You are born. You live under your parents’ thumb for two decades. They tell you what to do, what to eat, where to go, who to be. And then suddenly in your twenties, adulthood is thrust upon you. You are expected to be a productive and successful member of society.
But how can you be productive and successful when you don’t even know who you are? You weren’t given the space to be your own person. Every attempt to seek clarity was met with reproof and non-answers. “Don’t talk back to your mother!” “…because it’s our culture!” “Boys are not supposed to do that.” Now you don’t know what you like or what you are good at.
Finding your identity so that you can follow the right career path is an uphill task because society will try relentlessly to shove you into a box and throw stereotypes at you.
When you are not dealing with the identity crisis, you are dealing with the religious crisis. Your belief in a deity is based on indoctrination which doesn’t take kindly to asking questions. When you start to think critically you realize that something doesn’t add up in the creation story or the story of a talking donkey. You know that bad stuff happens to people whether or not they pray to a supernatural being.
But you continue to go through the religious motions because indoctrination works in such a way that even if you have all the facts to prove that your belief is wrong, you will always be too scared to let go.
One Sunday you go to church and you meet this tall drink of water who looks like he was made in the image of God. You go out on a date and find out that he is not the sharpest tool in the box. Unbeknownst to you, he is just one of many men with whom you will, to quote Tailor Swift “go on too many dates, but I can’t make ‘em stay.”You are at the ripe age for a love-life crisis. Meanwhile, your family is putting you on pressure to find a lifelong companion.
Another crisis that you are bound to have during your quarter life is the friendship crisis. Those friends to whom you were attached to the hip move away or get married or outgrow you. Or worse, you stop liking them. Your innocence is peeled away and you start to see some friends for the selfish toxic people that they really are.
Or you avoid your friends because while you curl up into a ball and hope to die every night, they seem to have everything figured out. They live in good neighorhoods. They pledge Rwf. 3,000,000 during wedding meetings. They are getting married. They can afford to go for vacation in exotic places and when they ask you to go along you feign disinterest.
In a nutshell, quarter life is likely to leave you feeling beaten and confused. But do not despair. Countless people have been where you are. But they made it though and so will you.