Is The “Quarter-Life Crisis” A Real Thing?

Admitting you have anxiety is no easy feat.

Juggling through the pressures of academics, maintaining relationships with both family and friends, plus battling with your own problems can make for a draining routine, both mentally and emotionally. Not wanting to admit defeat, we often blame ourselves for being weak or overdramatic.

If you’ve heard of the concept “Quarter-Life Crisis,” then your reaction could be one of two things: (1) you are slightly relieved there’s a term validating your feelings

or (2) you refuse to associate yourself with something with the word “crisis” in it.

If the term is unfamiliar, let me break it down for you. A mid-life crisis is when people in their mid-40s suddenly feel the need to make spontaneous decisions; all this in an attempt to reclaim some of the missed opportunities in their youth.

But then there are people who have the opposite problem: Young 20-somethings getting anxious and confused at even the thought of making life decisions; all in fear of accidentally setting their future-self up for failure. So if you’re feeling lost, then you’re probably experiencing a quarter-life crisis. It’s feeling displaced by indecisive life plans and strong feelings of dissatisfaction of where your life is headed—all before the age of 35.

Quarter-life Crisis

Sound familiar? Well, don’t worry because, in all likelihood, you are not alone. Research shows that 86% of millennials experience this psychological phenomenon, according to The Guardian.

This raises the question of whether the Gen Z, will eventually “inherit” the high probability of experiencing a quarter-life crisis. The answer, unfortunately, is yes. So before you dismiss your woes as something unimportant or overdramatic, consider the possibility that a QLC is upon you.

Obsessive Comparison Disorder

In his book, “101 Secrets For Your Twenties”, author Paul Angone describes the younger generation to have OCD or Obsessive Comparison Disorder. As the name suggests, it’s when we find ourselves repeatedly comparing ourselves to others to the point that we are dissatisfied with our own lives. Given the rise of social media, it’s not just communication and information-storage that became easier. We now have a collection of people who have “better lives” than us accessible right at our fingertips!

Image Credit: Rysa Antonio

Despite all of this though, you can still turn your QLC into a positive experience. According to Dr. Oliver Robinson, the quarter-life crisis can be turned into a quarter-life catalyst. Because you can use this period of your life to explore and learn new ways to cope with life’s challenges. He states, “A quarter-life crisis is, therefore, an opportunity to try new things and steer life on a new, exciting course.”

That said, if you feel like you might be experiencing QLC, don’t let it add to your list of worries! Let it guide you to becoming a better and stronger version of yourself.


Featured Art by: Rysa Antonio