Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The QuarterLife Crisis

This is going to be a very uncomfortable kind of post for me Readers. I normally don't like disclosing too much information about my life, not because I don't want to share the details with you, but mostly because this little blog is an escape for me, a break from reality and a way to share my most frivolous and fanatical obsessions.

I graduated from College this past Spring, with a BA in Human Development. People often ask me what that really means, and the best way to explain it is to lump it into the same category and realm as Psychology (minus all the applied research). I chose this as my major because I was a floater in school. I didn't know what the heck I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. So I took a couple of intro Psych courses in college and although I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after graduating, I kept on a floatin'.

Well now I feel like I made the wrong choice. Big time. I think. I THINK?!!!

This is where the Quarterlife crisis comes in. It is a great book that was recommended to me and although it helps to reassure me that as a mid twenty-something, I am not alone in my confusions, my fears, and my doubts, I still have a nagging feeling that I have no clue what the hell I'm supposed to be doing and it's preventing me from living my life to the fullest.

I recently got a job working in a residential treatment center/school in a dorm with young children who have very serious problems. I'm sick as a dog already and I just started my first day of training yesterday! I had to skip today and won't be back until next week when I feel well enough. But again, I am just not sure this is the right job for me. I need to have a steady job and I need to make money, so I am going to stick it out and see what happens. But I want more than anything to be happy in what I do every day.

What makes me happy: I love to write. I always have, always will. I could have majored in journalism or literature, but I didn't. I'm not sure why.
What also makes me happy: Fashion. I wanted to possibly attend FIDM after I graduated high school, but I didn't want to move away to Los Angeles or San Diego and leave the security of home. So I didn't. Becoming a fashion buyer would be my ultimate dream job!

The bottom line is that I sacrificed my true loves because I was scared, lazy, and lacked the discipline and motivation to really make things happen for myself. I settled for a major that looked "good on paper", that would satisfy my need to be considered smart by others, that I thought would allow me to feel fulfilled by helping others. Now, I am thinking about going back to school, maybe take a few fashion and writing courses. But there is also this part of me that thinks I should go back and get my Master's, possibly in school or college counseling so I can be an academic advisor. See? So many options! I go back and forth 100 times in a day.

So, to any of you bloggers out there who have felt this way, please share a bit of your struggles with me! I would love to hear from you. Also, to those of you working in the fashion industry now, just in case I ever decide to go that route: any advice for someone like me who has no experience at all? Where do I even begin?



If you stuck this one out, Thank You for reading!
Noelle

23 comments :

  1. Noelle, you are definitely not alone in this. The field I'm currently in is very similar to your degree. I even doubted myself about choosing this field after two years into my doctoral program. For a long time I didn't want to go the academia routine despite a big push from my advisors. During my second year in the program I applied for a MA degree in Public Administration through a state university. So I was taking classes in two schools. My family and friends thought I was crazy. I thought I just wanted to give myself more options because at that point I didn't know where my advance degree was going to take me. After much self exploration and discussion with my advisors, I have decided to continue on with the academia routine. Through the self exploration process I have rediscovered passion for my research. You might feel that you're running out of time, that you need to make money,...etc. That's totally understandable. And I also understand that sometimes options are just not available. I hope you will stay true to your heart and do what makes you happy inside. Best of luck.

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  2. Sydney: Thank you so much! Congratulations again on your job for next Fall. A doctorate is such an enormous acomplishment, one in which will allow you to do almost anything! Thank you for the words of encouragment, it really helps and means a lot to me.

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  3. figuring out what you want to do is hard!! i don't believe there is only ONE good choice for you out there, but even narrowing it down to ONE job that you love is hard.

    just keep at it, work hard, keep an open mind. it's ok to be scared, but don't let that hold you back. one of my instructors recently told me that it was good to be a little scared, since it keeps you on your toes!

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  4. I definitely know what you mean. I graduated in Summer 2008 with my BA in Psych. It's so hard to find a decent job with that degree. I wasn't sure what I wanted, so I was in my school's MBA program for a year, which was long enough for me to realize how much I hate business. I actually started the M.Ed. program in Fall 2009 for my Master's in School Counseling and I LOVE it. I honestly can't wait to start my career. It's a long, tough program, but the payoff will be great.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that a lot of us went through the same struggles and it's tough, but you'll find something :)

    After I had already chosen my program, I actually took a Myers-Brigg test and then looked it up in this book called Do What You Are and School Counseling was one of my options!

