Prepare To Have A Quarter-Life Crisis

What have you achieved in life so far? A-levels, a place at university and maybe even the odd job or work placement might sound like a lot to have accomplished in your 18-21 years. Possibly you count stumbling out of a club and into your 9am lecture as a feat of colossal achievement? Or even managing to do your own laundry and cook your own meals enables you to be proud of the way you’ve spent your day? If that sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to stop reading before you suffer a Quarter-Life Crisis.

The Quarter-Life Crisis is a term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, as you wait for your life to begin and prepare to enter the real world. Symptoms include looking back on your own life and realising that you have yet to really accomplish anything at all, combined with the feeling that somehow everyone is doing better than you – despite all your efforts, you might even question choices you made in life. Just think – what if…

If only… I’d been a scientist. I could have been the first to discover or show something new like Pierre Curie did at 21 years old by demonstrating piezoelectric for the first time.

If only… I had been a writer. I could have written a bestselling novel that was transformed into a movie by the time I was 17 like Christopher Paolini and his novel Eragon.

If only… I had been a maths wiz kid and young entrepreneur. Arjun Rajyagor wouldn’t have stood a chance against me in the junior apprentice this year.

If only… I had tried my hand at directing films. I could have been as prestigious as Francis Ford Coppola when he began directing aged 10.

If only… I tried harder with sports. I could have been representing the UK at Beijing with the diver Tom Daley aged 14.

If only… I did more drama. The youngest Oscar winner title could have been mine and not Tatum O’Neal aged 10 for Paper Moon.

If only… I’d gone into politics early. I could have been the one to beat Emily Benn who was only 17 when she was chosen to contest the East Worthing and Shoreham constituency for Labour.

If only… I had trained harder at football. I could have beaten Theo Walcott to the title of youngest ever England player in an international match aged 17.

If only… I practiced my music more. I’m sure I would have provided a little bit of competition for Chopin, who was composing at the tender age of 7.

Anyone else feeling rather depressed and dismayed right now? Suddenly these questions and examples have made our petty achievements seem a bit futile and pathetic in comparison to what some have achieved before they have reached our age. But the thing to remember before you give up on yourself is that even if you had made bigger changes in your life, or made certain choices, there is nothing to say that your life definitely would have turned out better or even received such prestige as those above. Life is all about opportunities and realising your talent. Many of these people were simply lucky to discover their talent at such an early age. Besides, who knows? Maybe they missed out on some of the amazing opportunities that we take for granted!

Lucy Kenderdine

FeaturesThis Issue

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