BY Annie Zhai

It was during summer break of 2017 when I read an article that predicted your date of death based on ABS statistics, your age and where you have lived. The article predicted that I would die on 26 December 2079. Needless to say that’s when my quarter life crisis started.

I kept thinking to myself ‘ I’m only 20 years old and, according to this, already a quarter through my lifetime’. There is so much that I want to do but (seemingly) not enough time.

So, does good arise from a quarter life crisis other than existential despair? In my opinion, yes. My crisis made me realise many things...


We are constantly told by our parents and  teachers that university will be the best time of our lives. That we will meet life long friends and make lasting memories. They forgot to mention the bills, the all nighters and (dun dun) student debt. While you’re out with friends having one too many, you suddenly start questioning whether buying yesterday’s coffee or that cute sweater online was a good idea, and how you’re going to survive in the real world without your triple shot caramel soy latte.

We’re also often caught in the paradox of ‘you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience’. As you get to the final years of your degree, the idea of applying to grad programs and full time jobs becomes equally terrifying and exciting, and the idea of giving it all a miss and booking a European holiday instead more enticing. Cue crisis. But, ultimately, whether you’re ready for adult life or not, buy the coffee and spend the summer in Croatia, because putting your life on pause after 4 years at uni is almost necessary if you want to be sane.


Ageing is inevitable, and whether you’re turning 20 or 45, it still freaks you out. To think that six years ago we were all playing handball in the playground , and now we’re supposed to have our shit together still confounds me. After years of being too young to date, suddenly the clock is ticking with the inevitable questions about being “settled down” at your age at every family reunion. Since when did having a relationship constitute as an element of success? Does it matter if we’re not married by 30? Let’s binge watch Sex and the City for reassurance.


Now you may say to everyone suffering a existential crisis to get over it. We all die. It’s a natural fact of life, so adapt. Not all of us want to acknowledge that our life could be snuffed from us in an instant. Not all of us feel like we have accomplished or explored enough to feel satisfied. So what is the meaning of life? Is it 42? And who decided that it was our time to live in this era? Chill out, put on some Netflix, and deal with it later. After all, you’re only 20 once.