As a counsellor, I have seen many young adults come in claiming that they are depressed. From my perspective what they might actually be experiencing can be termed as ‘’quarter life crisis’’
Then the question arises “What is quarter-life crisis?’’
This is a new phenomenon that is happening to young adults who are in their twenties and thirties. Fresh graduates who are entering the ‘real world’, suddenly find themselves under a lot of pressure to succeed vocationally, relationally and financially even before hitting their thirties!
Signs That Young Adults are Facing a Quarter Life Crisis
- They are confused about what their next step in life should be – Questions like these would appear in their minds: Is this what I want in life? Will I be stuck here? What can I do next? There are tons of questions that they don’t seem to be able to answer.
- They are overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there – The modern economy is fast and dynamic; it’s in a constant state of change. Adapting or succumbing to change is the only option. This creates high stress and anxiety effect on them.
- They feel stuck in terms of their life choices and feel like not having control over their own future – Some may feel pressured to marry and have children before the age of 30 as some of their friends may already be married and have a high-paying job to accommodate their luxurious lifestyle whereas they are still questioning the decisions they made for their life.They keep jumping from one career to another. They spend a lot of time wondering if they should work for money or follow their passion and do what they love. They would second-guess their choice of career field and be probably wondering if they should go abroad to explore the opportunities or stay where their family and friends are.
Finding the Right Ways to Cope
Identify which aspects of their life they struggle with and break them down into smaller segment. Look at it one by one; don’t mix relationship issues with career, and don’t compartmentalise them either.
Don’t be hard on them
Remember that they are a beginner and it takes time to adjust. Venturing into something new is a tough transition so be patient.
Don’t be afraid to let them try new things
It is okay to make mistakes as they journey through this phase in their life. They will slowly gain experience as they go along and this will be their priceless assets. It is like learning how to ride a bicycle and once they master it, they will be able to do it without having to think of it much.
Recognise their achievements
Recognise their accomplishments. Take pride in them. Be grateful for them. It will provide them with the energy to keep moving forward. Take comfort in knowing that through hard work and determination, everything else will fall into place.
Seek help from a counsellor or a mentor
Find a counsellor/career mentor to help them strategise what their next move should be. Counsellors/career mentors are trained to identify problems people face and will be able to empower a person who is facing difficulties find practical solutions to their problems.
Lastly, quarter-life crisis is not a crisis! It is an expected development of personal growth and evolution of an individual. Young adults are growing, learning and noticing new talents as they grow. It is not a crisis if they have not achieved greatness by their late twenties and it is okay to make mistakes as it helps them become better human beings.
As long as they continue to love themselves, discover their potentials, and evolve into their authentic self just remember that every step they take in life is helping them become something better.
So, if at any point of time you come across a young adult who is facing a hurdle in their path, don’t let it overturn them, just encourage them to keep going as this is just a small dent in the road, to the beginning of the rest of their life. After all this is what is called LIFE.
About the author
Faith Foo (MA Counselling) is a Registered & Licensed Counsellor at Rekindle Therapy (www.rekindletherapy.com)