Is this a new phenomenon? We all know of the so called midway- or
midlife-crisis. Around your 40’s 50’s you realise you’re half way (to be honest
more than half way). questioning what you’re doing with your life, if it’s the
right life, is this what you wanted, what you dreamt about. Also realising your
body isn’t functioning as well as it used to, it’s staring to slowly break
down. To be honest I can’t really express what a midlife crisis feels like, as
I am only 27. But I can tell you, what I call quarter-life-crisis feels like.
Firstly I am probably not gonna make 108, so the name is misleading. Probably
more like a-third-of-a-life crisis, but that’s too hard.
Being a Dane, growing up in Copenhagen, I believe there are more expectations from society than I have experienced here. The governments have had a goal to push 95% of young people to get a higher degree, like a university degree and get an academic titel. Further is the lowest grade to get accepted at university an average of C. It is a great deal for the young generation as university is free and on top of that you get paid equivalent to a 1000 dollars a month (for a max of 7 years). The government want to support rent, books and other expenses so, you as a student, don’t have to work on the side, but can focus entirely on your studies. As I have been a young student for almost four years in Copenhagen, I don’t remember anyone who didn’t work. Cause why wouldn’t you and then have even more money by the end of the month (yes, we do everything monthly). But great initiative from the government.
Trying to force 95% of young people through university is going to give the society a few hiccups along the way (that is mild expression for the issues Denmark is going to have). Firstly, not everyone is suited for university, and I think more than 20% of young people aren’t suited. Like myself, you think I am, but I probably wasn’t, as I have never finished my whole course (I am without my Master’s). Secondly, there are created too many different degree’s, which lots of them will never lead to a job. Like the history and culture of Inuits (native people of Greenland) a population of about 50.000 people. There are going to be no jobs for the people graduated, except from maybe one or two! Thirdly, imagine 95% or even just 75% of young people completed a university degree and all got jobs in their desired fields, who is going to pick up the trash, take care of the children and the old, public transport, work at the supermarkets and so on? After finishing a university degree, you would not like to take that step “down”. And with the immigration politics we have a the moment, we can’t even get foreigners to do it.
Enough about the governments expectations to young people. There are also our parents and family’s. As Denmarks biggest export is knowledge it lays within history for every individual to become something, the best version you can be of yourself and that you push yourself as far as you can. It is no more organised for us, how we’re going to make a living. We have to come up with it and create it ourselves. This is a lot of pressure for a 27-year old.
I have travelled lots, but I am still working as a barista, just to earn the money, not studying, kinda on a standby in my life. From the outside world, this might look like the perfect life, heading in the “right” direction. I have a very supportive family, the best boyfriend, the most amazing friends and I’m doing the hobbies that I love, and oh yea, a full time job. But on the inside, I have no idea where I am heading, I don’t know what I want to do, only what I don’t want to do. Everyday I try and find purpose in life, except from making people around me happy. I don’t have a good enough degree to get a job in my field. I don’t have experience to get an internship in my field and I don’t have the aim or goal of which direction I want to head, it’s just not there.
Every part in life is important and every experience teaches us things we wouldn’t have learned otherwise. A quarter-life-crisis is important to every young person out there. It makes you re-evaluate if what you’re doing is good enough for you and I believe it makes you appreciate your life even more when you get out on the other side.
To get out, talk to people, exploit contacts and other people contacts. Use your friends and let them tell you that they’ve experienced similar feelings. Somewhere there will be an opening that will take you the direction you need to go.