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Old 2009-05-06, 22:28   Link #1
dahoosafeth
Junior Member
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Quarter Life Crisis?

When I moved to a different city, I wanted to cling on to my old life to an extent, but, I was also excited about going to a new place. Same thing for school, I knew I'd miss my friends and the school setting, but going to college was extremely exciting.. now, graduating from college.. I dont really know how much I have to look forward to. No more late nights, no more stupidity.. Even in the event I get a great high paying job, good house etc etc, will I actually enjoy any of it? Or will it just be a struggle everyday, and going home just a way to get out of work? Basically, is the best time of my life over? What do I really have to look forward to now?

...Is what I've found what a lot of people think ( or something along the same lines). I myself am a little frightened by the uncertainty - This uncertainty is different, not like when I was going to college, when it was filled with excitement. Whats more, we ourselves are aging, and we might not have the same kind of energy we used to. When is the next time I'll be able to travel again? Will I be able to at all for a while?.. are questions that are coming up more often than id like. I dont know, I guess because working people now days have such hectic work lives, going and working just doesnt seem appealing at all.

Dont get me wrong, it isnt the end of the world, we all have to suck it up and do it at some point or the other. It's just that, things shouldnt look so bleak should they? There are plenty of things to do, things to fulfill right? I'm sure there are, even if things seem bad right now.

This forum is filled with people of a wide range of ages, kids in high school, college, and everyday working people - What are your insights about this, and what were your experiences?
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Old 2009-05-06, 23:31   Link #2
Bontario
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Riyadh.
Age: 26
Well, I am about to graduate from college to, and soon getting a full-time job too, and I must say I kinda felt the same fears as you.

But of course there's always something to look forward to, you can always put a goal to achieve through what you earn from your job (Car, Dream vacation, Espresso coffee machine ;D).
There will be more late nights of course, and there will be more stupidity, not just because you're older means that you can't have that anymore.

Uncertainty? Maybe, but you could just kill it by putting a goal to achieve, and don't allow yourself to age so early, some get to 40 yet they still feel like they're 20.
There are plenty of things to do yes, there are things to fulfill yes. Don't give up yet.

(Personally I wanna go to space later on in life.)

Edit: These are the words of a person who just woke up, I hope they help in a way. x)
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Old 2009-05-06, 23:39   Link #3
Shadow Kira01
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: PMB Headquarters
Smile An Advice from Kira01

I have heard of the mid-life crisis, but never have I heard of the quarter-life crisis. I guess its pretty much the same thing, hearing what you have been through..

If you have graduated with a degree and that you now have a good-paying job along with a house, etc... It generally means that life is going pretty smooth and well for you. Of course, the job you have may not be the one you like or seek but that can't be helped as long as its paying you pretty well.

Although I plan on becoming a journalist who specializes in politics and international affairs but if I don't qualify due to a missing college degree, I don't mind ending up with the huge "freeter" crowd. There isn't much uncertainty.. The general concept is pretty much you study for a better job and one way or the other, you will get a job, work and find your path. Some aim low, some aim high, in the end.. Its all the same.

I have to tell you though. Once you settle down on a job, it is entirely possible that you will stuck in the same career for the rest of your life. However, if you choose to wait for an occupation you actually like, chances are that you will be joining the unfortunate bunch who are suffering from the financial crisis. That'd actually be a lot worse..

What I am trying to say is that don't think too much about that trivial uncertainty of yours. Of course, life during your college days will never be the same after it passes by. Welcome to the world of the adults sonny! It is only natural that you go to work and come back home everyday after the work, there really isn't much to it. Its called "life".

What you should be looking forward now is to work hard and hope for an early retirement. Of course, if you are ambitious, you would probably attempt to aim high by seeking multiple promotions, such as transferring to other companies, etc and continue looking upward. However, that way of life may be quite stressful and busy, so its your call..
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Old 2009-05-07, 00:15   Link #4
0utf0xZer0
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 27
I have to admit that I've been dreading this kind of thing too, and I'm still about a year or so from getting my undergrad.

In my case, it's not so much a matter of worrying about jobs and such - I still live with my parents, so it's not like I'm going to have trouble making ends meet if I'm unemployed for a bit. And I'll actually be glad to leave set your own schedule university life behind for what will hopefully be a more structured job, since I always had a bit of a problem with wasting far too much time procrastinating without actually having fun doing it, even if I always did get things done in the end.

