How To Have A Quarter-Life Crisis (Step-By-Step)

Editor’s note: the following article provides listicle tips for having a quarter-life crisis. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Ask your doctor if HTHAQLC is right for you.

  1. Breathlessly pursue your pre-determined plan for success. The more prestige, money, and admiration you expect, the better.
  2. Fail unexpectedly hard, and make it dramatic. If your self-esteem is intact, you didn’t do it right.
  3. Crash at Mom and Dad’s for a while. Get depressed by your dependency while simultaneously noting how much better you are eating now.
  4. Start a blog. Plan to make money off of it one day, then forget to update it consistently.
  5. Start a business. Screw the man! You were born to be an entrepreneur anyway.
  6. Accept the first crummy job that comes your way. It probably won’t be that bad, and at least you won’t struggle to pay your cell phone bill.
  7. Go back to school. Your undergraduate degree is useless, but a graduate degree is different!
  8. Quit the first crummy job. Cue a giant explosion behind you as you walk out on that crap.
  9. Begin another job that doesn’t require a degree. Tell yourself it’s temporary.
  10. Beg for side gigs to pay off the mountain of student debt. Act as desperate as possible.
  11. Pick up a bad habit to cope with the stress—I recommend nail-biting over, say, becoming an alcoholic. If you picked up a bad habit already during college, skip to the next step.
  12. Quit the second crummy job. It just wasn’t paying the bills.
  13. Start job number three. This one should be stressful in its own unique way and equally low-paying.
  14. Quit school. The stress is too much, and what are you even doing with your life, and will anyone even care about this degree, and you can’t pay for loans AND class, and…
  15. Complain to everyone who will listen about your life crumbling around you. Don’t believe people when they say they’re tired of hearing about it—that’s just something people feel like they’re supposed to say.
  16. Let yourself continue to spiral into a self-doubting crybaby. Or make an early segway into cranky dream killer. You have options here.
  17. Pick up lame stress-busting hobbies like walking and breathing.
  18. Panic nightly about the direction in which your life is (or isn’t) going.
  19. Have a breakdown. This could be a long, silent cry in your bedroom, but if you don’t mind making it public, that could be entertaining.
  20. This is it—you’ve had a quarter-life crisis. Pat yourself on the back. This celebratory and final step in the crisis cycle evenly rounds our list up to 20 steps.

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