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Three Quarters Of Millennials Have Had A Quarter-Life Crisis

Quarter life crisis joey and rachel friendsWarner Bros.

I turned 25 this year, and with it came a whole host of emotions I just wasnt prepared for. Mostly: panic, stress, and a general feeling of what am I doing with my life?

A seven-year-old me thought that at 25, Id have everything sussed: a dream job after winning Pop Idol (despite the fact I couldnt sing for sh*t); a mansion in the hills I could host star-studded parties in with all my famous friends; and endless amounts of money.

A teenage, more realistic me thought that at 25 Id at least have a car, or a house, or enough money to buy either a car or a house failing the fact I didnt have either. And yet here I am: car-less, house-less, and wondering whether a diet of supernoodles will be able to sustain me forever.

Stressed child gifLifetime

Even if that last part was a slight exaggeration, 25-year-old me is far from the ideal self Id painted for myself when I was eight – when 25 was just a distant dot in the future and seemed like a lifetime away.

Now, nearly half of my wage goes on paying my rent and bills each month and I walk to work in an attempt to save the £3.50 it would cost me each day to use public transport. Oh, and I find myself counting the pennies in the week leading up to payday. Ah, the dream.

Of course, Im not the only one. In fact, the majority of my friends and colleagues are in the same position – apart from the select few on Instagram who are busy buying their first homes and travelling to some exotic country for an exciting new job (Im not jealous at all).

So why, when I reached the milestone quarter-of-a-century in age, was my immediate reaction oh f*ck? Why did I immediately start to panic about not having achieved everything I set out to when I was small? And why do I still feel as though I should be doing better?

Rachel friends stressed Warner Bros.

Most likely because, like thousands of other people my age, Im experiencing something of a crisis in my self-worth. A quarter-life crisis, if you will. Not the classic mid-life crisis, but a younger, more inexperienced version which manifests itself in younger, more inexperienced people.

Rather than going out and buying a fancy sports car, or quitting a job to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a singer, or a painter, or a model – as we might if we were experiencing a mid-life crisis – those going through a quarter-life crisis exhibit none of those behaviours because, well, the majority of us dont have the means to do so.

We barely have enough money to pay our rent, never mind have enough to splash out on an expensive Ferrari or BMW. And youre kidding yourself if you think we can afford to quit a career weve only just started and risk it all for potentially nothing.

So what is a quarter-life crisis? Research conducted by LinkedIn describes it as a period of insecurity and doubt that many people in their mid twenties to early thirties go through surrounding their career, relationships, and finances.

woman stressedPexels

Emma Kenny, resident psychologist on ITVs This Morning, told UNILAD a quarter life crisis occurs primarily because we have a set of expectations as to what were meant to have achieved at a certain age – and when we havent done so, we feel like a failure.

The psychologist explained:

It could be that you think you should have got a house, or be in a long-term relationship, have good finances, be able to pay a mortgage, et cetera. All of those things are really a blueprint from a time thats gone by, so were still living with this very archetypal, non-reality based blueprint from say 70 years ago.

Were applying this massively old set of rules and expectations to a young mindset who no longer conforms to them. But youve been brought up thinking that you should. Instead of seeing that youre at a point of transition and that society is no longer how it was, you are being brought up with a sense of failure.

In other words, the expectations we set ourselves when we were younger (and which other people set for us) simply arent realistic anymore. Sure, it would be nice to be able to put a deposit down on a house with my boyfriend and save up for a secure future, but with what money?

Person counting moneyPexels

With lower incomes and an increase in property prices ensuring approximately 40 per cent of young adults cannot afford to buy one of the cheapest homes in their area, as per the Institute for Fiscal Studies, you can see why young people often find themselves stuck in a period of doubt and uncertainty.

Especially when, even when we try to put money to one side in an attempt to get on the property ladder, rising rent prices are making it harder for us to save for a deposit in the first place – in effect leaving us stuck in a penniless rut. Its no wonder some of us find ourselves having a crisis of confidence.

Its even easier to get caught up in these feelings of despair when our peers are posting about their achievements and exciting opportunities on social media, a place where all of us put our best selves forward and yet still judge ourselves unfairly against the online presence of others.

Influencer culture doesnt help either; how is anybody supposed to be content with their 9-5 job which sees them living paycheck to paycheck, when the people we follow on Instagram seem to be living their best lives every day – jetting off to exotic places, buying the most expensive clothes, and attending red-carpet events?

Instagram influencer picturePexels

Emma Kenny warned that, by doing this, we live only in moments of if onlys as opposed to feeling a sense of control over our lives, something which ultimately leads us to us questioning our own self-worth.

She told UNILAD:

We have comparables that we look at and think theyre doing better than us, and what we basically do is we internalise and explore other peoples advantages and we use it as a weapon against ourselves.

We think that it makes us have less because they have more, and that – as opposed to internalising all the things that make us the unbelievably unique humans that we are – makes us feel scared. We just feel really, really scared.

An important thing to note is that, if youre feeling like this, youre not the only one. Far from it, in fact. As Emma says: Its actually really comforting to know that nobodys got their sh*t together. Nobody.

Joey friends gifWarner Bros.

UNILAD spoke to one 30-year-old who described himself as existing in a general malaise throughout his mid-to-late twenties, partly because of the reasons just mentioned. Working in a job he hated while barely scraping by after making some poor financial decisions, Jack reached a point where he knew something needed to change.

He explained:

I was living for the weekend so to speak. Id spend most Fridays and Saturdays drunk and most Sundays (and later Mondays) hungover, eating junk food.

I cant remember what exactly made me realise, but after two serious knee operations and a brief yet troublesome relationship with my pain medication, I found myself dangerously overweight and barely able to keep afloat financially, emotionally or otherwise.

When asked what might have triggered these feelings, Jack said he had always been self-conscious – particularly about his weight – but that those feelings worsened the longer he tried to disregard them.

Man depressedPixabay

He said that, while he had always managed to get by on bravado by making jokes and trying to have as much fun as it would take to forget any of this, it ultimately wasnt sustainable. I kind of broke down, the 30-year-old admitted.

In the end, Jack managed to move Read More – Source

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