Tag Archives: Becoming An Adult

So You’re Having a Quarter-life Crisis

In roughly a month, I’ll turn 25.

It seems like an opportune time to stop and assess my life thus far, and by “stop and assess my life thus far,” I mean freak the hell out.

Here’s a list of typical “What the hell am I doing with my life?” reactions and a few things I should actually start to work on.

Impractical reactions to turning 25

1. Get a Tattoo 

I’ve actually wanted a tattoo for some time but have never gone through with it.

Wanted tattoo.

A quarter-life crisis seems like an appropriate time to get one. I’m young enough for it to be socially acceptable, thereby avoiding being the weird middle-aged square in the tattoo parlor.

The only question is, what to get? I’m thinking a tribal arm band made up of Chinese symbols. Those things are still cool, right guys?


2. Buy a Motorcycle

Do want.

Honestly, I really want a motorcycle, and I’m certain this impulse is directly related to the amount of Sons of Anarchy I watch–too much.

However, there are two huge obstacles standing in my way. One, I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle. Two, I don’t really have the money for one.

So if any readers know a generous, wealthy motorcycle enthusiast who would like to solve an existential dilemma, get at me.

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Things I’d Say to my Teenage Self

*Author’s note: This post is inspired by one of Dan O’Brien’s posts.

On, Monday I turned 24, and I’ve been feeling a lot more grownup lately. I’ve also been thinking about what I would say to myself if I could go back a decade and talk to my 14-year-old self. These are those things:

“Hey 14-year-old Burk, how are you doing? I’m you, only ten years older. What? No, I don’t own a DeLorean in the future. I hardly see how…no…that was a movie. Just shut up for a minute and listen.”


(Yeah I’m biting DOB’s first subject; I had to after it rang so true.)

“Listen, at some point after college, you’re going to earn more than the $200 per paycheck you’re accustomed to receiving. However, it won’t be much more because, for some reason, you will decide to become a journalist. You’ll also be surprised by just how much money you have. However, again, you’ll be equally surprised about how quickly your paycheck is spent on things you previously took for granted such as Internet, electricity, food, etc…But on the plus side you’ll accumulate material things and non-material things (credit history) of value, so it’s not too bad.”

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Signs I’m Starting To Become An Adult

You become a legal adult at the age of 18 in the United States, but you aren’t really. Generally, when you turn 18, you’re still in high school and living at home. After that, there’s college. Drinking all night, sleeping until 11 a.m. and playing Halo all day, every day, hardly constitutes an adult.

Now that I’m done with college, it’s starting to set in that the real world is knocking at my door (or kicking it in without a search warrant). Before, adulthood was something in the distant future. I was working toward a degree; there was a finish line in the distance that I couldn’t yet see. But before I knew it, the race was over.

Now, to the point of this post. Lately, I’ve started to notice signs that I’m entering adulthood. I’m not completely there yet, but the process has started.


The tie. Is there a more universal symbol of the man? A silk noose that chokes away all your hopes and dreams. Okay, maybe that’s a little melodramatic. But I am starting to see ties in my everyday life more often.

When I was younger I had few occasions for ties. Once in a while, there was a dance, a graduation or maybe the odd wedding, but that was about it. I didn’t have the need for a rack full of ties. But now there are more weddings (which I’ll get to later), more graduations, more job interviews, more award banquets and, sadly, more funerals. My collection of about four ties has expanded to 15 or 20.

Gone are the days when I could wear a pair of khakis and a polo to a job interview. Now it’s all business. I find myself buying a tie because it would work well with a certain dress shirt or because I have an interview coming up. Ties are almost a necessity.

Ties. The marker of adulthood.

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