Quarter life crisis has some deeply tough challenges and symptoms to overcome. What happens if the symptoms and signs are secondary to the real problem? Many people will mistreat their quarter-life crisis as a different problem and make missteps in their healing process as a result.
The core quarter life crisis problem comes down to “Not Fitting In”. This seemingly small challenge has huge long-term consequences for a person’s life.
The first third of life is when we are most social and have the greatest desire to fit in. This is especially true in our twenties when we are striving to earn a living, find a partner, and raise a family. Modern societies are wrestling with many inequities, including individuals becoming more and more excluded and isolated in their life. This has become a large enough problem for those in their twenties that it has evolved a name: Quarter Life Crisis.
Quarter Life Crisis signs represent psychological states of mind that come out of being repressed, rejected and put down over and over again. Social repression is creating many problems today. Social dysfunction gets expressed in many manners from anger, isolationism, and even depression. Quarter Life Crisis symptoms evolve out from the space when you personalize failures that are actually due to larger social issues.
As strong individuals, we easily underplay the need to fit in, yet we are also deeply social beings. Fitting in is a deep part of our health. This is most especially true during our first 30 years of life.
Quarter Life Crisis Signs
Of all the Quarter Life Crisis Signs, depression is usually the most prevalent of issues. The problem is once you fall into depression, the depression itself keeps a person down. So depression reinforces a Quarter Life Crisis. Activity is the best recourse to working against depression. To quote one person:
I am depressed, overwhelmed, feeling like I have lost my independence, angry and just feel like nobody can help me through this except myself.
Within the Quarter Life crisis signs, frustration is the sign that represents a person starting to tear themselves apart. The problem with frustration is that it leads to either anger or anxiety. Anger then often leads to actions that will hurt a person more. Frustration leads you to say things that hurt relationships or to cut yourself further away from others. Frustration pushes a person into too many directions at once. The focus you lose to frustration then undercuts a person into slowly developing depression. To quote one person:
I have struggled with a feeling of being “out of place” since adolescence, and as I near the age of 25 it has been rearing its frightful head more and more often. Reading through this, and as another commenter said, reading about the perspective on our society as a whole and the unusual extra pressure it is putting on my generation really helped me find some clarity. The stress I have been feeling the past year has slowly been choking me. I feel less and less in control of everything, not just around me but even of myself, and it is frankly terrifying.
Being told what to do and feeling trapped with no options.
This is especially a problem where traditional cultures are meeting modern realities. For example, we receive many help requests from India, where the newer generations are embracing personal independence more deeply than the social restrictions of traditions. So many younger women and men in India are struggling to release marriages they were pressured into while young. Reaching their late twenties to find releasing a mismatched marriage is highly discouraged even when it would be best for everyone. Releasing traditional values creates deep conflict with family and social status. To not release will mean living within a personal conflict. This is a no-win trap. It takes deep skill to navigate successfully. All too many people fail, get frustrated, and then languish in the quarter-life crisis instead. Of all the quarter-life crisis signs, this is the most difficult one to resolve gracefully. So deep patience will be required to find answers that smooth out differences of judgment.
Feeling as if life is a Lie
In our twenties, we often try to follow the stories we were told or follow the example of parents. You are convinced this is what life is: to wake up happy in the morning, do a good days job, come home to a supportive family, and go to sleep with a smile. Asking for more; is never inside you. That this is the simple core to what life will be. Only to find it isn’t, that it’s missing heart, missing spice, missing, missing, missing the spark of being connected to being alive. You stray, you break out of routine, discovering that how you were living was indeed a lie.
This is your decade! Instead, you find yourself hiding away with no energy to make it better.
To quote one person:
I feel alone and think “I just wanna crawl in a hole or run away” I’m not happy with my home life
To quote a student:
“I started having the feeling of detachment for everything around me. Suddenly the life I was living started becoming so meaningless; the money which I was saving for the home being built started appearing useless. The job, which I was proud of, started becoming boring. I was confused what’s going on with me. I started fearing the future which was once my dream. I started losing interest from everything. To share this, I had no one near me.”
Fearing you have Failed
You judge yourself too hard, You compare yourself to your parents and find yourself falling short, You compare yourself to your friends and find yourself falling short. You compare yourself to your ideals and find yourself failing everywhere. You can only judge yourself so long before you have cut yourself so far down you become stuck in depression and a quarter-life crisis. To quote one person in quarter-life crisis:
“I know that his mom and the people around him have been pressuring him when it comes to settling down. His friends are either engaged or getting married left and right. I feel like he’s pressured to “make the right choice – NOW.”
To quote one person:
Normally I’m logical, calm, and a bit pessemistic but lately I’m finding myself to the point of almost outright aggression towards society as a whole. Marriage is in my near future, a new house, new state, new dogs (yes plural) and all of these made me so happy. But now I feel almost trapped and cynical towards everything going on around me.
To quote one student:
I have 10 months left now and HATE it and the my profession in general. But have invested a good amount of time and money. Only, I have panic attacks like never before and feel my self-esteem and confidence has plummeted. It is not healthy.
To quote another student:
I’m failing. I’m behind a lot of different assignments and I feel that I’m going to fail the entire year. This is odd because up to this point, I had been on the honor roll every year! I’m not sure what happened, but this year I just couldn’t pay attention and I haven’t been able to get to get anything done.
I’ve tried to take care of my assignments, but they seem to come in quicker than I can complete them. Now I feel that I have no hope to pass this year and I’ve become increasing questioning on what to do with my life.
You see problems,
but never go the extra step,
because it wouldn’t change anything.
