We’ve all heard about the elusive quarter-life crisis. You might be in one, just out of one, or even feel one budding within the pits of your soul. If you’re none of the above, then not only are you lucky, but you’re probably wondering what there is to worry about when you’re 25, but as it turns out, there’s a whole lot.
To help us navigate this pivotal life moment, we’ve partnered up with Act-Belong-Commit to dissect exactly what a quarter-life crisis is and how to wedge yourself out of one.
A quarter-life crisis can be referred to as the “anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life” (Collins English Dictionary), which, you guessed it, usually happens in your mid to late 20s. It’s that time in your life where you refer to Uni students as ‘kids’ but those buying houses, getting married and having children are immediately categorised as ‘old’. Leaving you with nowhere else to go but an unidentifiable category that leaves you wondering what the hell you’re doing with your life.
Should you knuckle down and get to the top of your career for the next four years? Or should you take the plunge in that rogue business idea you had or create that app you’ve always dreamed of? Should you be pinching your pennies to save for a house? Or blow all your cash to go and see the world while you can? Should you be looking for a partner so you can settle down and have children before you’re thirty? Or should you have whirlwind romances all over the world? If you’ve asked yourself these questions before, chances are you’re in a quarter-life crisis.
You’re Not Alone
The great news is, if you’re in a quarter-life crisis, you are most certainly not alone, with 80 per cent of millennials in Australia feeling the pressure to ‘succeed’ by the time they’re 30, according to Business Insider. While that may not fix the problem at hand, it sure is reassuring to know that most of those around us are feeling the same way about this crazy thing called life and growing up. As they say, misery loves company.
With today’s current social landscape, millennials have become their own biggest critic, which is partly due to social media constantly bombarding us with polished versions of what it means to be ‘successful’. Whether it’s suave real estate agents making bank, picture-perfect wanderlusters who always seem to be overseas, yummy-mummy Instagrammers whose children are far too genetically blessed, elite sportspeople with yet another endorsement or 20-something old entrepreneurs who are killing it in your newsfeed, it’s no wonder we’re constantly looking at our own lives under the microscope (disappointedly).
What To Do
As a quarter-life crisis is essentially the fear of an eventual mid-life crisis, we’re here to tell you that everything is a-okay. But if you’re feeling life’s inevitable pressures, there are many ways you can combat it. If you’re worried about your career progression (or lack thereof), speak to a mentor or successful colleague within your field. We often turn to family and friends as a default, but turning to the right people about the right things can help to provide you with clarity where you need it. If you belong to more than half of the Australians who dislike their job and workplace blues are getting you into a rut, make sure to upskill or seek out training initiatives to open up more career pathways and a fresh approach to your working life.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and you’re looking to digress away from the daily grind of work, little things like honing in on a new hobby or commiting to being more active can help to restore work-life balance, with higher levels of activity directly correlating to a greater sense of wellbeing and mental health, according to the National Mental Health Commission. However, it comes as no surprise that one of the most common cures for a quarter-life crisis is travel. It’s why so many millennials in their 20s jet off to pursue three-month or year-long sabbaticals overseas, or even pack up their lives to live abroad. So, if you feel like your life has become unbearably stagnant or your 9-to-5 job has you struggling with the meaning and purpose of life, it’s time to book now and think later.
If you’re confused as to why your colleagues recent promotion, your best friend’s engagement or your sister’s three-month European summer has left you desperately soul-searching for your own life’s purpose and success, just remember it’s a transient, confusing and totally necessary moment in this beautiful thing we call life.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Act-Belong-Commit and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.