The Dawn of the Quarterlife Crisis
Think your Glory Years are on their way? Think again.
Close your eyes and imagine a Yuppie. Picture them swishing past you in their tailored power suit, triple-venti macchiato in one hand, intellect and ambition in the other.
Now open your eyes and face reality – Yuppies died with the boom years. And in their place came something a lot more sinister: the Quarterlife Crisis. As universities churn out graduates at the rate of cheesy chips from the Van of Life, life after Cambridge seems as bleak as an undercooked kebab.
Finding an interesting job with a comfortable salary is no easy ride. Graduate placements are few and far between and internships require hefty financial support. You could opt for the Third Sector, live off righteousness and little else, or you could succumb to the temptations of the City. Accusations of selling-out aren’t so painful from the comfort of the top tax band.
This may all seem blindingly obvious and unnecessarily cynical, but it is difficult to quell that niggling belief that maybe your twenties will be a steady ascent up a dream-career ladder. This underlying confidence isn’t helped by society’s expectation that with the Cantab brand we can waltz into any job.
With such high hopes and ambitions, it is all too easy to stride out of Cambridge laden with false optimism, oblivious to the existential crisis that lies dormant in the next job rejection.
But let us not end on a note of crushing realism. The sooner you become aware of the possibility of a Quarterlife Crisis, the sooner you can accept it, laugh about it and make the most of your undergrad years. Go to Cindies, skinny dip in the Cam, crash a May Ball– enjoy the carefree, government-funded years whilst they last!
And even days as an aimless twenty-something have their perks. Think of the glorious evenings with similarly afflicted friends: the penniless English graduate can bring the anecdotes, the banker can bring the wine and the unemployed can bring the Schadenfreude.
Besides, a Quarterlife Crisis might just save you from it’s scarier older brother. Who wants to hit forty, have an affair and end up alone, battling the urge to take up the ukulele or dye your thinning hair?