Feeling Stuck? You May be Having a Quarter-Life Crisis

A quarter-life crisis (QLC) can generally affect you anywhere from your late teens into early thirties.

It’s characterized by stress and doubts about where your life is heading (or not heading). The stress and doubts are usually connected to factors related “adulthood” and living an “adult life.” These factors can involve career, lifestyle, relationships, financial independence, and coping without parental assistance to deal with mundane realities of managing your life, for example, taxes, budgeting, rent, insurance, etc.

How did the QLC evolve? Due to job market changes, a declining economy, heavy student debt, and shifts in societal and parenting values, it takes longer for individuals to achieve “adulthood” milestones. Many sociologists are actually proposing recognition of “quarter-life” as a new, valid developmental stage.

8 Tips to Help with Your QLC:

  1. Realize it’s normal. And that you are not the only person going through this.
  2. View it as a rite of passage…a life transition that everyone goes through, even your parents – it was just different for them, as it is for every generation because the world keeps changing.
  3. Although many aspects of our lives move with lightening speed – and you may be conditioned to “instant gratification” – this is not how humans develop and grow. Sorry to disappoint, but this will take some time for introspection, growth, research and planning.
  4. Avoid, avoid, avoid (AVOID!!) comparing yourself to others. Social media presents only the parts of peoples’ lives they want you to see. There’s always much more of what’s real and true, behind the scenes.
  5. Take stock of yourself: your abilities, interests, values, skills, relationships. Notice what feels purposeful and energizing to you – and what feels draining and frustrating. Create healthy boundaries so you can do more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff.
  6. Write down your goals for: whatever is important to you, such as, continuing education, your career, lifestyle, relationships and anything else. Notice (do not overlook) the accomplishments you’ve achieved and what you want to accomplish in the future. Use the SMART Goal approach.
  7. Break down your goals into steps. Take one step at a time. Celebrate your success as you accomplish each step.
  8. If you can benefit from support or guidance, seek out a coach who can help facilitate your growth process.