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  5. Wow. You totally described me in your post! I graduated with my B.S. in Psychology this past Spring and I seriously didn't know what I wanted to do. In all honesty, I'm not sure if my current plan of action (occupational therapy) is really what I want to do either. I am so scared that I am making the wrong choice at times, but I'm not sure if it is due to the fact that I am just so indecisive! Just know that you aren't alone in feeling this way! I will definitely have to check that book out!

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  6. Noelle,
    I feel your pain! I am currently going through the same problem. I have one more quarter of school until I graduate with my BS in Psych--I've done a pre-med stint in college which I decided wasn't for me after an internship...now my plan is to go to Nursing school to become an NP but I'm also not sure that's right for me. I have the same interests as you--fashion/journalism, and I'm considering going to get my Masters in Public Relations, because I think it would be so fun to do PR for a fashion/beauty company!
    It's great that you have a job where you will be able to find out what your strengths (and weaknesses) are, and fine-tune your goals from there. I know that lots of schools will let you sit in on classes (in grad programs), so that may be a good option for helping you figure out which avenue best fits your interests and goals.
    xoxo

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  7. Noelle..I love you..we talked..;) Guess what I did?? I finally made a blog!!! Check it out! Love you..

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  8. This stage sucks. I graduated in with a fairly specific degree, French Primary Education and now I have NO IDEA if that's even what I want to do! I've really been trying to figure out what makes me tick, what I love, and what will still provide financial security. It's hard. Especially the job for now thing. I'm living at home and working for my parents, but even that I really don't want to be doing, but until I sort that out i don't want to be getting a job that I then am stuck in. So know you are not alone at all. And I believe that we will all one day sort it out!! It will just take time. xx

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  9. Aww Noelle I am sorry for your troubles!!! I graduated from college with a degree in English Lit and I am not doing a thing with it. I thought about going back to school to get my teaching degree but the teaching classes at UT Knoxville are in the summer AND during the day which means I would have to quit my job, which also means no income coming in for my to support myself! I am working a so so job right now and always think about what if???? I hope the right decision comes to you!

    http://www.afashionfixation.blogspot.com

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  10. Thank you so much for all of your stories and words of comfort. This is why I wanted to share this with you! All of the advice and kind thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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  11. Hello,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it.

    I will be 25 in just over 2 weeks. I feel your frustration completely. After highschool, my plan was to go to college for a specific Criminolgy program with a transfer to University to complete my undergrad degree. Afterwards, I intended on going to law school. After being put on a waitlist for my Criminoogy program, I decided to get a job at a law firm in the interim. Gain experience. Fast forward 7 years later, and I ended up continuing to work full time at a law firm, went to school to become a certified Paralegal, and changed my mind completely about becoming a lawyer. I gained a new perspective working in a law firm and decided I didn't want the life of a lawyer for many reasons. While I love my job and enjoy it for the most part, I still feel the twinge of regret about not going to law school. But then I remind myself that I achieved a career, and still obtained an education. I see how some of my friends are struggling with student loans, and trying to find jobs after obtaining their degrees, and I know I made the right choice for me.

    Then at 25, there are also the struggles with wanting to be further ahead. Some friends/family my age are getting married, buying homes, having babies, traveling the world on their honeymoons. While I have been with my BF for 7 years and know we will get there soon, we aren't ready just yet. We have lots of time and we have a wonderful life even without all of those things. I know it will happen when the time is right. It's just the awful envy monster that I think pops up at this stage in our lives. We just have to take things one day at a time, be thankful and grateful for what we have and try not to let negative feelings overshadow the good.

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  12. Anon: Wow your story is so similar to mine! I have been with my bf for almost five years, and we don't even live together yet. We are incredibly happy (he's my best friend), but recently there is that pressure to move our relationship forward. So many of our friends are either married, getting married, having kids etc and it feels like we are so far behind. I want those things too, but first I feel like I need to establish myself and make enough of an income to entirely support myself, have a mortgage and so on. It is really hard, but you're right - I have to focus on the good things in my life, not the bad. Thank you for your feedback!

