4 Stages of a Quarter Life Crisis

quarter life crisis

If 40 is the new 30, does that make 30 the new 40?

Financial solvency, relationship drama, career fulfillment, the perfect work/life balance, air-brushed beauty standards, the pressure to partner up and have kids…

Ugh X 20.

Millennial women have more opportunities than any generation of women before them, and the pressure is ON to construct a life that proves it.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t even know one millennial woman who doesn’t feel eternally grateful for the work and sacrifice that the countless generations of women prior have put into making “having it all” possible, particularly our mothers’ generation.

We’re deeply grateful, and at the same time we’re overwhelmed with what to do with our rich inheritance from the feminist movement.

We don’t want to spend it all in one place (or do we)?

#confused

To help break it down, I’m extracting my favorite sound bites from the  most positive article on the not-so-newly coined quarter-life crisis I’ve read  (and I read a lot of this kind of thing).

***Spoiler alert*** According to Dr.  Oliver Robinson, a lead researcher on this topic, the average quarter-life crisis lasts about two years and can actually be a really positive experience.

More specifically, Dr. Robinson  identifies 4 distinct phases of said crisis.

Before we get to those, here are the best snippets from a great piece by special investigations correspondent and reporter from the UK Guardian, Amelia Hill (feel free to read them with a British accent):

“If, as we’re continually told, the world is our oyster, it’s definitely a dodgy one.”

“…Insecurities, disappointments, loneliness and depression is hitting twenties and thirty somethings…with educated professionals most likely to suffer.”

“They occur…in the time period between 25 and 35, although they cluster around 30.”

Here’s my abbreviated version of Dr. Robinson’s findings, but feel free to read the whole article here.

PHASE 1: You feel completely trapped in a relationship, your job, and/or generalized bad energy.

PHASE 2: Here and there you have a couple of good days, and in those days, you manage to entertain the idea that escaping the trapped feeling and being happy instead might actually be possible.

PHASE 3: You make proactive changes to create the life that you want (NOTE: this sounds deceptively simple and easy; it’s usually not).

PHASE 4:  You spend your time and energy on stuff you want to spend your time and energy on.  You still have bills to pay, dentist appointments to sit through and the inevitably tedious aspects of your work to deal with, but overall, life is good.

Do you know a millennial woman who might like to hear that there’s a silver lining on the quarter-life crisis cloud?  Share this post!  

6 Responses to “4 Stages of a Quarter Life Crisis”

  1. Thanks for sharing Katherine! Lauren, I think “phase 3” is the turning point and “phase 4” is the silver lining.

    Reply
  2. Love this, very helpfull. Will be following this site from now on. thumbs up from Holland 🙂

    Reply
    • Katherine Schafler

      So glad Iris, thanks for the Holland seal of approval! I’m traveling there this summer, one of my favorite places on earth! Let me know if you’d ever like to contribute anything and thanks again for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      Reply

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