Are you in your late 20s? How was it? For me this might be the most stressful episode of life…
Everyone wants a better future: steady flow of income, healthy life, lasting relationships and good amount of leisure. I seldom think of those during my early twenties, but now it’s starting to creep in and colonize inside my head. This must be a symptom of what they call “quarter-life crisis.”
What is Quarter-Life Crisis?
“The quarter-life crisis is a period of life ranging from twenties to thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.” – Wikipedia
As the name suggests, quarter-life crisis is a phenomenon experienced by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties, marked by feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and restlessness. Millennials, who are currently in this age group, are no strangers to this crisis. The quarter-life crisis can have a significant impact on their lives and affect their mental health, relationships, and career prospects. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the quarter-life crisis and its effects on millennials.
Having included in the said bracket, I am officially in the “quarter-life” range. In fact, many millennials are said to be affected as during the present, our generation are the ones that are on it. Although the term millennials has a wide age bracket, only the later ones are considered in this crisis.
Quarter-Life Crisis Symptoms
- Feeling pressured. It’s like you’re always on a race, struggling so hard to go first but find it hard to just finish. For some, being married around 30s put so much pressure as many colleagues tie the knot during these period.
- Being detached. Colors become faded, fireworks turned into spark and loud music into whispers. There’s a feeling of being disconnected with the world we are living in. Even though we love those things before.
- Not “Good Enough”. Related with feeling under pressure, there is a feeling that we must succeed in our relationships, finances and jobs before hitting 30 years of age. Most of the time, our careers does not seem enough.
- Feeling lost and confused. Are there proper steps to take when going into adulthood? Are we doing this right? There are many questions, yet so few answers.
- No motivation. We feel boredom most of the time. Doing routine work or things just because society tells you to do. We crave for action, for something that will push our backs.
- Procrastinating often. To elaborate, this refers to instances where we cannot do what we really want to do because the people around us might not like it. We are anxious to become ourselves, thus slowing things down and pretending to be someone many will like.
Effects on Mental Health
The quarter-life crisis can take a toll on a person’s mental health, causing anxiety, depression, and stress. Young adults may feel overwhelmed by the pressure to make important life decisions and find their place in the world. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt, frustration, and a sense of being stuck. In severe cases, it may even result in burnout, addiction, or other mental health issues.
Impact on Relationships
The quarter-life crisis can also affect a person’s relationships, causing conflict and strain in personal and professional connections. Young adults may struggle to find meaning in their relationships, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction and disconnection. The quarter-life crisis may also cause individuals to question their priorities and re-evaluate their relationships, potentially leading to breakups or changes in romantic or familial bonds.
The quarter-life crisis can also impact a person’s career prospects and professional growth. Young adults may feel unfulfilled in their current jobs and struggle to find meaningful work that aligns with their values and interests. This can result in job dissatisfaction, frequent job changes, or career indecision. The quarter-life crisis can also create stress and anxiety for millennials who feel the pressure to succeed in their careers and provide for themselves and their families.
I am not the best person to enumerate the solutions on quarter-life crisis being a victim myself, but I do constantly research and seek advice. Here are a few to share:
- Be You. Do not let others write the story of your life. Create one for yourself. If you want to marry after 30, then be it. Don’t let them point at you just because you did not follow the “norms of the society.”
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others. Just because your former classmate seems rich now, married and settled down makes them happy. Avoid bench-marking yourself to others.
- Look for Happiness. Go out, try new things and meet new people. There are so much wonderful things to see, so many things to experience and a big big world to explore.
- Seek Help. It will help a lot if someone hears your problems and gives you advises. It could be your mother, best friend, lover or a support group.
- Take Action. When you know you’re in this crisis, it is not enough just by being informed. Do something about it. Laugh it off; do your own legwork. Don’t let it drag you down. Just keep fighting.
The quarter-life crisis is a normal and often transformative experience for young adults, particularly millennials. While it can have a significant impact on mental health, relationships, and career prospects, it’s also an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and change. By seeking support and finding healthy coping mechanisms, individuals can use the quarter-life crisis as a springboard for personal and professional growth.
Being caught in this whirlpool myself, I am confident that I can get through this. If you are also in this crisis, then you are not a lone wolf. Just like any other struggles, we just have to keep moving forward.