A quarter life crisis

It’s time for people to take their life goals seriously and to act now rather than later.

Eric Best

Today is the day. Today, I turn 21. While most collegians rejoice on such a day, as drinking becomes incrementally easier — and more expensive — my mind is focusing on something else: life and death.

I’ve hit a time in my life where I look to my younger peers and feel “old.” I have a significant trail of memories and experiences strewn about as I hit this monumental figure in American culture. I’m far from the great thereafter, yet I feel like I’ve just jumped over one of life’s hurdles.

But is it all down from here, the proverbial peak of the mountain of life? If anything, this experience is a push to try to deal with the goals I set out for myself as a child.

Exactly one year ago today, I turned 20. As I left my teenager status behind, I found myself wanting to do one last teenager-esque act: I wanted to become a graffiti artist.

I do not know the specific seed planted in my brain that bore such a fruitless idea, but I decided that I needed to do it. One cold night at the end of November I brought a bag, heavy with paint and stencil materials, and tagged a wall in Minneapolis. As I heard the hiss of the paint can, my heart burst out like a mortar shell upon the concrete, adrenaline fueling each turn of my wrist.

This was what it was like to accomplish a life goal, despite its
legality.

While I won’t necessarily condone my behavior, I will tirelessly argue for the idea behind it. As I hit yet another milestone in my life, the legal drinking age, I find myself looking to accomplish yet another goal.

We often passively hear about life in some abstract notion — “live, laugh, love,” for example — but the reality is life exists in a very short and concrete frame. Yet, as young people we need to understand that it’s our experiences that make life worth living. We can’t simply plan for the future, as your adviser may help you do; we need to account for the present. Take risks while you can, be unique and don’t wait.