For a long time, I thought that the quarter-life crisis was just an attempt from younger generations to feel concerned and relate to what adults might be experiencing in later stages of life, can it be when they hit the big 3-0 or when they reach the half-a-century benchmark. But, as I am slowly getting closer to the daunting age of 25, every day that passes feels like it’s adding another wrinkle to my body, another responsibility to take care of, and increases this strange sense of emptiness and confusion all of my peers are currently feeling as well. Welcome to the story of a whole generation torn between what they are and what they should be.
Anyone that’s on the brink of turning 25 will be adamant about this: we all want to make it out but no one knows what it means to make it out anymore. Back in the day, by the time you’re halfway to 50, you probably would’ve already cuffed yourself a sweet one, potentially even put a mortgage down on a house (that probably cost you a bag of chips and a can of coke), while already working your dream job after knocking on your boss’s front door during a random stroll around town. And as you can probably imagine, today’s reality is much more different— especially after having been robbed of three precious years of our lives.
Whatever plans most of us had prior to the global coronavirus pandemic are completely shattered — although not always for the worse. Considering the U-turn most of our societies are taking, no one really knows what route to take to hopefully enjoy a content, and if you’re lucky, happy life.
Rewind back to a couple of decades ago when working at a 9 to 5 was the epitome of success—that isn’t as appealing anymore to a generation that’s not as willing to sacrifice their mental health for the sake of a job that will replace you in under five working days the moment anything serious happens to you. If anything, COVID-19 has shown to a lot of us that there’s more to life than just saving up all year round to go on an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico for two weeks and feel like it was worth all the sweat and tears poured into the previous 365 days of work. But the question still remains, what’s the best option? Unfortunately, no one knows.
Most of us are still struggling to come to terms with our age as we’ve collectively missed out on what was supposed to be our prime years, the reckless ones where you go out venturing around trying to figure out who you are, what you like, and beyond that simply just messing around for the sake of messing around. Yes, life is indeed slowly going back to a certain level of normal, with most countries around the world relaxing their restrictions related to the pandemic. Clubs are back to being packed with coming-of-age teens screaming their lungs out to whatever song is trending, but are they really cheering or screaming for help? Now that general costs of living are exponentially increasing by the day, subsequently pushing away the day we might ever feel a sense of stability and reassurance, as having fun now comes at a certain price, one that a great majority of us can’t afford to keep up with.
Regardless of the three years of limbo, 25 is an age that no one can really make sense of. In our circle of friends, some of us are on the verge of tying the knot with our other half, others are already parents, while a few are still living at their parent’s house and as innocent and stoic about life as when they were 17. Except that 17 wasn’t three years ago, but is now inching closer to eight (quick maths innit). Truth is, no one is necessarily in a better or worse position than the other, it’s just all confusing when coming to assessing yourself at the right worth given the myriad of possibilities open.
As if the above wasn’t enough to keep me quaking for the next handful of months before I turn 25, there is also the feeling that not only are we not young anymore but that our parents are getting older. Dad has more and more grey hair on the head and mom gets tired halfway during our daily walks, erasing that sense of immortality we once held as children while serving as a bleak, sad, and harrowing reminder that time is passing by quickly and that our focus should be centered around enjoying those that brought you to life instead of anyone else.
Turning 25 in 2023 is far from being a blissful thought, or step, and in fact, it’s just quite daunting. At this point, I’d say that we’re just trying our best. At what? Just living, I guess.