My worry is more just where I'm going to meet the same kind of interesting, slightly nerdy people I meet at university. Yeah, I know that there's plenty of interesting social groups outside of university campuses, but I still can't stop worrying about it.
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Old 2009-05-07, 00:20   Link #5
Jazzrat
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Join Date: Jun 2004
You're alive and healthy that's a good thing to begin with. There's lots of ups and lows in life, right now, you just started on a different lifestyle so it's inevitable things look a bit scary.

Recession comes and goes so don't get discouraged by the current lack of prospect. Old friends might drift apart but you ll meet more new friends. Travelling though is a bit harder to arrange between friends due to work schedule but you ll have more choice and options.

Anyway, life after college isnt just work and work
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Old 2009-05-07, 00:55   Link #6
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Age: 57
good lord.... what is with the "its all over" o.O If your parents were lumps --- don't be a lump. Get out there and do stuff. Don't let your work define you.

I'm 52 in August ---
My older son and I are re-activating our SCA memberships, polishing our armor and our weapon techniques.
Um, I took up learning Japanese about 3 years ago.
I used to do AI research and system simulation in the 80s... I still tinker with various sorts of AI and keep up with the latest in AI/robotics.
My wife and I travel... we do home improvement projects... we have a cluttered mess of a house with all our hobbies. We go out with our friends. We have overlapping but not synchronized interests and friends.

A few months ago, I got tired of being 225lbs of not entirely muscle and have dropped 20lbs (eat less move faster). My wife has toned up and gone back to 95lbs from 100lbs.

We do volunteer work. We go to conventions, plays, festivals...

Here's some suckage.... I'm working on career #3. I spent about 17 years engineering, about about 10 doing internet and network security, and now I'm a full time college student trying to get a teaching certificate. Something a bit harder to outsource. My wife is luckier --- her profession seems firmly entrenched.
More suckage... hair turned grey (still long... just grey).
Worst suckage... my dad's face haunts my mirror (ok, a scarier version of him).

Things to watch out for -- when you leave university, it will be tougher to connect with people who have your hobbies. You can't be passive about it whether its gaming, D&D, sci-fi, anime, SCA, sky-diving, gardening, whatever.

Do not waste your time with negative people -- people who denigrate that which they don't understand, or makes them insecure, etc.

Hope that didn't come off as shouting -- really, what happens is largely dependent on you creating the conditions for opportunities.

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-05-07 at 01:15.
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Old 2009-05-07, 01:03   Link #7
yezhanquan
Observer/Bookman wannabe
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 29
Well, I may be heading off to the job market if I'm not lucky enough to stay for another sem in my university.

Thing is: Don't jump to conclusions too quickly. What may seem good at the beginning may turn out to be bad, and vice-versa. Don't sweat the small stuff. Of course, if you're already married and with kids, things get more complicated.
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Old 2009-05-07, 02:31   Link #8
dahoosafeth
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Join Date: Mar 2009
How should I say this.. its no more a question of getting out of college with high hopes and finding out real life isnt all fun and games. Its getting out of college thinking that life afterwards has NO fun and games.. when it probably isnt the case.. It isnt because of the recession ; thats a recent thing, though I guess it might have something to do with it. Going into a job market with bright prospects does seem.. kind of exciting atleast, but certainly less than going to college for example.

Bah, this isnt even a very big problem - its not depression or fear, more like uncertainty. in that way, its not really a 'crisis'. I thought it would be an interesting idea to bring it up at asuki, since a lot of people I know feel similarily.

well then again, I'm saying that before graduating, I can imagine plenty of people in their twenties or thirties whose lives just didnt work out the way they wanted.

I think, just like with a lot of problems of similar nature - I (we) might just need a simple 'things will be fine' or 'dont worry so much, there IS life after college'. well, what I would like to hear ( and do hear to an extent ) is that its ok, it might not be better, but its different, and its more than just grind and frustration. I guess when you see the way a lot of young guy work, you do kind of get a picture of working life being completely work. At any rate, I feel better writing this. graduating in a week -a bit of curiousity has replaced some of the fear
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Old 2009-05-07, 03:30   Link #9
Solafighter
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: God only knows
Well, first of all, congratulations for graduating.

