crisis.

K Behlul,a first year MBA student,says,“College was a much happier time,there were no real tensions or troubles in life,and I got pocket money from my folks and I didn’t have to pay rent,but then after college I had to move to Mumbai for a year as I was working there with a software firm. When I realised how terrible my job was and how difficult it was to manage my own expenses. It was then that this realisation hit me hard,as to where was I going to be five or six years down the line. What was even more scary was I didn’t know where I was then,so I decided to come back and go to school again. At least it would give me a clearer option if nothing else.”

Seconding that thought is Rohit Pawar who is pursuing a course in photography,he says,“I remember reading about this quarterlife crisis somewhere on the net a couple of years back when I was studying but I never realised it would hit me. After college,I worked as a banker and then a couple of months into the job it hit me that this was like the most boring thing to do in the world.”

“The quarterlife crisis is a term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence,usually ranging from the early twenties to the early thirties. While there are books written on the subject some of the most common symptoms include unable to cope up with relationships,frustration at work,confusion of identity,boredom with social interactions and a sense that somehow people you know are doing better. These are common factors that influence most youngsters who are either in college or just freshly out of college,but then it is a passing phase and most people learn to find answers to their problems quickly. What is important to know though is the fact that most people do go through this feeling,which is a little reassuring,” says Dr T Tushar,a psychologist.

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“It was a little difficult to adjust to the fact that all my friends had jobs or were going abroad for higher studies. So it was a little difficult for me to get a hang of all this. The thoughts of where I would be five or six years down the line does trouble me sometimes but then I figured something will work out. It always does,” says Aditya Butabyal a computer engineering student.

“The emotional stress associated with the the quarterlife crisis,is not uncommon. For most youngsters entering into the adult life and coming to terms with all the responsibilities associated with it,is too overwhelming as a result of which some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity. It’s a normal thing to happen to youngsters but then again its just a phase of a person’s life like the mid-life crisis,and eventually one learns to cope up with it and even overcome the feeling,” adds Dr Tushar.

“It’s something that I really do not identify myself with. I guess the only people who are hit by this crisis are people who are young highly ambitious and under-achieveing adults. I guess for me its more important to do things slowly. It all works out,and even if it doesn’t right now then it will in the near future so I try not to think much,” says Meenal Rai,a fourth year engineering student,philosophically.

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First published on: 19-05-2009 at 02:48:39 am

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