Wednesday, April 24, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 136



Confused? Try this book

By Ellen Simonson
Daily Cougar Staff

Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner are self-described "twentysomethings" who combined to write Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties, "the first book to name and document" a phenomenon they call the "quarterlife crisis."

The "quarterlife crisis," basically, is life in your 20s trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, dealing with self-doubts, making
decisions, determining who you are and the like. Quarterlife Crisis purports to tell you how to handle these problems.

Much of what the book says about life in one's 20s is true, and its advice much of it in anecdotal form is generally sound. But Quarterlife
Crisis reads dryly, like a study of phenomena. The authors document rather than describe, and the result is less than engaging.

However, the book could be helpful for those who simply want someone to talk to. The many anecdotes from real 20somethings' lives on
topics ranging from "What If I'm Scared to Stop Being a Kid?" to "Can I Carry Any Part of My College Experience into the Real World?" are
interesting, and after perusing them, readers will know that whatever their troubles, at least they aren't alone

Many of the personal stories are compelling. "Yes, you are going to fail and wind up penniless in the gutter, covered in festering wounds with
nothing but a stray dog to keep you company," one recent college graduate warns, before going on: "Seriously, though: maybe you will fail;
hopefully you won't. There's no way to tell."

Even that is less than encouraging. But it is realistic, and so for all its faults is Quarterlife Crisis.

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