What is a quarter life crisis?

A quarter life crisis is similar to the more widely known midlife crisis, and is typically experienced by people in their 20s and 30s. In the midst of a quarter life crisis you may have trouble making simple decisions, feel disinterested in your current activities and relationships, and find yourself constantly preoccupied with worries about the future.

Coming into full adulthood is full of challenges - we may be moving out of our family homes for the first time, or trying to figure out our career paths, or beginning our first serious romantic relationships. Our older friends and family may have married and bought a house at this time in their lives, which might cause some anxiety if we haven’t achieved these milestones, or angst if we realize we don’t want the same things that older friends and relatives prioritized. For millennials, economic factors like the student debt crisis, and social changes like the rise of virtual contract work make achieving traditional milestones of independence either difficult or undesirable. Anxiety over meeting the previous generation’s expectations, or alienation due to a different set of life priorities can lead to our distancing ourselves from family and friends. Intentionally or no, we may isolate ourselves from our greatest sources of support as we wrestle with feelings of dissatisfaction and doubt.

How can a therapist help you navigate a quarter life crisis?

For some of us the feelings of isolation and indecision characteristic of this period will clear as life moves forward and we adapt to the changes in our lives. For others, finding resolution can be more challenging because the source of the problem isn’t always evident. The root causes and manifestations of your quarter life crisis will be unique to you, and discussing your feelings and life situation with a therapist can give you greater insight into them. A therapist can also help you discuss your goals for your life and career, and determine next steps to achieving them. With their help you could identify a new passion , develop more self-affirming and productive habits, and build your confidence as you navigate the difficult but exciting challenges of this transformative time in your life.

Ready to overcome the barriers holding you back?