Updated: Aug 10, 2019
"I'm finding it hard to know what I'm supposed to do with my life."
"I thought that once I got to this point in my life things would be different."
"I don't know why I can't commit to a relationship for more than a few months."
"I feel like it's time to start growing up, but I find myself doing the same stuff I did in college."
"I don't really know what I want to do, or who I am."
"Is this all there is to life?"
"How do I know I'm not just wasting my life.?"
Lately, I've been finding myself meeting with clients who are, in one way or another, expressing something similar to these statements. Young, mid-to-late 20s, entry to mid-level in their careers, sputtering about in relationships and just unsure about how to fulfill what the "real world" is expecting from them.
Quarter-life-crisis is by far the most common issue being brought into my counseling sessions these days. Back in the 1950s psychologist Erik Erikson deemed the core function of adolescence to be the personal discovery of "who am I?" and "who do I want to become?" Today, newly dubbed adults are finding themselves in a position of just now beginning to ask themselves these questions.
Emerging young adults who find themselves plagued by indecision, professional confusion, a shaky sense of self-awareness and dissatisfaction with the quality of their relationships might be experiencing a quarter-life crisis.
Unlike mid-and late-life crises, quarter-life crises aren't kicked off by major life events. Later-life crises typically involve one being faced with the choice to take their lives in an entirely new direction. Quarter-life crises, on the other hand, bring a young person face-to-face with the reality that, to find purpose and satisfaction in this life, you gotta choose A direction.
While the distress of not knowing how to best spend your time and energy making your twenties count the most is unpleasant, finding yourself in a quarter-life crisis is actually a good place to be.
As Caroline Beaton puts it in her article, Why Millennials Need Quarter-Life Crises, "Millennials say we don't want to settle, so our crises holds us accountable. As we begin to cozy up to the long haul, our scary-real questions will surface something better."
Meeting with a therapist can be an important part of sorting out your quarter-life crisis and bringing you to a place of "something better." I don't have any magical answers, but I can provide validation, fresh perspectives, a touch of guidance and a completely safe and non-judgmental environment for you to work through this time in your life.