Your quarter life crisis can be described as the time in your life when you’re searching for a sense of direction or purpose. I went through my quarter life crisis at 24 after I decided to give up my business. Up until that point, I had everything figured out–or so I thought. So this was the first time I didn’t have a plan in my adult life.
There are three main things that happen during your quarter life crisis:
- Doubting your choices up to this point
- Lacking a sense of direction in your life
- Trying to change the path for your life
This is where I found myself. Doubting the career path I chose at 18, trying to throw a dart board at any new career choice (I literally applied to 80 different jobs in 5 different industries because I didn’t know what what to do next), and trying so hard to be a different person. My saving grace in my quarter life crisis was deciding to get my own apartment in the city (Check out my article on the benefits of living alone). It finally pulled me out of my childhood town and helped me grow into adulthood.
What your quarter life crisis is not:
Some people who have never experienced a quarter life crisis–at least not yet anyways–may be quick to judge others. I had a deeply scarring event before I moved away that involved a previous classmate. They asked me if I had peaked in high school because of my current situation of living at home and working my high school job even though I had graduated college. This hurt me on a deeper level because I was already experiencing a TON of self-doubt over my choices thus far in my life.
For those of you going through your quarter life crisis right now and experiencing that same self-doubt, I want you to know that’s a normal part of the process. And I NEED you to know that your quarter life crisis doesn’t define you as a person. It doesn’t mean that you failed somewhere up to this point or that you’re never going to accomplish any of your life goals. It also doesn’t mean that everyone else has it all together except you.
In fact, your quarter life crisis can be a very beneficial part of your twenties for a few reasons.
Your quarter life crisis helps you think critically about your life.
I still feel very strongly that requiring us at 18 to decide our entire lives is ludicrous because of how much we change between then and 25. There are so many different career paths that a lot of us don't even realize at that point (I created a career path breakdown for all of the different options after high school, if you want to check out the article).
When you go through your quarter life crisis, you start to think critically about your life thus far. This experience helps you determine what you have liked and disliked. You are able to determine your different strengths and weaknesses for your future path. This is also a great time to realize what direction will make you happiest. Maybe this means you need to go back to school, or switch jobs, or even switch into a new industry.
Your quarter life crisis reminds you that you won't have it all together right away.
I remember sitting on the stairs as a child thinking that I would have everything together by 25. To my childhood self, 25 sounded like an old enough age to be married, have the perfect job, and be an official adult. But then I turned 23. I realized that 25 is actually young and I was not going to have it all together in 2 years. I didn't even have a long lasting career at this point, let alone a boyfriend!
When you go through your quarter life crisis, you sometimes struggle to find a purpose in life. There are days when you feel like a complete failure. And other days when you think you might have finally found a direction. This helps you realize that there you don't have to reach certain points in your life by specific dates. We all have different experiences and paths to take, so it's natural to reach them at different times.
Your quarter life crisis helps you grow as an adult.
There are so many things we haven't learned by the time we graduate high school, let alone college. There's a reason why we say things like adulting is hard and the struggle is real. Because IT IS!
Going through your quarter life crisis helps you grow as an adult. It teaches you to be independent by maybe moving out on your own. It teaches you to say no to things like relationships that are bad for you or jobs that you don't want. It helps you truly see what's important to you long term in life and to shape your values. And it allows you to change the direction of your life if you don't like the path thus far.
As you may know from reading my previous articles, I'm a goal setter. Goal setting can be important to helping you solve your purpose during your quarter life crisis. Creating a vision board can help you see what you want out of life and what's important to you. But don't worry about knowing everything by a certain time in your life. It will come.
Your quarter life crisis gets a bad rep most of the time. I like to think of it as an important time in your twenties to critically think about the direction of your life. It's a time to take chances and be a little risky. I would love to hear what you all have to say about a time that you were grateful for your quarter life crisis.