Quarter life crisis and why it is not all bad

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It has been a few months since I wrote a blog. 2016 appears to be a year where I have been bogged down by the questions running through my mind.

  • Have I made the right choices so far?
  • Have I done anything meaningful
  • What am I going to be doing in my life for the next 20 years?
  • Is my career on the right path?

Every morning I wake up, dress for work, commute, reach the office, work, commute back home later in the evening and complete few chores at home. I stopped finding it meaningful in my life. Living in a city famous for its traffic has given me ample time to brood over the questions. Well, you may think for a person who blogs about life skills, should have all this figured out. Earlier this week, I was speaking to a friend of mine about what was troubling me. He told me that he underwent a similar phase many years ago, and it lasted for more than year. He came out of the phase with his questions answered. This information drove me to explore more about it. Little did I know, it was termed as quarter life crisis. Quarter life crisis ranges from the 20s to 30s. The person tends to be doubtful about one’s own life during this period. The common symptoms appear to be feeling lost, confused or scared of life. I have always heard of mid-life crisis and was a surprise to learn about quarter life crisis. This is because times are changing, we have plenty of choices in comparison to older generations and higher expectations from oneself. Every choice is solely our decision, and so are its good or ill effects.

Dr. Oliver Robinson and researchers from the University of Greenwich and Birkbeck College presented their findings of quarter life crisis at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference. According to their research, the quarter-life crisis occurs between the age of 25-35 and is clustered around the age of 30. According to gumtree.com’s survey:

  • 86 % of the 1100 people who underwent the survey admitted being feeling under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances, and jobs before hitting 30.
  • 2 in 5 were worried that they did not earn enough.
  • 32% felt the pressure to marry and have kids by the age of 30.
  • 6% were planning to emigrate.
  • 21% of people wanted a complete change of career.

Dr. Oliver says that the quarter-life crisis takes about two years on an average with the different phases:
Phase 1: The sense of being trapped or locked in. This can be a job, relationship or both.
Dr. Robinson says “It is an illusionary sense of being trapped where one feels they can’t leave even though they can.”
Phase 2: A growing sense that change is possible by coming out of the trap.
This is the phase of slowly moving out of the trap by exploring the possibilities which are closer to one’s interest and preferences.
Phase 3: The period where the rebuilding of a new life takes place.
Phase 4: Developing new commitments which are aligned well personal interests,  aspirations, and values.

Once the above-mentioned phases are resolved, it turns out to be a positive outcome. My friend’s experience also shows that the outcome has been a positive and rewarding!

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

Are you experiencing the quarter-life crisis? Share your experiences here.

About Nisha Gopalakrishnan 15 Articles
A software professional, blogger and an enthusiast of latest technology news and startup ideas.