I’m really not, but suddenly I become an adult.
Past twenty, not yet thirty, in between, right there.
When I am not a kid or an adult, when I am just me
I shine brightest
Palette (IU feat G-Dragon)
Today’s topic is about quarter of life. Palette is one of my favorite song and it describe quarter of life perfectly. Quarter-life is well-known phrase to describe people who are in their twenty somethings age. As said by G-Dragon in IU’s Palette song, when we are in our “twenty something” we are not kid or an adult, because we’re no longer an adolescents but not yet attained full adult status. Atwood and Scholtz (2008) said that quarter-life is emerging adulthood defined as period of life bridging adolesence and early adulthood. Based on Hurlock (2000) early adulthood range from 18 to 40 years old and it means that quarter-life or emerging adulthood is part of early adulthood. Early adult people have some developmental tasks includes getting a job, getting married, forming a family, educate children, take responsibility as a citizen and joining social group. As a emerging adulthood we’re in process of developing the skills, capabilities and qualities of character deemed by culture as an necessary completing transitions to adulthood. It is a phase of life when many different directions are possible. As a transition phase, quarter-life demand us with changes in life, choose something and be responsible for it.
Quarter-life often associated with quarter-life crisis. The term quarter-life crisis was coined by two journalists, Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner, who defined it as crisis experienced by “twenty somethings” characterized by a response to overwhelming instability, constant change, too many choices, and a panicked sense of helplessness (in Atwood & Scholtz, 2008). Quarter-life crisis defined in popular press as an identity crisis that leaves recent college graduates depressed, anxious, and full of doubt (Rossi & Membert, 2011). In this time, period we’re faced vast change and exploration of options surrounding relationships, job, political orientation and life goals (Arnitt in Atwood & Scholtz, 2008). In my opinion the main option and change in quarter life are about job and relationship, or for some people it’s life goals too. These options and changes demand us to be responsible because ready or not we’re an adult now and being an adult must be independently responsible with every action they took.
We are required to choose and find a job and of course with all obstacles surround them. When we choose a job it’s not only about our own preference but also parents’ and social’s preferences. As collectivist, we can’t ignore our parents’ preferences. As an elder, they have more experiences than us so they believe that their advice regarding job preference should be considered. Beside that, children are an extension life for their parents’ life, so it’s not impossible that they’ll transfer all their unreachable dreams in life to us. Social preferences make it even harder with their standard, they’ll evaluate whether our job suitable or valuable regarding social norms. After we found a job other demand comes, marriage life. For some people who are ready with marriage life it’s not a problem, but some others might feel burdened. Finding a life mate is not an easy task for some people, because each of us has our own obstacle, circle, preference and life goal. Our life mate can’t be predicted, right? After found a life mate and getting married, we’ll face challenges due to changes in status from single to being married and we’ll have new identity and place in social life. People who are not ready for marriage life ( including me) may not be ready with life after marriage or still want achievement in life or doing something as self-actualization.
Some people who are facing quarter-life crisis might be depressed as the result of individual’s identity and sense of self fluctuate markedly in response to the constant challenges life presents (Rossi & Membert, 2011). Rossi and Membert explained that frequently individuals feels they are alone in their struggle and do not have the resources needed to meet or rise above their life challenges. I believe that some of us feels lonely in struggling, because our friends now are not our friends before. They have their own life, some of them might be happy with their new family life, busy with their new job or continue their study and the rest maybe busy with their own thoughts like me or fight with the cruelty of job competition or sick of social opinions. We can’t tell them to stay, right? Because if it’s me, I won’t. Last month, I helped my friend with his interview script and do you know what he said about adulthood? Life is like this, when we’re become an adult, all of our friends are busy living their lives and what we can do is nothing. We should live our own lives. And yeah, what he said is true we should live our own lives, adult it’s not a new identity because it’s still us.
Rossi, N.E. & Membert, C.J. (2011). Does a Quarterlife Crisis Exist? The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 172(2), 141-161.
Atwood, J.D. & Scholtz, C. (2008). The Quarter-life Time Period: An Age of Indulgence, Crisis or Both? Contempt Fam Ther, 30, 233-250.