I recently just turned 25 and boy the quarter life crisis is draining. Look at the face of that pup, that is exactly how it feels.
What is the Quarter life crisis?
Basically a quarter life crisis is kind of like a middle life crisis except you have this in your 20s. It is that feeling of uncertainty about life, career choices, relationships, and just deep soul searching.
Wondering if your life is headed on the right path, or you’re just doomed. Lol...dramatic, i know, this is how it usually plays out in my head.
You don’t have to be 25 to be going through a quarter life crisis. In Fact i would say it is something one goes through from age 20 to 30. That is just the age we all are trying to figure it out. And we don’t know how long we would be this uncertain about life, when it ends or if it even ends.
You start to think maybe this is just the way your life would be. And I know I said quarter life crisis is from age 20 to 30. That doesn't mean you go through 10 years feeling lost, it just means you experience it within that age range, it could be for 5 years, or a year or even 3 months. I cannot promise you how long this lasts, I wish I had that wisdom right about now, because as I am currently typing this, I am going through a massive one.
Where is that magic 8 ball when I need it?
*Shakes the ball*
Magic 8 ball, where will i be in the next 5 years so that i can just focus on that?
I really wish it was that easy. I have started several businesses, discontinued most. Quite a lot of them have been public too, so you can actually follow through my trail of life projects. I am still working on other things, because like it or not, no matter how I feel, the sun comes up tomorrow and life just goes on. So it’s either i let life pass me by, and sit in my own feelings or i just get up and keep it pushing.
So, i may not have all the answers yet, but i do know one thing, I gotta keep going.
What it feels like to be in a quarter life crisis
Constantly feeling behind:
Regardless of what stage you are in your life, you somehow convince yourself that your peers are way ahead of you in life. If you are still figuring out a career path, you may feel like everyone else knows exactly what they want to do with their lives and are in fact doing it.
If you are working, you may then feel like most of your peers are married or in a serious relationship, some may even have kids. Regardless of the stage you’re in, there is no winning. You will always find things you lack and beat yourself up about it.
Struggling to find a career path:
Listen, nothing has been stressing me out quite like this one. You think to yourself, this is the time I need to set myself up for success or failure and that pressure overwhelms you. To make things worse is if you don’t even have a clue what you are passionate about or what you are good at, then you’re just ultimately lost.
If you’re anything like me, you start out so many projects, lose interest half way through or simply think to yourself, will this even make me the money I need to survive? Or will this make me feel happy or fulfilled? All these questions no one seems to have the answer to.
The other way one can deal with this career uncertainty is by doing nothing. Believe me, I get it. If you don’t know what you want to do, you pretty much feel defeated.
You may also just be putting in so much time trying to figure out the best thing to stick to, that you end up not getting to the actual thing. Time passes and you feel like there's no progress. This brings me to my next point.
Feeling like there’s no time:
This one is an all time weird one, because it leaves you feeling like you have all the time in the world because you are only in your twenties and at the same time, you barely have any time, because HOLLY MOLLY, you are in your 20s!
So yeah, this one is tricky. You fluctuate between the two. Regardless, they both help you waste time. Lol. when you think you have too much time, you don’t end up getting things done on time, you procrastinate a lot and that feeds indiscipline. If you feel like you don't have enough time, a lot of the time, just that feeling is enough to make you feel defeated, ‘i mean, there’s no point then…’.
This can easily become a vicious cycle, if you let it.
At this point in your life you can easily feel like whatever it is you are doing or working on is the be all and end all. You can very easily convince yourself that this is it. This makes you feel trapped. It can happen in relationships, career, school, you just start getting used to a certain routine and you feel like you are living your life in a loop.
This sends you into search of understanding life and what the entire purpose of life is. You get stuck in a routine and stuck in your head too.
Feeling of loneliness:
In your twenties is when life really starts to get serious, and a lot of times people feel the need to just keep to themselves because everyone is trying to figure it all out too. Or at least your friends are.
If you keep trying to keep everything to yourself, you can very easily feel isolated and alone, even if that is not the case in real life. It sucks having people around and still feeling lonely. You have to believe that the people around you care about you that much to want to hear about what you are going through.
