I remember growing up hearing about people who have entered a mid-life crisis. At the time, it referred to those who had reached their 50th birthday and are suddenly aware of the passing of time, and their youth is fading away. Men would buy a sports car to help them feel young again, women would turn to cosmetic surgery to regain a younger look; this would all come about as the year slipped by them seemingly without notice. Today, however, there is a change in the term and a “quarter life-crisis,” is being used to explain the uncertainty that young adults graduated encounter after college and face the world for the first time on their own. The quarter life crisis seems to occur between the ages of 25 and 35; it is in this time frame that they face the most pressure to succeed, get married and start a family.
To break it down, the first five years of life are spent at home, or in a day care learning the basics of this world and how to function in it. Then it is off to school for the next 12 years, at least, 16 or more if college is the choice after high school. So by age 22 all we have known is school and rules, there has not been much in the way of real-life experience.
Suddenly, we are thrown into this world, with loans to pay, a new life to create and there are no guidelines anymore to follow, no lesson plan or teacher to ask questions too. Panic sets in and the desire to retreat is first in the mind. Young people today face more stress, with expectations being put on them that at times seem unreasonable. This is the time when the mind seems to change, and the desire comes to pursue a dream instead of becoming just another worker in a sea of cubicles.
What is important is happiness, contentment and a sense of accomplishment is what you do, and finding your true purpose. For young adults today that seems impossible; with demands and opinions being thrown at them from every direction, it is no wonder they feel pressured and in crisis.
I have listened to my daughter talk about how she feels right now, the future it ahead of her and is so uncertain that causes her to worry, maybe needlessly, after we have all been there. I think we can all admit though that things are different and with each generation the “life-crisis” may change, but in the end, we all struggle with what tomorrow will bring, no matter what age we are.