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Quarter-Life Crisis: 25 Disappointments You Deal With When You’re 25

Make no mistake: 25 is a special age. It's an age when we stand on the cusp of a new chapter in our lives. We have lived for at least 25 percent of our lives — give or take — and are now undeniably adults.

Unfortunately, this new chapter in our lives brings a few handfuls of new information — and it’s mostly disappointing, I'm afraid.

It may not all come at once, but before we hit those 30s, most of us become entirely disillusioned. These are the 25 disappointments 25-year-olds deal with:

1. Thinking that by 25, you'd be working your dream job.

When we’re younger we think that graduating by 22 will allow us plenty of time to find that job we always wanted.

The problem is that when we’re adults, three years is a very short period of time. Most 25-year-olds hate their jobs.


2. Coming to realize that you don't know as much about the world as you thought you knew.

Somehow, the older you get, the more complicated everything becomes. Well, the more you realize how complicated things have always been.

Our younger years are for oversimplification. The illusion fades once we hit about 25.


3. Finding out exactly how much of your paycheck is eaten up by taxes.

Taxes are needed in order for progress to be made. Things need to be maintained and improved.

Of course, someone needs to pay for it — and it only makes sense that the people using the things that need to be maintained and improved, pay for those things. But damn… a third? Really?


4. Finding out that supporting yourself isn't nearly as exciting as you thought it would be — before you actually had to support yourself.

Growing up, we all want to be adults. Once we're adults, most of us want to revert to being kids. We're never happy. Being on our own is exciting — until we're on our own. Then it just feels expensive.


5. Living on your own isn't as glamorous as was expected.

You couldn't wait to have your own place, your own car, your own life. But after living on your own for a while, it turns out that it isn't as awesome as you were expecting it to be.

Sure, it has its moments. Living in a 10 x 10 ft. room most definitely isn't one of them.


6. Having to accept that working just about always sucks.

Because it's work. After a few years in the workforce, most people begin to realize how much they would hate working for the rest of their lives.

Most people work in order to live the life they want to live. The problem is that working takes up too much time to live that life they're working so hard for.

When we hit 25ish, we make a choice: either suck it up and push through to make that money, or look for something we are passionate about so that work never feels like work again.


7. Coming to accept that days are short and that there’s little time for things other than work and running personal errands.

If you're 25, working and living on your own, then finding time to socialize and have fun can — at times — be difficult.

Of course, everyone's situation is a little different, but if you work a 9 to 5, exercise, clean, do laundry, possibly cook and sleep a healthy amount, there isn't much time left for all the other stuff. You know, the good stuff.


8. Being disappointed with the people you meet.

You may have been excited to go out and meet all the fascinating people in the world. You know that they're out there somewhere, but you didn't expect it to be nearly as hard as it is to find them. In general, you're disappointed with people.

The more people you meet, the more they blend in with the rest of the crowd you've met. Worst part is that making new friends becomes very difficult.


9. Being disappointed with your preferred sex.

You may make some new friends — not like the friends you've grown up with, but friends — but finding someone to be with… that's the most difficult thing of all; 25 is a great year to date and explore.

It's a great age to make mistakes. Just keep in mind that that is exactly what most of it will amount to: a bunch of mistakes.


10. Losing friends due to different life directions.

You used to think that your high school buddies or even elementary school buddies would be a part of your life forever. Yet, you haven't spoken or heard from them in months.

It's not that you guys decided to cut things off — it's just that nobody has bothered to make that effort. Everyone, including you, is apparently too busy. It's disappointing.


11. Realizing that most of your friends are awful friends, and then cutting them out of your life.

You don't want to do it… but you know that you have to do it. They're hurting you instead of supporting you.


12. All that school debt that you still have to pay off — and will continue to have to pay off for a long time.

Whose brilliant idea was it for you to go to college? Yes, it's part of the system we have in place, but so is the debt you've accumulated — all part of our wonderful system.

Worst part is that you're not even working in the field you studied!


13. Realizing that your major only allows you to find jobs that, it turns out, you can't stand doing.

You liked learning about all of it, but doing the work that you're expected to do, especially at entry level, you hate doing.


14. Not knowing where to head in life.

You're 25… shouldn't you have it figured out by now?! Most of us expected to have it all figured out by 25.

Now we understand that 25 is still very young, but back in the day, 25 seemed a lifetime away. Now that you've reached that wonderful age, you're as lost and confused as ever.


15. “Still” being alone.

The older you get, the more relationships that miserably fail, the funnier this thought becomes. “Still” being alone — of course you are… you're not even ready for a relationship yet.

If you were, then you'd have probably tried a bit harder not to screw the last few up.


16. Always knowing that there are only 24 hours in a day… but never realizing how short that actually is.

Teenage years are filled with days that never end quickly enough. Now you are losing track of days, even weeks at a time.


17. Not being happy.

You were certain that by 25, you'd be waking up every morning smiling, yet the frowning persists.

Regardless of whether or not you are where you hoped to be at 25, you're still not as happy as you thought you'd be. Clearly, there must be more to happiness than you thought.


18. Realizing that your parents aren't the superheroes you once thought they were.

Well, you figured out they weren't superheroes a while ago, but you never thought of them to be quite so… human.

The older you get, the more your parents begin to talk to you like they would their friends. This can be great, but also a bit disillusioning.


19. Realizing that drinking, partying and raging actually does get old.

You can barely believe it, but you no longer enjoy getting trashed and puking your guts out. It’s the oddest thing…


20. Being disappointed with how quickly a quarter of your life has flown by.

Realistically, it’s even more than a quarter of your life. On top of that, now we're told that it's just about all downhill from here. Great — lots to look forward to.


21. For those lucky enough to have found their passion by 25, they're going to have to try a whole lot harder to get to where they want to be.

Discovering your passion is just step one in a lifelong journey.


22. How boring life can be.

You thought life was boring when you were a teenager — always having to go to class and pretend like you're paying attention.

But now, things can sometimes get really, really boring. Not all 25-year-olds have a full schedule. Some have no schedule.


23. How much you miss being in school.

Not only are you disappointed that you miss being in school, but you're also incredibly surprised. Who'd have thunk that after decades of wanting out, you’d want back in again?


24. Realizing how little time you actually have to create your dream lives.

Sure, there's plenty of time, but then you also want to be left with enough time to enjoy that life you worked so hard to build.

What's the point of working your whole life if it's over by the time you can finally enjoy it?


25. Not yet figuring out the point of it all.

Better yet, realizing that you now feel like you understand even less than you did before. You're getting older, but it seems like you understand life less. The good news? This is what we call wisdom.


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Paul Hudson

Staff Writer

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