Getting into the job after school is for most people not easy. The list is long, what could go wrong but thats just, what people imagine.

My friends told me, when they started working, that they were unsure in decisions and sometimes forgot some things, they had to do. But after like 2 month, they learnt a lot, feel better in this company, became friends with the co-workers and felt a lot better.
I think you simply need some time to get used to your job and then you will like it. When this step is done, you will see, that its actually easier, than you thought.

So, keep your head up.
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Old 2009-05-07, 06:10   Link #10
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 39
I wonder if posts like these are a sign of an important demographic shift? There's a whole new generation of teenagers, up the 20 year olds, who don't remember a time with no Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia or, gasp, the World Wide Web. And, now, they are about to enter the big, bad world of adults, which they had, up to now, been fond of mocking instead.

To a certain extent, I can relate with these feelings of trepidation. I may not be a spring chicken any more, but I've not yet gone so grey that I've forgotten what it was like to be young and clueless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HayashiTakara View Post
I had many friends as a kid that I had trusted my livelihood with. We ran from cops together, got each others backs when a fight situation got bad, always dropping whatever we're doing for one another. But time just somehow caused us to drift apart. I guess it doesn't help that I was the one that moved over 3,000 miles away. But we are still able to catch up and spend time together on the off time I do have to go back and visit my old hometown.
I find that old friends never really do "lose touch" with one another. I've had reunions with primary-school friends (Singapore's equivalent of elementary schools, for kids aged 7 to 12) whom I've not met in over 20 years and, amazingly enough, we'd still be bantering the night away as though we'd just parted the day before.

Nonetheless, I know the feeling of sudden isolation. Through primary to secondary schools, and then to junior college (the equivalent of American colleges' freshman and sophomore years), my life revolved around my classmates, my friends in school clubs and my teachers.

Being a loner of sorts, I never did make many friends around my neighbourhood. Nor did I venture much beyond the comfort of school activities.

Then came military National Service, when I was ripped away from the familiar school environment for the first time in my life, and thrown into a mix of young Singaporeans from literally all walks of life. Some were boys from schools whose cultures were very different from the ones I'd attended. Others were kids from broken families and rough neighbourhoods.

I'd never felt as lost as I did then. This was a time before mobile phones, when calling someone meant having to queue for hours to use a solitary public phone (yes, it was a bit like serving prison time). Moreover, I'd never been the type of person to call others. I'm a passive person by nature, and it's usually others who'd call me. In a way, I realised I'd taken many friendships for granted -- it had never occurred to me, until then, that it takes effort to maintain any relationship.

So, for two-and-a-half years, I could literally feel my social circle collapse around me, as the number of friends I kept in touch with dwindled down to a mere handful. It was a black time, a rite of passage that I'd never want to go through again, however necessary it may have been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dahoosafeth View Post
...now, graduating from college.. I dont really know how much I have to look forward to. No more late nights, no more stupidity.. Even in the event I get a great high paying job, good house etc etc, will I actually enjoy any of it? Or will it just be a struggle everyday, and going home just a way to get out of work? Basically, is the best time of my life over? What do I really have to look forward to now?
All the above dovetails nicely with my next point: my experience of transiting from student to working adult.

As I've written, one of the first effects I felt was the sudden loss of a familiar circle of friends. Subsequently, I noticed also a daunting loss of direction.

You see, education in Singapore is a relatively straigthtforward affair: We'd go from primary to secondary schools, and then into junior colleges (pre-tertiary institutions, a throwback to the British education system where students prepare for university) or polytechnics (tertiary institutions offering diploma courses).

Life as a teenage student revolved around classes, exams and annual school festivals. Most of us never had to think very much about the future. Of course, we'd all have vague ambitions but few, if any, of us could really articulate the ways in which we'd fulfil those plans. Based on the feedback I've received from junior-college students (17 to 18 year olds) I've counselled in the past two years, it seems the kids today aren't very much different.

In other words, student life had a comfortable structure that had long been laid out in front of us, a familiar rhythm on which most of us could simply coast upon, without much thought on how the future would turn out.

