ASK LUCY: I’m having a quarter life crisis, help.

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Hey Lucy,

I am having a minor (major) crisis over what to do with the rest of my life. I am in my third and final year of university struggling through a course that I have slowly but surely begun to hate (and hence want to change life direction and not do anything directly degree-related). “My Future” has been a source of worry for quite some time- however since coming home for Christmas and being inundated with questions from parents/ grandparents/ aunts/ uncles/ cousins etc etc about what i am going to do next, I am becoming very panicky (and retail therapy is a short but non-sustainable solution).

If I am honest with myself, I don’t really want to rush into a career (like I feel I did with my degree) and so I would really like a gap year. However I don’t want to waste the year – it would be great if i could incorporate both traveling and money saving (and possibly some work experience). I JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START.

  1. Do I move home for a while and get a standard job at a supermarket and then travel?
  2. Do I move to a cool city (Berlin perhaps?) and live/ work there for a while?
  3. How does one go about organising such a move?!
  4. And does not being able to speak a word of German mean I will never get employed?

I realise this is a big ask – so feel free to just ignore it. However any advice would be greatly appreciated! If nothing else, happy new year!

Thanks a lot (and also thank you for the term “pash and dash”- greatly used between myself and BFF)

Fran x

Dearest Fran,

What a brilliant question, and one you shouldn’t be so stressed about. The thing is – you are totally normal. Not to put a damper on you, and your uniqueness in the world. But the quarter life crisis is a thing,  I also had one after my first university degree, survived it.

When I was a kid, I was sure by 29 I would be starting my own small business, settling down with Mr Probably Right and thinking about maybe procreating in a few years from now. What am I doing ? Working part time, writing a blog and living in a country where I don’t speak the language/ have no real ties.

The fact of it all is, you can do anything:

  1. YOU ARE EDUCATED – maybe it’s (now) a career path you resent, but it’s there as a fall back. BOOM – you’re ahead already.
  2. YOU LIVE IN THE EU – the world is your oyster. You wanna test life out, GO DO IT. You’re legal to live and work in most of this fair-land and it’s largely only 1.5hours by plane. So if the living and working part doesn’t work out ? Just make sure you have enough cash to get yourself on a one way ticket home.

My rule of thumb with picking up and starting a fresh, is as follows:

HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO LAST YOU AT LEAST 2 MONTHS
Jumping ship and moving away from home is only ever a stupid idea if you are irresponsible about it. Save some cash, give yourself a cushion. Independence comes from living self sufficiently, this is largely money driven. Don’t be idealistic, and push through life like it’s one giant burning man experience. It’s not, you can’t exchange food and water for hugs and drugs (well you probably could, but it’ll likely get weird fast). You need capital.

HAVE A ROUGH PLAN
I don’t mean that you need to work out what you are doing every week, every second, every day, but.. You want to move to Germany (example) – OK. Your rough plan is: an apartment, a language class, registering yourself and a bank account. These are your goals – know what they are. Getting to your destination is a piece of cake, what happens when you get there without a plan is a whole lot of time/ money wasting. Have a plan, be focused and…

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
There is nothing more irritating than people who have tonnes to do, but fuck about so much that they don’t get it done. You’ve made a plan, you have goals – action them. I’m certain when I first moved here I yapped about how hard life was, and how much I couldn’t get done but wanted to but couldn’t – shut up 2012 Lucy ! Sometimes things are hard, granted. But seriously – complaining is a waste of everyone’s time. Get to it, and when it gets hard – talk about it in a “let’s resolve this” fashion, not an “I need to complain, can you listen to me complain all the time, aren’t I a victim” way. Do you understand ? HIT THE GROUND RUNNING, and shut the fuck up.

JUST HAVE A GO
The absolute worst thing that will happen to you in this I’m moving away from home to {insert other destination} is that you’ll fail. This doesn’t mean death, nor does it mean disownment, nor does it mean you’ll contract a fatal illness (although if you do go the hugs and drugs for food and water in a modern economy, you might) – it just means that you didn’t succeed – it’s really not a big deal. Failing is apart of life, if you didn’t fail then you would never get anywhere because you wouldn’t really know where you wanted to go, you know ? So have a go – fail, don’t fail – who cares, it’s going to make for a wonderful story. Run with it.

I really can’t tell you what your next move is, but don’t resent it – that’d be the pits.

Love Lucy.

P.S You are welcome for pash and dash.  I didn’t coin it, but happy to spread it around.

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About LUCY

Femme of sass, sometimes.