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  13. Dear Noelle, congratulations for your post. You are a very brave woman! It takes a huge self-knowledge and a lot of guts to assume that something is wrong with us and to tell the world what it is. I believe you did what´s necessary to begin a changing process: assume that something isn´t quite/ nothing of what we would like it to be. And now, the next step is to reflect about the way out. Just be carefull with your security needs, because oftenly the need for change makes us run for the first way out, that isn´t, necessarily, the best one for us! I wish you all the best....and serendipity!
    Love, Rita.

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  14. AWW! it's nice to be a bit personal in blog:)) you are indeed a very brave woman! and just continue to be strong and move forward:)

    nice blog and nice post.
    try to visit mine too.thank you.
    karlaforonda.blogspot.com

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  15. without knowing your background at all, for what its worth coming from someone you don't know at all, i just want to tell you to give it all up to god. what we think is best for us might not be what HE thinks is best. just pray for god to guide you. trust in him and you can do no wrong. i will say a prayer for you as well - that you find peace in your decisions that are to come. i hope i didn't offend you.
    xo

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  16. Anon and Karla:: Thank you

    Nalas: You do not offend me at all, thank you for your comment =)

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  17. Hi Noelle, all I can say is it's not too late to do any of the things you said interest you: Fashion, Journalism. Some people find what they're meant to do at 40, so you have a lot of time on your hands. Nobody should have to do what they don't like.
    Just find that thing that you're passionate about & do it. You're smart, you'll figure out how.

    I hope you'll find your dream job! *hugs*

    ♥xx♥

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  18. Cynthia: Thank you sweetie. It's true that people change jobs and careers many times throughout their lives. I just have to remind myself that!

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  19. you will figure everything out :) and at least you realized this now and not 15 years from now. Wishing you the best of luck for the future :)

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  20. This is a great post Noelle, because I'm sure many people feel the same way. One of my best friend's just got laid off and she is absolutely lost. She loved what she did in the past, but isn't sure if that is what she wants to do forever. She's in her twenty's as well, and is under a lot of pressure to head toward a direction that will be the foundation of her career.

    Have you ever considered PR or corporate communications? Even marketing (in general)...i write a lot in my position. I am confident that you'll find your place...

    <3, natasha

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  21. Thanks for such a personal post! As you can already tell, you are not alone! I think we've all been there at some point. I graduated a fews years back with a degree in Interior Design. As you can imagine, with the economy, jobs in my field have taken a huge hit. I'm now working for a furniture company...not really designing anything at all. I'm not loving my job, but I know it's just a stepping stone and someday when things bounce back, I'll be doing what I love again! Just hang in there and know it will all work out.

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  22. Wow! We really do have alot in common! Hun I am 37 years old and still can't settle on what I want to do. I wanted to be a Beauty Editor since I was 8 yrs old. I use to tear out pictures of models who I thought would be big. I also would keep up with the latest makeup and skincare trends. This passion has only grown to be stonger trust me. I kick myself everyday for not going for it. I got a job as a receptionist for Glamour Magazine which would of been a great stepping stone. Unfortunately I had to pass it up because I got pregnant. I live in New York for god sakes, the city of opportunity. Why didn't I knock on every magazines door. I love writing, always did as a matter of fact. It's a confusing world hun, there are so many job titles out there and all types of degrees to go for. I just got offered to write for the Examiner.com an online newspaper. I will be writing about Long Island Skincare Treatments. Would you be interested in writing for them. Maybe you could write about fashion buying. Go to Examiner.com and sign up. Choose a topic your interested in and write a sample post. Very shortly after someone will be in contact with you if they like your writing. I personally think you would be a great writer. I still ask myself why was I so scared to make that leap of faith and step out of my safety zone. All I can say is think of life as a big wonderland of sorts. An amusement park of wild rides if you will. Don't be scared to take that ride no matter how fearful you are. It's your sun, moon and stars hun. It took me 37 years to figure that out and just now I am no longer in fear. I am going out there and getting mine. Theres nothing to fear but fear itself. Trust your instincts, god gave them to your for guidance. I will tell you this, you will be something great because you already are. Keep your chin up hun. If you need help with anything just email me. My email is listed on blog home page. Chau for now.

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  23. V: Thank you =)

    Natasha: Thank you sweetie. No, I have never considered PR but maybe I am now!

    Nicole: I hope this economy picks up again soon! So many people are struggling and it's sad to see and even worse to feel stuck in a job because you don't want to risk losing any form of income. Thank you for sharing with me =)

    e manticoff: Thank you hun! I will take you up on that email =)

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I love your comments. Thank you for reading!