To quote one person’s experience of feeling trapped:
Even still, realizing the vast potential for change that I stand at the edge of seems more frightening than exhilarating. Normally I am such an optimistic, self-assured person. I know I am capable of good, even great deeds, but reaching toward them seems impossible. I’m stuck! It feels like everything is working against me.
Unable to find work that has meaning
Let’s be clear to the fact that the system, modern society -> isn’t set up for you to excel but rather keep you moving like a cog. So much work is geared just to be -> busy work rather than meaningful activities, rather than fitting in with your society. You and your peers are merely spinning to keep things spinning. The big trouble is living as a cog isn’t living at all.
You are bored. You are focusing in on activities that don’t add to your life, but rather merely help you pass the time. The more bored you get, the less you live and the more you seek entertainment just to pass the time. You begin to compile huge libraries of media. Living in videos, music, games, and other online mediums, but becoming less and less active in the physical world. Welcome to the QLC doomsday clock of becoming a couch potato.
Cannot find jobs that allow you to go beyond just making it…
Let’s be clear to the fact that in a consumer society, our modern culture, the majority of jobs are unhealthy. Employers are profiting from their workers to minimize what they give back as compensation. How long can your job undercut you, before you feel worn out, tired, feeling worthless, and with not enough resources to grow? Once you have been undercut to the point of barely making it, you will then also discover quarter life crisis.
You even stop connecting with your partner.
You just keep each other down. Relationship problems are very common in quarter-life Crisis. Quarter-life Crisis becomes the transition point of your relationships after you have hit bottom.
To quote one relationship experience:
I constantly feel sad and angry unappreciated and misunderstood , and as good as it can be between me and my husband it can be bad too, I get irritated with him and I feel lonely and trapped by the same routines everyday. I want us to do things together and make memories together, and not have life just pass us by but I feel like we can’t communicate any more.
You Don’t Feel Like You Fit In.
Of all the quarter-life crisis signs, this is the one symptom that is the root of the whole QLC crisis. While reading the quotes from others expressing their quarter-life crisis signs, you will discover how others will express the other symptoms always with aspects that include how something isn’t fitting together properly in their life. The trouble is that signs of depression, frustration, relationship problems are so overpowering that it hides the roots of the real issue. The real core issue still comes up in how you describe your frustration, but it is the frustration that you feel the deepest.
Break Free From These Quarter Life Crisis Signs
If you are here, it means you are also ready to break out of being stuck. You will have to work thru many many smaller changes, take advantage of working with others, and slowly cobble together a new world.
Don’t worry about how many quarter life crisis signs you have now. What matters most is you know your life isn’t moving correctly, and it’s time to shift how you act. This isn’t a moment of trying to find the simple answer; rather, the answer is hidden within persistence. Taking small steps of improving how you live and work both. Most people don’t understand the big answer. Well, the big answer is kindness, modesty, and nonjudgement. This bigger answer isn’t one to be understood: rather it is an answer you live in many small steps every day in how you live and improve yourself and help in simple ways. Never helping in a way that undercuts you, but helping in a way that assists you to grow while assisting those around you.
You see, you thought you were being given the answer years earlier when you decided to follow the standard stories and tried to fit into society.
It isn’t about you fitting in with society at all anymore. You reached the point of just fitting in has broken down.
This has become a point of understanding that society is a reflection of you. Your purpose is now to figure yourself out. To do so with simple actions each day, expand and connect to others and then slowly together as a larger network. Ironically it is about turning it all around and working with yourself and others to figure out better ways to live. Your parents don’t have the answer; your society doesn’t have the answer; the books don’t have an answer; your work doesn’t have the answer. The answer is in how you make this time yours, rather than repeating stories that don’t work.
If you think -> what is ahead is too hard to do, then you get stuck.
It’s about not letting these quarter-life crisis signs define you anymore. To approach life one day at a time living and being kind. Letting your smaller efforts assemble up into something bigger and better. Release the judgment (which releases the conflicts) and do so in modest steps (so you can evolve) and with kindness. Working to essence rather than making it all about your last stand trying to live in the old modern way that simply doesn’t work.
Solutions for a Quarterlife Crisis
The solution to Quarter life crisis is becoming pro-active in your life, Not trying to do what you have been told but to do what supports you and then expanding that to be more and more an expression of your style. Work with others who have gone beyond the limited box society has given you, start creating a life that is yours.
To tell a person to thrive doesn’t do any good. You have to create a set of physical actions to follow and work against. This is about truly realigning yourself not to society, but to better fit in with your peers, to live in a way that can be yours while balancing out all the bullshit of society.
This process becomes a very personal path for each person. As a result, when I help people, I do so in a very flexible manner, crafting and finding options that are un-google-able. I will help you piece together an answer that you expand with your flair of living.
The Basic Steps to Overcome a Quarter Life Crisis
Knowing the quarter life crisis signs won’t help you. They are long-term symptoms of being stuck. Treating the symptoms doesn’t stop the problem. In fact, the exact opposite happens, treating depression without addressing lifestyle changes will often cause a person to run themselves down even more. What helps will be the actions you take to move ahead upon. The answer is 100% a matter of lifestyle.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Be persistent with joyful actions
- Be nonjudgmental with challenges
- Be consistent in trying
- Walk away from anyone trying to undercut you
- Walk away from anyone trying to force you
- Laugh at the lies
- Laugh at society when it says no
- Laugh with anyone who makes you sad
- Laugh at the Quarter Life Crisis Signs you are experiencing. Don’t let the hard feelings you have drag you under deeper into nonaction and depression.
- Be aware of your truth and don’t let the media undercut your ideas or direction
- You can always leave something in better shape, even if it is with a smile or walking away with no judgment.