So, once thrust into the working world after graduation, it's not surprising that quite a number of us felt lost and disoriented. If we're lucky, we'd soon find jobs that match our academic qualifications. Whether or not we'd enjoy them is another story altogether. A few of my friends who joined the banking industry eventually discovered that they hated it, and switched careers before they turned 30. The girls met dashing seniors at various companies, and most were married by the time they turned 26 or 27.

Once, at a mutual friend's wedding, I met a former schoolmate -- a former consultant from the Boston Consulting Group who then joined General Electric -- who admitted, somewhat sheepishly, then he still hadn't quite figured out what he truly wanted out of life. We were both in our late 20s at the time.

On hindsight, adulthood brought the freedoms we'd always wanted as kids. But when we finally achieved that freedom, we gradually realised its burden. For the first time, we had to think seriously about what we wanted to do and how we'd actually go about achieving these goals.

That's not something that schools prepare us very well for, I now find.

So, to cut a long story short, I'd say that your fears are understandable, perhaps even unavoidable. But here's the good news: It's not fatal. And what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger.

Carpe diem.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2009-05-07 at 06:20.
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Old 2009-05-07, 11:45   Link #11
BwanaKuu
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
good lord.... what is with the "its all over" o.O If your parents were lumps --- don't be a lump. Get out there and do stuff. Don't let your work define you.

I'm 52 in August ---
My older son and I are re-activating our SCA memberships, polishing our armor and our weapon techniques.
Um, I took up learning Japanese about 3 years ago.
I used to do AI research and system simulation in the 80s... I still tinker with various sorts of AI and keep up with the latest in AI/robotics.
My wife and I travel... we do home improvement projects... we have a cluttered mess of a house with all our hobbies. We go out with our friends. We have overlapping but not synchronized interests and friends.

A few months ago, I got tired of being 225lbs of not entirely muscle and have dropped 20lbs (eat less move faster). My wife has toned up and gone back to 95lbs from 100lbs.

We do volunteer work. We go to conventions, plays, festivals...

Here's some suckage.... I'm working on career #3. I spent about 17 years engineering, about about 10 doing internet and network security, and now I'm a full time college student trying to get a teaching certificate. Something a bit harder to outsource. My wife is luckier --- her profession seems firmly entrenched.
More suckage... hair turned grey (still long... just grey).
Worst suckage... my dad's face haunts my mirror (ok, a scarier version of him).

Things to watch out for -- when you leave university, it will be tougher to connect with people who have your hobbies. You can't be passive about it whether its gaming, D&D, sci-fi, anime, SCA, sky-diving, gardening, whatever.

Do not waste your time with negative people -- people who denigrate that which they don't understand, or makes them insecure, etc.

Hope that didn't come off as shouting -- really, what happens is largely dependent on you creating the conditions for opportunities.
While I'm only 19, I feel that this post expresses my feelings on the subject. I feel like a lot of my friends see college as 4 years of awesome fun and partying and then life is going to be dull and boring. However, I just see it as another part of life. I'm actually excited to be going out into the real world eventually and start earning my own money. A lot of opportunities open up once you're an adult.

I feel like my generation is far too focused on all the partying and shenanigans that accompany college life and they feel like that's all there is to life. Nothing can compare so they feel like life ends once you graduate. Whiel I enjoy the occasional party or prank, I just see it as another part of life. There is a LOT of stuff to do in life, you just need to open your mind to it. Maybe it's also because I am introverted so I'm fine with spending a saturday night at home reading a book or watching a movie.

I've started to realize that a lot of my friends depend on college to provide their life with fun and entertainment. Once you graduate, that goes away. They've become too obsessed with one part of their life that once that is taken away from them, they have no idea what to do. Can't really blame them though, they will eventually grow out of it once they're in the real world. But I've decided to adopt an attitude towards life in general and not be obsessed with any one part of it and basically that attitude is to do things, don't sit around in your house after your job, find some clubs and keep yourself busy. Boredom and stagnation are killers for humans and no matter what the situation is, you have to keep doing things to keep you busy: projects, meet new people, etc. Otherwise, what is your life? Your job? Unless you love your job, that's no way to live.

I also agree that I'm happy to get out of this very unstructured life. While spontaneity is good sometimes, I'm getting a bit tired of constantly being woken up late at night by someone's shenanigans.
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