Last year for New Year’s Eve, I was at Label, where the party was Gatsby-themed, and, of course, epic. Poor planning and procrastination led to my girls and I running in right when the countdown started. But that didn’t keep us from each tossing back any cheap glass of free champagne we could get our hands on.
Ah, the good ol’ days.
As New Year’s Day 2015 approaches, however, I am reminded that I will have been out of college for three years, I haven’t managed to save any money and in four months I will be turning a quarter-century. Not to mention, I’ve lost count how many new years have come and gone without so much as an attempt at actually checking off a resolution on my list. I still don’t practice portion control or healthy eating habits, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to the gym this past year, and I still haven’t figured out how to drink “socially.”
And that’s when I realized what was happening. Hi, my name is Aerin, and I am suffering a quarter-life crisis.
We’ve all heard about a mid-life crisis, usually described as someone between the ages of 40-50 who impulsively buys a Camaro that looks like the one they had in high school. A quarter-life crisis, on the other hand, happens between the ages of 22-29 and is often characterized by a lack of being able to afford much of anything. More importantly, it’s the moment you realize every important milestone has passed: becoming a teenager (13), getting your license (sweet 16), becoming legal (18, which includes but isn’t limited to older hotties and buying cigarettes) and of course buying your first legal drink at 21.
This is when you have to accept that your parents were right when they said, “Don’t rush your life away, one day you’ll wonder where the time went.” (Don’t you hate admitting when your parents were right? Me too.) And all you have to look forward to now is turning 25 and being able to rent a beach house during spring break (which you no longer have, by the way) without your parents.
It’s all downhill from there, my friend.
Here are a few symptoms to help identify whether you or a loved one may be going through a quarter-life crisis:
Parental abandonment. By this time, if you’re lucky and it hasn’t happened already, your parents have begun to wean you off of your childish comforts. No more “weekly” food allowance that you end up spending on alcohol. No more Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. And get this? You have to start filing taxes and worry about medical insurance.
“Matured taste.” Beer has finally grown on you, congratulations. You think you know the difference between a pale ale, IPA and lager. But you tend toward a time-old favorite, Natty Light. Yet you’re still not mature enough to “enjoy the taste” of a whisky on the rocks.
Hyper awareness of singledom. These days, my Facebook is riddled with high school and college friends who were just proposed to over a casual dinner or who have news about baby No. 2 on the way. And here I am, weekend after weekend, coming home with no one to hold my hair while I hang on to the toilet for dear life.
Post-college depression. You wear college tees way more than you did when you were a student. You’re reminded of the sad fact you’re no longer in school (who’d have thought, right?) every time you visit an elderly family member you haven’t seen for a while. “Are you almost finished with school?” Yes Uncle Lou, I graduated three years ago. And yes, I’m working.
If you or someone you know seems to be suffering from the above symptoms, feel free to email me for support at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is hope. By the way, Happy New Year!