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You’ve Been Diagnosed: You’re Experiencing a Quarter Life Crisis

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The moment I turned 24, I suddenly realized I was approaching a quarter of a century. I had about 12 more months before I was socially considered a serious adult. Given my living situation and the status of my bank account, I was a bit far off from the pre-planned road map I envisioned for myself ten years ago. By the age of 25, I wanted a high paying job (in my desired field of interest) and a crib in my name. I wanted a nice car, a BMW or an Audi – paid for preferably. I didn’t have to be dating seriously because I’d have no time for a boyfriend. I’d be immersed in my work and completely focused on my career. But once my 25th birthday rolled around, I realized I was a few accomplishments shy of the woman I imagined myself to be.

And for those who have accomplished a great deal before their 25 year mark, I commend you. I applaud your level of maturity, your go-getter attitude, your ability to remain focused on the prize. But for the rest of us, who I’ve grown to love and unfortunately relate to, that succumb to the seduction of alcohol and partying until the wee hours of the morning, this is for you. Grab a hold of your life and grab a hold of your thoughts. Stop repeating the same mistakes and focus on becoming a better you. Refrain from thinking negatively about your disposition in life. Fill yourself with positivity and attract tangible outcomes through motivational speech. You’ll never reach both your short and long term goals by beating yourself up, or tearing yourself down.

Hateful speech, often disguised as motivation, works for some. But in my opinion, the echoing of self inflicted hate speech is verbal abuse. Don’t you dare utter another word about your inability to achieve a goal. Stop meditating on your faults and past mishaps, using each of them to paint a picture of who you are today. You are no longer that person. Stop allowing your former self to enable the present you. Stop living in self doubt and wallowing in depression. The amount of knowledge you gain, simply by abiding by the plan created specifically for you, is more than enough to fuel your desires and transform your dreams into reality.

You must end this vicious cycle of constantly comparing your place in the world to that of other people. You too are accomplished. Have you truly taken time to reevaluate the obstacles you’ve overcome? Why must you belittle the feats you have achieved? Must I remind you how hard it was for you to step foot into the life you’re currently living, to exist in the aftermath of the storms you’ve endured? Yes, always look forward, fixating on the future with an air of confidence that fills any room. But you must also look back: gauge how far you’ve come, learn from your mistakes, and assess your current mental and emotional makeup. Where you were yesterday, you are no longer there today.

Dig deep and get to know yourself – just as well as you think you know your Instagram followers and social media homies. The reputation they’ve built through online marketing and social media propaganda is a highlight reel falsifying their reality. You know nothing about the lives they live behind their iPhone 7 and LuMee case. The amount of knowledge they’ve provided through strategic social media postings provides roughly the same amount of information given to you by well known celebrities. For example, Mark Cuban – the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and the chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV.

These facts and astronomical accomplishments represent Mark’s highlight reel – the information he chooses to display and serve as a representation of his entire being.

But what you might not know is that at the age of 25, Cuban was merely a bartender in Dallas, Texas. He eventually became a salesperson but was immediately fired because he’d rather close a deal than remember to open the store in the morning.

Ralph Lauren began his career as a sales assistant. Before his initial step into the fashion industry he served in the army – a career move arguably indifferent of his obvious career path. At the age of 26 he designed a wide European styled tie. His creation after the age of 25 landed him a position with Neiman Marcus. In the next year (roughly at the age of 27) he launched Polo.

J.K. Rowling began writing her storyline for Harry Potter at the age of 25. While writing, she worked as a secretary. Rowling was fired from her position for daydreaming too often. Her severance check kept her afloat for the next few years, granting her the opportunity to focus on her writing. In the midst of developing Harry Potter she got married, had a daughter, got divorced, and was diagnosed with clinical depression.

Rowling began writing the first Harry Potter installment in 1990. It was finished in 1995. And wasn’t published until 1997. She was 32 years old.

Jay-Z remained relatively “anonymous” until he founded Roc-A-Fella Records, two years after his 25th birthday. In that same year he released Reasonable Doubt.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was an employee at a McDonalds restaurant. More specifically, he was a 25 year old grill man.

Tina Fey, at age 25, was a YMCA child care administrator before she broke into the comedy world. She would hang out at acting workshops, eventually joining an improve and sketch troup while sending scripts to Saturday Night Live.

At 25 Tim Allen was arrested and sent to federal prison for 2 years for drug trafficking. He was found with 65- grams of cocaine. He would later become famous for his role on the hit sitcom Home Improvement.


Despite the challenges you’re facing as a developing 20-something, your road to success is unique and incomparable. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Maximize your attributes while constantly reminding yourself of what you have to offer the world. Your journey is for you and you only. If you wish to change, change. Don’t dwell on the obstacles you’ve created mentally that impede upon your ability to make a difference within yourself. However you’ve imagined yourself in your twenties, work diligently to create that person. Don’t lose focus on the vision you have for you. Place the distracting habits of your early twenties in the past, and grow into the fruitful 20-something you are today.

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Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.


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