A Quarter-Life Crisis is the spreading of doubt and uncertainty throughout a millennial’s life (typically during or after graduation from university/college) and their quest for “more”.
Most will experience and resolve a Quarter-Life Crisis by buying stuff, getting married, buying a home, getting a promotion or raise at work, getting into a relationship. They follow the next logical step on the pre-determined path set by our environment, family and society (school, committed relationship, mortgage, marriage, babies, retirement, death).
Others know these things are only temporary and artificial solutions to a deeper need. They know that this “crisis” is happening for a reason, there is a call to act, but they are stuck, unsure of what way to proceed. The very thing that put you in this mess, is actually keeping you there.
In the quiet moments of sincere honesty with yourself, you accept that you are unhappy. You understand (even without admitting it to anyone but yourself) that there is more somewhere. And that you know it is out there, but not within your reality….is frustrating.
You don’t know though, how to get this ‘more’. Where is it hiding? How do you find it? It is the voice in the back of your mind, or… deep in your soul, that says you are destined for something else. And why is it that everyone around you seems to already have the ‘more’?
It feels like you at once have a million options ahead of you, yet none of them feel totally right. None of them feel absolutely perfect.
The Quarter-Life Crisis is the point where you have accepted that the more you question everything around you, the fewer answers you seem to have. There is a conflict within, between the path (or lack of) set by your past-self, your family, society, and the internal desire for you to create your own path and go on the journey that feels true and real to you.
You do every thing as you “should”: volunteer, get good grades, go to post-secondary, build your résumé, network, be there for your friends, family, be pretty, and healthy and balanced, and intelligent and kind, and sincere. You do this with the unconscious assumption that this is the recipe for happiness. Yet there you are left, still lacking something. Your life doesn’t fill you up.
And how do you pick the right path that will lead you to it. How do you know that teaching English in South East Asia will actually give you that “more”, what if you’re still empty?
The key though, is to choose something, and choose it for yourself. The point is that you do what you want. I think that deep down you have an idea of what you want. Do not be afraid of choosing the ‘wrong’ one. In the end what is most important is that you simply choose for yourself, whatever it is, volunteer in Nepal, teach English in Korea, plant trees for the summer, book a one-way plane ticket, go out on your own and step into your power.
Navigating the doubt of the Quarter-Life Crisis is paralyzing, but you are being called for more. All you need to do…is answer. The fact that you have this feeling of more, means you have it within to do something great. Respond. You can push past the fear that keeps everyone else trapped.
How are you dealing with your Quarter-Life Crisis?