Why do you think so many 20 something's go through a quarter life crisis? Do they expect too much from the world?


3 Answers

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass , 27.9 years old, answered

Great question! This is something I've been wondering for quite some time.

I'm turning 28 in 5 days time (I know, I don't look it...) and I kind of feel like I've been going through some sort of quarter life crisis for the past couple of years! 

I don't know if I can speak for all 20-something's, but I think my quarter life crisis was brought about by two things:

- Unrealistic expectations

- Social media

High expectations

By my late teens, I was pretty certain I was destined to be some sort of rockstar or literary genius.

When it became clear that I wasn't going to be the next Hunter S Thompson or Trent Reznor, this made me have to reassess the direction I was going - and what I wanted to achieve in life.

I think being in your twenties these days is pretty difficult, because the role models you're surrounded by on a daily basis have an almost unattainable status.

Celebrities on TV, 17 year-olds that develop apps that sell for millions of dollars, teenage pro-sports players who make more money in a week than most people make all year: These are the kind of people that our generation define as 'successes'.

Being in your mid-twenties and not having made it big just seems a lot worse nowadays. It means being resigned to the fact that you're not actually as special as you think - and that mediocrity might be all that you'll ever achieve.

Social media

I also don't think it's any coincidence that Facebook and other social media networks boomed at the same time as the rise of the "quarter life crisis".

I remember looking through my newsfeed one day, and all I could see was people I'd gone to school and uni with studying post-grad at Harvard or MIT, teaching English in the Cayman Islands, DJing in Berlin and posting pictures of themselves hanging out backstage at New York Fashion Week.

Whilst it's common knowledge nowadays that Facebook profiles are just a showreel of everyone's best moments - or what they want you to see about them, I do think that seeing everyone having a great time every time you check your updates does add extra pressure, because we all judge our performances in relation to what others achieve.

How I got over my quarter life crisis

I had a kid. Although the ride was bumpy, I think having a baby with my partner made me realize that life wasn't just about what parties I was going to and how much money I was making.

I realised it was time to start appreciating life a bit more, and being grateful for the things I do have and the people around me - whilst, at the same time, still being ambitious and positive enough to want to improve.

I wouldn't say I've got it down to a tee, and my life is still far from perfect - but I think I've finally realised life is what you make of it, and that actually some of the things I've achieved so far aren't that bad!

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Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
Sounds like a lot of us are in the same boat!

I think having a career that you're passionate about and that you can see yourself developing in is quite important - it gives you structure, motivation. and a sense of achievement!

Like you said too, not being afraid to jump in the deep end and try new things is a great way to break out of a quarter life crisis. It's definitely something I want to do more of anyway!

I think the final piece of the puzzle is accepting that not every day of your life is going to be amazing. There are going to be tough days, weeks, or even months - but being armed with a positive mindset and good intentions will see you through that one way or another.

What kind of digital media projects would you like to get into? is their a particular field that interests you? I'm just getting into that kinda stuff now, and you're certainly right about the speed at which the industry is evolving.

In many ways, I think it's a great time for newbies to join the industry.

I kind of feel like we're at a turning point with the way people engage and consume content online - and how that process is monetized, so even a lot of the "experts" in the field are having to go back to the drawing board and start "learning" like the rest of us.

Oh, and congrats on the engagement by the way!
Kyle Eschenroeder
This is spot on - huge thanks!
Kyle Eschenroeder
AND! Both you guys would dig www.StartupBros.com - working on a lot of stuff for digital entrepreneurs
Crystal B.  Astrology Profile

I've got an Astrological answer ;-)  Something really big happens to everyone between the ages of 28-30 and it's called your "Saturn Return."  It's when the planet Saturn makes his way back to the exact same place he was when you were born.  It's a huge time for a person and marks a momentous shift of energy.  Astrologically your aren't an adult till your Saturn return because it actually marks your entrance into adulthood.  A lot of people tend to do something big during this shift - things that initiate them into adulthood.  Things that can happen are you can get a promotion (where you have to take on more responsibility), buy a house, get married, or in some people's case become the future Queen of England (Kate Middleton married Prince William during her Saturn return)!

It is a tough transition because to be quite honest it's hard having to become more "adult like" and be more responsible.  However - my advice is to embrace it and see where this new phase takes you and start expecting more from yourself rather than others.  You might surprise yourself in how far you can go!

Kyle Eschenroeder Profile
Kyle Eschenroeder , .com, answered

Last year I crashed and burned. Depression is a big part of the quarter-life crisis (Though Catalog posted my account of struggling with depression http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/some-suggestions-for-navigating-a-world-thats-110-bad/ )

Our parents, for the most part, were raised coming out of WWII - the focus was on supporting the nation. Growing up they weren't told they could follow their dreams and passions. There was a war, damnit! So they loved that they could now live vicariously through us. WE would be the ones to finally make dreams come true!

And then the bottom fell out and we became the first generation in history to make less (on average) than our parents.

And so we get slapped with the tough questions early. Usually people make it into their 40s before they realize they need something more out of life. Not us, we see it too soon.

We have too many options and can't choose. We have too much debt and no jobs. We have access to the internet to see everybody else winning.

We've got to lower the bar. All the way back down to ourselves.

Then choose on purpose.

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