Back when we were children, we wanted to be a million different things, and we thought that we could manage it all with no difficulties. Well, not anymore...
Obstacles are an inevitable part of life. We're all aware of that. No matter how well prepared and resilient one might be, every once in a while, a crisis hits us so badly that all of the wind in our sails is knocked out.
With it, our dreams, hopes and very often, our confidence.
For people between the ages of 40-50, it's called the "midlife crisis." If you're in your late teens or 20s, you'll likely go through something very similar called the "quarter life crisis."
Yes, it's a real thing.
Contrary to what most skeptics claim, the quarter life crisis is very real and not a bid for attention.
In a nutshell, a quarter life crisis is a situation in which an individual who is between the ages of 18 and 29 did not have their plans come to fruition, and they don't know what to do next.
Everyone has plans, but very often, life gets in the way and things don't work out. The problem occurs when all of it starts taking a toll on your physical and mental health. This is what happens in a quarter life crisis.
In a generation where mental health problems, political polarization and general nihilism is at an all time high, the high rate of individuals suffering from a quarter life crisis should be a cause for concern for all of us.
The fact that this is still dismissed as a minuscule menace is a scathing indictment of how apathetic our society has become towards those who suffer.
But it's not that surprising, is it?
Living in a culture dominated by unrealistic "Instagram Standards" such a thing was bound to happen. A receding economy, political unrest, lack of available resources, excess hyper stimulation and obsolete connections don't help either.
We all have an image of what our lives should look like by the time we reach a certain age. However, these idealistic images hurt us and our self esteem. We keep comparing who we currently are to who we should have been.
We try to draw parallels between ourselves and glamorous celebrities who seem to have it all. When you're young, people assume you know nothing. Ironically, instead of being liberated, we feel more trapped than ever.
If you think that you're suffering from a quarter life crisis, here are a few things you should consider doing:
1. Don't Compare
Everybody has scars that they hide. Your life isn't about other people, it's about you. Your uniqueness doesn't make you any less worthy. Focus on maximizing the joy in your life to the fullest rather than comparing yourself to others who will never be you.
Often, if you've experienced a sudden deluge of stress and over stimulation, a quarter life crisis is a sign that you need to slow down. The concept of overworking isn't new in our hyper productive hustle culture, but the human body needs rest. Take a couple of days off to just sit back, relax and goof around. You'll come back well rested with a fresher mind.
Nothing solves a quarter life crisis better than a self and situational assessment. Don't just think or analyze be introspective. What led you do this? What can you change? Is it your external environment or you? What role does your lifestyle play? How do you seek to improve yourself?
Most importantly, how are you going to get yourself out of this? Sitting down to really think for a couple of hours can help you understand the toxicity within yourself, the negativity in your environment and what you can do to change them.
Remember that book you've been meaning to read for a year but always put off? Read it now. Those walks you used to take in the park? Do them. (Don't forget your mask and sanitizer, though!)
Take time to get in touch with your old friends, to call your family. Spend time with yourself, indulging in the habits you used to love but have no time for anymore. This may not be a permanent solution for a quarter life crisis, but it'll surely get you through it by putting a smile on your face and giving you a strong support system.
At the end of the day, (week, month or even year), it's important to remember that just like everything else in life, this too shall pass. Even if it doesn't feel like it right now, you have the potential to be the best version of yourself.
There are people who love you and opportunities that are waiting for you. If you have faith and hope by your side, you will come out of this storm and into the sunshine, a stronger, braver and more compassionate person.