Is it a Quarter-Life Crisis?

How have you been feeling lately?  Overwhelmed?  Overworked?  Lost?  Maybe you haven't been feeling those things, but for some reason you haven't felt...happy.  

Welcome to your 20's.  You're in for a decade of tough and potentially life-changing decisions.  You need to choose a city to live in, what jobs to apply for, what apartment to live in, who to live in it with, who to spend your time with, who to be in a relationship with, do you even want to be in a relationship?  At the end of the day it can all feel daunting.

Why is the quarter-life crisis a fairly new phenomenon, and what do you need to know about it?  The quarter-life crisis is very similar to it's better known cousin, the midlife crisis. Both crises are centered around feeling dissatisfied with the current state of being, but not feeling like you have the knowledge or ability to change it.  While past generations were more prone to having this feeling in their forties or fifties, millenials are experiencing it closer to age 25.  Why?  For one, millenials are facing more competition for jobs and apartments than any past generations.  This means we are holding ourselves to higher standards in the interest of getting what we want.  A survey run by Gumtree.com found that:

  • 86% of the 1,100 young people questioned admitted feeling under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances and jobs before hitting 30.
  • 2 in 5 had money worries saying they did not earn enough.
  • 32% felt under pressure to marry and have children by the age of 30
  • 21% wanted a complete career change

I found these results pretty staggering. 86% feeling pressure to succeed?  That's a huge number of young people under stress.  

But before you get depressed, decide to move to a small town in Nebraska and vow to turn off social media forever to avoid the supposed successes of your peers, there is hope.  The thing about having a quarter-life crisis is that it means you are ready for a change.  Navigating that transition can be tricky, so it may be a good idea to reach out for help.  Whether help involves seeing a therapist to help eradicate internalized pressure, or seeing a career counselor to help you find a more satisfying job, or even just finding the courage to make a change, it's out there.  

And the new term being coined?  The "quarter-life breakthrough" (check out Adam Smiley Poswolsky's book of the same name).  Because although things may seem hard right now, you csn indeed breakthrough.  And if you need a little help in the process, know it's out there.