Quarter-Life Crisis: Fact or Fiction?

Girl with head down

Fact for 500 Alex! Ding! Ding! Ding!

Yes, the quarter-life crisis is real. No, you are not alone. Feeling better already eh?

Welcome to Quarter-Life Crisis Anonymous (QLCA). Let’s discuss these symptoms that we all (myself included) are experiencing:

  1. The pressure to succeed: We all want to be successful and wealthy. More importantly, we want these expensive overpriced degrees that we’ve obtained to give us what was promised and for Sallie Mae to just disappear. My goodness she’s so annoying. We look around and see our peers doing great things and hope that we too will get to where we want to be – but where is that exactly?
  2. Not knowing which direction to go: We are all dabbling in other ventures and realizing we are pretty good at it. We have our 9 to 5′s, but we also are passionate about food (yes I’m in love with food, see my fat tendencies here), fashion, writing, volunteering, sports, acting (this list could go on for days). Now if only there was a way to seamlessly mesh all of these passions and get paid for it, all would be right with the world.
  3. Wanting out: No, I’m not talking about Russian Roulette style (psst! You may be in the wrong meeting). I’m talking about the urge to do something bold and adventurous! At some point, the thought of up and moving somewhere, starting over or doing something extreme has crept inside your mind. I don’t know how many times I have thought about how lovely it would be to skydive in Houston and mysteriously land in Australia! The only problem is, we talk ourselves out of it a million times (damn you brain for thinking). 9 times out of 10, we think about all the things that could go wrong before considering all the things that could go right perfect.
  4. Comparing lives to others: You are at work and decide to log into Facebook before your boss comes in (gotcha!). As soon as you enter your username and password you are greeted with an oversized zoomed in photo of a 24 karat princess cut ring that was posted by a peer from college who has just announced her engagement. Oh great! Not only does this set the mood for the day but it also makes you think you are “behind”. During these times, while we are happy to see others doing well, sometimes we can’t help but reflect on our own lives and desires.
  5. Re-evaluating relationships:  As a single, you began to wonder if you will ever fall in love and live happily ever after and have that massive house on the perfect tree lined street with the well manicured lawn. You dream about the day you will have kids and have a reason to go on the Disney cruise and buy Capri Suns and Lunchables again (nostalgic much?). However, if you are in a relationship, you may began to question if this is really the person you want to be with long term.
  6. Hating to deal with bills: You cringe at the thought of having to give up your hard earned money to pay for something as silly as rent. You’d much rather spend it on happy hours, online shopping and booking flights to see the world but you are forced to learn how to do the dreaded 6 letter “b” word, BUDGET. This is when you finally realize you are no longer living at home with the parentals and being an adult is for real (sigh).

Not every symptom applies to every person at every moment but these are some of the most common feelings that quarter lifers experience. I have these discussions with my friends (guys and girls), coworkers and even people I happen to meet randomly so it’s safe to say, the crisis is real folks!

But not to worry, in my next post I’m going to talk about ways to manage the crisis and make it out alive. (cues Destiny’s Child’s Survivor)

Image via Creative Commons, Rachel’s Flickr photostream. (source)


  1. […] that you’ve gotten some motivation at the end of my last post and are in complete survivor mode, let’s deal with this quarter-life […]

  2. […] lack of patience for achieving our desired levels of success is attributed to the fact that we think we are behind. We each have a picture of what our lives should look like and what we should be accomplishing by […]

  3. […] Quarter-Life Crisis: Fact or Fiction? (genwhygirl.com) […]

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