The Quarter Life Crisis and Not Having A Plan

When I was younger, 23 seemed like the sort of age where you would start to have things figured out. I would be thinking about mortgages, making progress in my career, brunching with my girlfriends and our dogs. In reality, 23 is living at home with my parents, in an entry level job with not a single brunch (or dog) in sight.

A quarter life crisis is when somewhere in your twenties (usually around 25) you have a bit of a flap over where your life is at, where it’s going, what’s the plan and wtf you are going to do about your student debt. Not only is this crisis a real proper thing, with articles from legitimate academic sources claiming 86% of us 20-somethings experience some sort of general life panic, it seems to be becoming a regular occurrence. I don’t know about you but I seem to be researching mortgages and job prospects and life insurance every couple of months.

quarter life crisis graphic

 

I think the whole concept of the quarter life crisis is so prominent because our 20s are essentially a period of change. Most of us will go to uni, graduate feeling on top of the world and then have to move back in with the parents, thus losing the independence we just spent the last 3/4 years building. Most of us do struggle to get a job that pays enough to pay any kind of rent or save towards that elusive first home. Most of us are likely to chop and change and muddle our way through minimum wage jobs and decide it’s not what we want and cry and drink cheap wine. No wonder we end up slobbering messes in dressing gowns on the sofa at 3pm watching Netflix.

Social media only heightens the comparison and makes it easier for us to feel like a failure. It’s so easy to feel like you are falling behind when you see a friend getting engaged, or renting their first apartment. Society expects us to move along at a certain pace. We set ourselves milestones that are most likely totally unrealistic. I won’t lie, I do envy the people who have what I would like. I am in awe of the people who at my age have a house and a dog and go to brunch at the weekends. But I am willing to bet that they don’t have it all figured out either.

image of a green and white 2018 diary on a grey woof floor, with a

For someone who likes to be organised and to have a plan, not knowing what the future holds is something that has and will always scare the crap out of me. But I think we all need to start putting a more positive spin on our lives. Okay, we may not be where we thought we would, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (after all, I’m sure your parents have a fridge you can raid 24/7). It’s not the end of the world to be undecided on your career, because think about all the exciting options that gives you.

My guess is we will all look back on our twenties with rose-tinted glasses. We’ll remember falling out of kebab shops at 3am, the friends we made at university and that all important first pay cheque. And we’ll forget the overwhelming lack of money and the stress of job applications and the not-so-great aspects of living at home.

We can only hope that our thirties bring more stability, less chaos and more expensive wine.

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16 Comments

  1. Laura
    08/04/2018 / 5:46 pm

    This speaks to me on all and every level. Love it Abs xx

  2. insidemegansmind
    11/04/2018 / 12:40 am

    I’m only 20 and still in college so I have some time, but even now I have no idea where my future is going. Hopefully everything will be okay, but I can see my quarter life crisis sneaking up on me real quick.

  3. 11/04/2018 / 8:57 pm

    You are an excellent writer! I just turned 25 in February and I am still trying to figure everything out ! As long as you’re happy, that’s what counts 🙂

  4. Zara Anne
    13/04/2018 / 12:30 pm

    Oh my gosh how relatable! I’m 22 and I’ve often felt a bit bad because I wasted my first two college opportunities and I’m only now getting ready for uni when it seems like everyone my age has their act together! I think it’s a common thing to be anxious at this age because it can seem like we’re not as prepared as others but everyone has their own path! Xx

    Itsallzara.co.uk

  5. 14/04/2018 / 5:19 pm

    I felt as if I was reading my own thoughts here! I love this post, it’s so accurate! I just turned 26, and had a freak out moment because of this feeling. Then I started my blog, and it gave me a purpose to write and hopefully help people along way. Honestly, 30s sound way more appealing to me because of the stability.

  6. 12/07/2018 / 10:51 am

    33. Still figuring it all out but I’ve learnt to love the journey. Every decade will bring it’s own challenges and uncertainty but I think we just get more settled and self assured.

  7. 12/07/2018 / 10:52 am

    I relate to this so much. I’m 22 and I’ve decided I don’t like the career I’m in, which has completely thrown me off. I’ve changed jobs to something similar but in a different environment to see if that helps. I plan to work one more year and then take time off to travel! Everyone keeps telling me to do it while I’m young, but I like the idea of going and not coming back. We’ll see where I am when I get to my 30s.

    • 12/07/2018 / 11:03 am

      Travelling sounds great! Maybe you need that time away to reassess what you want to be doing work-wise 😊

  8. 12/07/2018 / 10:59 am

    I know exactly what you mean! Im doing a masters partly because im too scared to step into the wider world! I guess we’ll have to hope that it becomes clear soon!
    Eleanor x

  9. acupofsai
    12/07/2018 / 11:13 am

    I’m turning 20 in September and to be honest, I’ve already started panicking. There are people that I was in school with that are moving out to get their own place and seem to have their lives together but I keep trying to remind myself not to compare to everyone else. x

    • 13/07/2018 / 12:07 am

      Yeah it’s so easy to do but comparison can be really damaging! X

  10. 12/07/2018 / 11:29 am

    I’m 31 and still don’t have it all figured out! I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up! When I was younger I thought I would have it all sorted out by this age but I just don’t feel 31! I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to buy a house etc by a certain age when really who cares as long as your happy!

  11. 12/07/2018 / 11:31 am

    I’m going into my final year of college and accepted before starting my course that I’ll probably be in retail for a few years until my dream job comes up, I’ve accepted that but I’m dreading the pressure from everyone else to immediately use the degree for one I won’t like

  12. 12/07/2018 / 3:32 pm

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! It’s a comfort even just to know that we aren’t alone in all this chaos 💕

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