I Don’t Think That Means What You Think It Does

Can I call for the official banishment of the phrase quarter-life crisis?

There’s something about it that just rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s hard for me to image that 25% of my life may very well be behind me.  Maybe it’s the fact that it seems to be a word people in the media use to create crappy filler segments in a 24 hour news cycle.  But mostly, I think it’s a misuse, or at the very least, overstatement of the word crisis.

Things that I believe legitimately constitute a crisis

  • The oil spill in the Gulf [and elsewhere]
  • The loss of a loved one
  • The national deficit
  • Hate, discrimination, and violence

Things which I believe are categorically not crisises

  • A bad hair day
  • World Cup matches
  • Someone drinking the last beer in the fridge and not replacing it
  • Feeling a sense of frustration, disenchantment, and/or being lost in your 20s

I think the second list is an example of things that happen in life that you have to deal with. Most of us have bad hair days; some of us have bad hair.  Sometimes a referee makes a bad call on a good goal.  On an occasion, I finish the house beer and wait awhile to get more.  And of course, most of us who are in the post-graduation haze live in shades of gray – it can be frustrating and disheartening but it can also be exhilarating and fulfilling.

Suggested changes to the term “quarter-life crisis”

  • Post-collegiate Party
  • Spontaneous Adulthood
  • Double Decade Disco
  • Being in your 20s and dealing with life

Truly, if you want to laugh at the ridiculousness that is attempting to jazz up dull age-related angst with fancy names, check out a great edition of The Hater at AV Club.