Feeling of loneliness can also come when you move away from your family for university or you just move out of the house to start a new chapter of your life.
Contemplating your relationships:
When you’re in your twenties, you’re really thinking this is where you set up a solid foundation for your life. That feeling cuts across all aspects of your life, including your relationships with people.
You really start to scrutinize the type of people you let hang out around you. The kind of people you get into romantic relationships with, you just think and rethink every relationship in your life.
How to deal with being in quarter life crisis
You are not alone
First and foremost is acknowledging that this is normal. Research has shown that 86% of people go through this quarter life crisis. Knowing that you’re not alone, and you’re not some lost soul in a pool of people who seem to have it all figured out really helps. Thankfully a lot of people are more open about these things so you actually find real life people going through the same thing you are going through.
It's a lot more difficult to deal with a situation when you feel like all the odds are stacked up against you. Understanding that this is a very normal stage in life really helps. There are so many people that are above the age of 30 who are killing it in various aspects of their lives. For what is worth, you can definitely look up to them. 86% percent of them went through what you are currently going through, and look how they turned out. You got this!
Uncertainty, lack of clarity, and doubt all come from not knowing. So one thing having a good solid plan can do for you is at the very least get rid of that doubt and feeling like you have no direction in life.
*Shakes the ball*
Magic 8 ball, where will i be in the next 5 years so that i can just focus on that?
So here is the thing, you may not have a magic 8 ball, but you can sure get yourself an annual planner. When you plan yourself, you get to decide what your life is going to be.
I need you to close your eyes for a minute and imagine yourself in 5 years. What would you like your life to look like? Where do you picture yourself working? Literally… Do you have a partner? A kid? University? A job? Circle of friends? Be very specific. Sit in that image for a while, then open your eyes and write down all the details of your life in five years.
I recommend an annual planner because it allows you to plan yearly. That way you break down your goals into smaller bits, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. This is to ensure that day by day you are tracking your progress. Think of it as a success streak, you keep on the trail you have created for yourself then you are sure to reach that goal of yours.
Planning helps you have a clear vision of where you are going to and how you will get there. You can download a full focus yearly planner here.
Humans are social creatures by nature, and being separated from people for prolonged periods can leave you in your head too much and its a slippery slope to loneliness. Even as an introvert, there's a level of socialization one needs.
You can keep your friend circle small, that's okay. You can spend time with family here and there. Socializing does not necessarily mean partying. In fact it can even be as simple as taking yourself out to a restaurant, you are by yourself, but as long as you are out, you will have a certain level of human interaction.
As mentioned earlier, talking to people and acknowledging that you are not the only one going through this helps. Other than talking to your peers who might be going through the same things, you can also talk to those who have been through it, your parents, your older siblings, teachers, or just anyone around you that you trust.
Signing up for therapy is not a bad idea either, as long as it is within your budget. Therapy helps you navigate through life and your feelings, it is something I would always recommend.
You are not your degree or your job
A lot of times people feel stuck and trapped in their tracks because they are working on something that seems to be taking longer. You might feel like what you’re doing is not what you want to be doing for life. First you need to acknowledge that you are allowed to change your mind. Just because you’ve put in work, or time already in something does not mean you have to stick to it no matter how unhappy it makes you.
Acknowledge your feelings, you can use what you have at the moment to invest in the future you desire. With a proper plan, you can always get to your goals. Get yourself a planner to plan and achieve your dreams. Here are some affirmations you can add to your routine that can literally transform your life.
Change can be very scary, it's always easier to stick to what you are more familiar with, what makes you feel more comfortable. However, Beyonce said it best ‘ how can we live, if we dont change?’ - Beyonce.
Almost as though the entire premise of truly living is in changing. Obviously there is fear in stepping into a new phase in your life, if you’re not a little scared, then you’re not truly challenging yourself and pushing yourself to become the best version of yourself.
Realize that the goal is to feel the fear and do it anyways. You can never progress if you don't move forward. Time moves forward everyday, it’s up to you to move forward with it, or just sit back and watch it pass you by. Those little nerves are all completely normal, it just means you are elevating.