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Getting out alive at 25 or http://www.cavalierdaily.com/CVArticle.asp?ID=23074&pid=1284
Getting out alive at 25
As graduation approaches, fourth years are plagued by the same questions that dominate the thoughts of twenty somethings all over the country: What do I do after college? Do I want to focus on a career or family first? Should I do something I love or something that will make me money? And perhaps most importantly, what do I do with my life?
Fourth-year College student Katy Shrum is questioning what her plans for after graduation are.
“All of a sudden, I felt old,” Shrum said. “My life flashed before me and I had no idea what my career options were.”
This phenomenon, commonly known as the quarterlife crisis, the subject of Jason Steinle’s new book, “Upload Experience: Quarterlife Solutions for Teens and Twentysomethings.”
The quarterlife crisis, Steinle explains, is a stage people in their teens and twenties go through as they leave the stability and sanctuary of the home to enter the real world. Without the structure of college life, many students are forced to face the unpredictability of life beyond the classroom. A vast majority try to recreate the controlled foundation of their college lives by planning every step of their future. Promotion by 25, married by 27, first child by 30.
Shrum is all too familiar with the quarterlife crisis, having experienced one earlier this year when applying to graduate school.
“When you get to a point where you’re heading out on your own, there are people who are getting married and people are expecting that, expecting you to have a plan for the rest of your life,” she said. “Officially you’re out of your teenage years. You realize you have to be responsible but you’re not and it’s scary.”
The problem with putting life on a calendar to stay on track with career goals and financial aims is the sheer unpredictability of the real world. Statistics support Steinle’s claim that college graduates do not have their lives together and, in fact, don’t even know where to begin.
Pop quiz. Which of the following is true?
a)Polls show 50 to 95 percent of Americans are unsatisfied in their current jobs.
b)The average college graduate has more than eight jobs from the age of 22 to the age of 32.
c)Divorce rates are highest for couples married in their teens and early twenties.
d)Drug and alcohol abuse is highest for teens and twenty-year-olds.
e)All of the above.
The correct answer is E, a point Jason Steinle focuses heavily on in his book. According to Steinle, many of the questions quarterlifers find themselves conflicted about can be solved through a process known as “upload experiencing,” or using the life skills and knowledge of another person and applying them to one’s own life. “Upload experiencing” is not the same as living vicariously through another person, but rather it’s a way of connecting to somebody else’s experiences and using them to make life decisions.
Steinle uses “The Matrix” as an analogy to explain “upload experience.” In the movie, the main character, Neo, has the knowledge of martial arts uploaded into his mind, which he then uses in his own experiences. Steinle adapts this science fiction concept to explain his research on the quarterlife crisis.
“The ultimate ‘central center’ to upload information into is our body, mind, spirit,” said the 28-year-old author, who is himself a quarterlifer. “In my opinion this is how all true learning and growth occurs.”
Steinle helped found the Health and Harmony Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Colorado when he was 24, after earning his doctorate in chiropractic. To build community awareness, he hosted weekly health education awareness lectures (H.E.A.L. talks). One Wednesday evening, a local radio show host was a member of his audience and invited Steinle to be a guest on his show, which led to an opportunity for Steinle to host his own show. After two years of working with radio, Steinle was given a chance to appear on television.
Despite his success, Steinle said he was still asking himself what he wanted out of life and what he wanted to do with his career. The questions led him to more questions, specifically interviews with other quarterlifers, to find out their experiences and how closely those mimicked his own. Steinle spent four years asking people about their experiences and interviewing quarterlifers to try to understand what caused the phenomenon and what could be done to overcome it.
A constant theme he found in the interviews was the utter focus individuals had on finding the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect children, and knowing when and how to reach their life goals. He said he observes many post-college graduates believe they have only one chance at success, and if they miss one opportunity, then their life plans have been foiled and ruined. In turn, this places a tremendous amount of stress on the individual to get everything right.
The typical quarterlifer might say: “I have to get this internship so I can get the right job. I need the right job so I can make the right connections and be promoted. Once I’m promoted, I can be successful and focus on my family.”
This is the exact type of thinking Steinle claims is the cause of the quarterlife crisis. His research also involved interviews with men and women as old as their 60s, which revealed a distinction that he uses as evidence of his theory.
“The truth is as I’ve interviewed people in their 40s, 50s and 60s plus, they are facing the same questions as the over 300 quarterlifers I’ve interviewed,” Steinle said. “The difference is that older generations are more comfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing what the next step will be.”
He emphasizes that the pressure quarterlifers place on themselves to get it right the first time is the very thing his book is trying to address.
In “Upload Experience,” each of the thirty chapters take on one of the thirty questions that Steinle theorizes quarterlifers are in crisis over. With questions ranging from “Is life fair?” to “Where should I live?” Steinle offers case studies and anecdotes to emphasize his points.
In “Am I with the right one?” he offers an example of a man who meets his wife only when he’s not looking for her, especially after a number of other relationships.
In “How can I overcome the feeling of being stuck?” he presents the story of a woman who takes it upon herself to try new things and engage in activities that interest her, and the opportunities that inevitably follow.
To Steinle, the quarterlife crisis is just another stage in life that an individual can remain in for months or years, depending on the attitude he takes. “Upload Experience” is Steinle’s effort to share the research and knowledge he’s gathered over the past few years to ease the transition from college into the real world, and to relieve some of the pressure teens and twentysomethings may feel to always making the right decision.
Specifically for college graduates, Steinle offers four words of advice:
1. What is the worst that can happen?
2. What is the best that can happen?
3. What is most likely to happen?
4. Am I willing to live with the worst in order to have a shot at the best?
Posted in Graduation Articles, Upload Experience: Quarterlife Solutions in the news..., Quarterlife Articles |
HAPPY GRADUATION AND CONGRATS BATCH 2010! :pp
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF GROWN UPS! :))