Inspired by Suzannah Weiss' piece on Thought Catalog
Disclaimer: I am going through my quarter-life crisis. I have just finished college, and while I have a job, the idea of anything further than a year away scares the bejeezus out of me. That being said, here is my advice on how to survive going over the cliff of adulthood.
1. Give up the idea of a career path.
How many times have/did you change your major? How many dream jobs did you have as a kid? Don't compare yourself to the 2% of the population that knew from birth that they were going to be doctors, went to med school, and actually became doctors. If you do have that one thing that you love more than anything else, you're lucky. If you're just taking life as it comes at you - don't freak! There are plenty of paths to go down that can combine your interests.
2. Be honest with yourself.
A close friend of mine in college was set on being a heart surgeon (I kid you not) and was always the top of his class in all his pre-med work. Come his senior year, he realized he was always happier climbing mountains and camping than anywhere else so you know what he is now? A park ranger/paramedic for a national park. And you know what? He couldn't be happier. If you're heading down a path that you're only continuing on because you've put a lot of work into it, or because your parents want it, stop. Be honest with yourself, and do what you want. Explore the options!
3. Ask for help.
Reaching out can seriously change any stressful situation. Reaching out to those who have experience not only in this stage of life, but in any careers you're interested in will give you access to an incredible source of knowledge! It's also an excellent way to keep in touch with potential mentors, employers, or recommendation-writers.
4. Don’t let your job define you.
Ideally we all want to be working for a company that is as awesome as we are, but sometimes you need to settle for what is good for you at that time. If you’re lucky enough to have a 9-5, you don't have to wear a sign on your forehead saying you're an employee. Your life outside of work is just as important. Take a class, join a Meetup group, or start up a new hobby like glass blowing!
5. Remember your fifth-life crisis.
And your tenth-life crisis. Remember that freak out you had about choosing a college? Does that seem like such a big deal now? Probably not. Remember, at some point in the future, all of your worries will seem silly.