Five Ways To Recognize A Quarter Life Crisis

Five Ways To Recognize A Quarter Life Crisis

As if the fear of having a midlife crisis wasn’t enough, you now have to watch out for a quarter life crisis. That’s because a quarter life crisis is just as real, just as scary, and now just as prevalent.

And it’s no wonder either. Your mid-twenties are tough, especially if you feel like you’re falling behind your friends. Does it seem like everyone has the job, the house, and the family thing all figured out except for you? Weren’t you supposed to have it figured out too? Aren’t you a capable and put-together person? What’s taking you so long?

Five Ways to Recognize if You’re Having a Quarter Life Crisis

Whoa. It’s enough to make you feel like you’re going crazy, but maybe you’re just have a bit of a crisis. Here are five ways to recognize if you’re having a quarter life crisis, and how you can deal with those signs.

1. You Start to Question Your Purpose

You might find that you start to wonder why you were put on this Earth. What is your purpose in life? You see other people around you doing great things. You see them starting companies, saving the world, and helping their communities. Meanwhile you’re just trying to pay back your student loans, and make it to Friday happy hour.

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To combat these feelings it’s actually good to embrace them. Having a quarter life crisis can zap some of your drive and determination, but thinking about your place in the world might actually help you get some of it back. Brainstorm some ideas. You don’t have to completely transform your life, but you might find ways to get your real life and your meaningful life to intersect.

2. You Think Your Best Years Are Behind You

You’ve always made a habit of making fun of the kids who peaked in high school, but now, you’re starting to wonder if you might be one of those kids. You were full of so much potential. Now you might be starting to feel like all that potential didn’t turn into much.

Life was a lot simpler in high school and college. Your achievements were many, and they were pretty easy to do. The competition for Student Council Treasurer, for example, wasn’t super stiff, but out here in the real world, you’re competing with thousands of people for that dream job, or really any job. 

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To help reconcile your potential life with your actual life, you have to spend some time being grateful for what you have. There are certainly aspects of your life that were better when you were younger, but there are plenty of things that have improved with age. Focus on the experiences that you have gained over what you haven’t yet done.

3. Your Job Feels Inescapable

With all the potential trouble of finding a new job, you might feel like the one you have is the one you’ll have forever. You can’t fall asleep at night because you worry about it. Before you know it, you’ll be at your job ten years. Then it’s twenty years. Then it’s basically forever. You think about applying to other places, but you’re already defeated. The Man has already won.

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Even though you feel defeated, you have to fight back. A crisis doesn’t have to be negative if it forces you to take a hard look at your life. If you hate your job, then do something about it. Find ways to try to make it better. Focus on what your job gives you. Maybe it doesn’t fulfill you, but maybe it gives you money, or free time to find fulfillment elsewhere.

4. Social Media Makes You Anxious

To be fair, Facebook pictures of everyone’s fairytale lives is enough to make anyone anxious, but those feelings can still be a sign you’re having a quarter life crisis. You don’t feel as secure in your position in life when you are constantly comparing yourself to others.

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The obvious solution is to take a break from social media, and though that can help, it won’t cure the underlying problem. To do that you have to let go, really let go, of the notion that life is a competition.

5. You Don’t Know Whether to Play It Safe or Take a Risk

You might start to get a little bogged down in your own mortality, and you have a sudden urge to go big or go home, and yet you just can’t quite do it. You know that if there ever was a time to take a risk it’s probably now, when you’re still young, but already you feel afraid of making a major mistake. You see friends taking risks, and you wish you could too, but you just can’t get yourself to jump off the high dive.

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This is the hardest crossroads of the quarter life crisis and of life in general. Do you play it safe, or do you go all in? It’s not an easy question to answer, but you shouldn’t let the question have all the power. The truth is you don’t have to do either. You can find the middle ground.

Know the Crisis and Learn From It

Knowing whether or not you are having a quarter life crisis can help you address your issues, and help you find solutions. If you find yourself in the middle of a quarter life crisis, consider is a good opportunity to take stock of your life and make some changes that will lead to lasting happiness.  

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