We all know the stereotypically telltale signs of a mid-life crisis – open-top sports cars and inappropriate fashion choices – but what about a quarter-life crisis?
According to a study by LinkedIn, almost three-quarters of young professionals have had a quarter-life, and the age you’re most likely to have one is the ripe old age of 26.9 years old.
Getting on the property ladder, finding a career we love and someone we love, are among the main reasons people are experiencing major panic and insecurity over their life choices in their mid 20s.
And no wonder. We’ve been brought up to be ambitious and to think anything is possible, while at the same time we’re under pressure to have smashed a dream career, met a life-partner, bought a house, travelled the world, have a baby AND achieve a delirious state of happiness before we’re 30 – even though financially we’re far worse off than our parents’ generation.
Here are some signs you might be in the midst of a crisis- but don’t be too worried.
1. You look for a new job every Sunday night
What you thought would be your dream career hasn’t lived up to expectations, and you get the Sunday night blues real bad every week. You might not have applied for any yet, but it makes you feel slightly better to know you have options.
Many people have more than one type of career during their lifetime anyway and a study by Linkedin last year found that Millennials jump jobs four times in their first 10 years after leaving university. Relax, your 20s are for trying things out.
2. You’ve resigned yourself to the fact you’ll never meet anyone nice and normal. Ever.
Maybe it feels like everyone around you is settling down, maybe you’ve had one too many bad dates, maybe lots of cats would be a better option anyway. Meanwhile, you’re considering adding filters to Facebook so you no longer see engagements and baby announcements (and that’s totally OK). With so many dating sites and apps it can feel like there are too many options, and at the same time, absolutely no ‘one’.
3. You’ve lost all motivation to adult
But WHY do we have to pay bills, rent, cook proper meals and do laundry?! Why can’t we live on a beach in Thailand and only wear kaftans? Sometimes life admin seems like a whole extra job in itself. It’s a hard world people.
4. You feel like you’re constantly having an existential crisis
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Don’t worry, everyone wonders what the meaning of life is now and again. It’s as normal as it is scary.
5. You keep looking back rather that forward
Missing school? Wasn’t it all so carefree and comforting? Probably not in reality, but your quarter-life crisis brain is making you long for simpler times when your parents dealt with the electricity company and stocked the fridge.
6. The gap between you and your friends’ incomes is growing and starting to freak you out
If you struggle to make rent each month while your mates splash out on expensive handbags and cocktails, it can create a panic that you made the wrong career choice and have you asking yourself why you didn’t try harder in science because it’d be really nice to earn 80k. Try not to worry, more people are like you than like them.
7. You constantly feel a need to escape to another country
Wanting to escape is common in a quarter (or mid) life crisis, or any crisis for that matter. Maybe a holiday just won’t do and you’re seriously considering packing everything in and moving to the Australian outback.
Apparently the average quarter-life crisis lasts 11 months, so give it a year and see if you still feel the same way – and remember, life isn’t a race.