Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 53233
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2022/05/27 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2009/8/3-11 [Finance/CC, Academia/GradSchool] UID:53233 Activity:low
8/1 "Quarterlife Crisis"
        Too many options == no goals in life.
        \_ Really good read.  Enjoyed this article a lot, though it also was
           fairly depressing.  It seems like there is quite a bit of freedom
           for young people, but all that means is they have anxiety about
           making the wrong choices. -mrauser
           \_ Thanks, am trying to kick up the motd a bit.
        \_ If it wasn't for that last sentence I would call this a bunch of
           self-indulgent drivel. Poor bastards, they are too privileged
           and are suffering for it.
2022/05/27 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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2013/4/30-5/18 [Academia/Berkeley, Academia/GradSchool] UID:54667 Activity:nil
4/30    Cal is a public Ivy League school!
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Imagine a day in the life of a couple you probably know. They wake up beside each other in his downtown bachelor apartment and have sex that neither of them particularly enjoys. They've been sort-of dating for a while now, but they're not willing to commit to each other: he likes her, but doesn't know if he always will. She can't decide if she likes him more or less than the other two guys she's sleeping with. He bikes to work at an advertising agency, where he uses his master's in English to proofread ad copy, and spends several hours reading music blogs and watching movie trailers, periodically Twittering updates about his workday to his 74 followers. He doesn't really hate his job, but feels as if his skin is crawling with vermin most of the time that he's there, so he has a plan to move to Thailand, or to maybe write a book. At her government job, she instant messages her friends and mostly ignores the report she's drafting because she's planning on quitting anyway -- and has been planning to quit for about a year now. She spends her lunch hour buying boots that cost slightly more than her rent, then immediately regrets it. He listlessly works through lunch, then goes to the bar after work to meet up with some university friends, where they talk about their jobs and make ironic jokes about other people. Back at home, he wonders why he feels so gross and empty after spending time with them, but it's mostly better than being alone. She walks to the house that she shares with three friends and spends a few more hours on celebrity gossip websites, then clicking through the Facebook photos of girls she knew in high school posing with their husbands and babies, simultaneously judging them and feeling a deep pit of jealousy, and a strange kind of loss. They both eventually fall asleep, late and alone, each of them wondering what it is that's wrong with them that they can't quite seem to understand. This phenomenon, known as the "Quarterlife Crisis," is as ubiquitous as it is intangible. Unrelenting indecision, isolation, confusion and anxiety about working, relationships and direction is reported by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties who are usually urban, middle class and well-educated; those who should be able to capitalize on their youth, unparalleled freedom and free-for-all individuation. They can't make any decisions, because they don't know what they want, and they don't know what they want because they don't know who they are, and they don't know who they are because they're allowed to be anyone they want. When a contemporary 25-year-old's parents were 25, they weren't concerned with keeping their options open: they were purposefully buying houses, making babies and making partner. Now, who we are and what we do is up to us, unbound to existing communities, families and class structures that offer leisure and self-determination to just a few. Boomer and post-boom parents with more money and autonomy than their predecessors has resulted in benignly self-indulgent children who were sold on their own uniqueness, place in the world and right to fulfillment in a way no previous generation has felt entitled to, and an increasingly entrepreneurial, self-driven creation myth based on personal branding, social networking and untethered lifestyle spending is now responsible for our identities. IDENTIFIED FOR THE first time in 2001, the Quarterlife Crisis has been written about most notably by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner in the New York Times best seller Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties. The themes of twentysomething ennui are everywhere in pop culture (Garden State; Lost in Translation) but it's also been explicitly addressed: on Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf explains some bad behaviour with "I was such an overachiever, I was headed for a Quarterlife Crisis at 18"; in the John Mayer song "Why Georgia" ("I rent a room and I fill the spaces with wood in places to make it feel like home but all I feel's alone / It might be a Quarterlife Crisis or just the stirring in my soul"); Quarterlife was a successful web series about seven twentysomethings with creative tendencies. There's also a terrible metal band from Long Island called Quarterlife Crisis who look like an apathetic version of Insane Clown Posse. Says Michael Kimmel, a sociologist and author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, "The Quarterlife Crisis is a kind of anticipatory crisis: How is my life going to turn out? A Quarterlife Crisis will resolve itself by hooking itself into a plan." What that plan could be, though, might be vague, or feel altogether impossible to create. Attempts to manage the Quarterlife Crisis might be as banal as drinking a lot, doing a bunch of drugs, sleeping with idiots and myriad other kinds of self-flagellation, but broader attempts are made to find some sense of purpose. An obvious choice for panicking twentysomethings with a post-undergraduate sense of displacement and for the ones that aren't fulfilled by their jobs is grad school. James, a 28-year-old student, says "Quarterlife crises are the reason that so many universities have turned lower-level graduate programs into a cash cow." Graduate and professional school can provide a direction and delay other choices about career and stability. And, while it's true that higher education can "help students improve their personal and professional competency," it can also "leave students feeling insecure about their abilities and their job prospects," says Marc Scheer, who is a career counsellor and educational consultant, the author of No Sucker Left Behind: Avoiding the Great College Rip-Off and an advocate for considering options beyond formal education. "Whether graduate school is a wise move depends on each individual student and what they want to study. Law school can be helpful, but mostly if a student can gain acceptance to a top-tier school. Getting a PhD could be dangerous for some students, especially since PhD graduation rates are obscenely low these days, and few tenure-track jobs are available. Among the implicit promises made to this generation of twentysomethings was that they would have work that was engaging and creatively fulfilling. A 27-year-old freelance graphic designer with a graduate degree who is struggling to find work, Prescott says "You could always say the whole premise of education is that if you study, get good grades, acquire skills, you will have more options in a career and life' point of view. If you get a degree, you don't have to work in a factory or have to work in a farm. That's proving to be a huge lie, because you have people coming out of school and there are just no jobs, especially in middle-class' fields." The dissonance between a twentysomething's pre-career expectations and the dissatisfaction they feel as part of the working world can be hugely defeating. there is a mismatch between their planning for their lives and their ambitions." He also says that the conflict is made more difficult because 25-year-olds are living "in an economic environment which is the most inhospitable in our history." Multiple degrees, trips to Peru, and keeping up appearances on Saturday night all communicate values and desires, and having no consistent sense of "want" can reinforce the problem, often with trail of debt. Anya Kamenetz, who is a 29-year-old staff writer at Fast Company magazine and the author of the book Generation Debt: Why Now is a Terrible Time to be Young, says "As recently as the early 1990s, Americans had less than $10,000 of student loans on average. As of about 2006, young people had $4,000 of credit-card debt on average, and those with debt were spending a quarter of their income on debt payments." Kamenetz says "Debt and lower income can affect your choice of jobs. It can take longer to move out of your parents' house or stop accepting those cheques and become fully independent. This is also, in part, what has led to the "Boomerang" trend, where adult children move back in with their parents after leaving for school or work. Scheer identifies another, more insidious problem with grad school...