Young and ambitious, time for a quarter life crisis then?

A quarter life crisis happens shortly after a young person – usually an educated professional – enters the “real world”.

I don’t know about anybody else, but the “quarterlife crisis” is as real as anything for me. I’m 29, with two degrees, £20,000 of debt, and two part-time jobs to pay it off. Neither earns me enough to live on, let alone pay off my debts, because I’m studying for a still further degree, even though experience teaches that qualifications rarely lead to good jobs. Was it all a lie we were told? Why don’t good graduates move on to the kinds of jobs that society told us would be ours? Why isn’t education the royal road to riches and why have I spent the best years of my life being frustrated in a lecture theatre? Simon Gillett, Edinburgh

“After entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities, some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity. The individual often realizes the real world is tougher, more competitive and less forgiving than they imagined. Furthermore, the qualifications they have spent so much time and money earning are not likely to prepare them for this disillusionment.

A related problem is simply that many graduates do not achieve a desirable standard of living after graduation. They often end up living in low-income flats with roommates instead of having an income high enough to support themselves. Substandard living conditions, combined with menial or repetitive work at their jobs create a great amount of frustration, anxiety and anger. Nobody wants to admit to feeling like a ‘loser’; this secrecy may intensify the problem.”

Read more from: BBC / Times Online / The Guardian

The symptoms of quarter-life crisis may include:

  • feeling “not good enough” because one can’t find a job that is at one’s academic/intellectual level
  • frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career
  • confusion of identity
  • insecurity regarding the near future
  • insecurity concerning long-term plans, life goals
  • insecurity regarding present accomplishments
  • re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
  • disappointment with one’s job
  • nostalgia for university, college or high school
  • tendency to hold stronger opinions
  • boredom with social interactions
  • loss of closeness to high school and college friends
  • financially-rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unanticipatedly high cost of living, etc.)
  • loneliness
  • desire to have children
  • a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you

Is this you? It is certainly some people in my life that I really care about. There doesn’t seem to be any advice in the research I have found. How can Mindapples help?