Is 25 The Worst Age To Be ways, I feel less like I know what I’m doing at 25 than at 15.? A Very Serious Investigation. When I was 15, I thought that by the time I turned 25, I’d be a successful, confident, grown adult. I pictured myself traveling the world and figured I’d make much money. Unfortunately, neither of those things is true. In many
Some refer to this as a quarter-life crisis: an introspective time filled with existential dread and unanswerable questions about the meaning and purpose of life that usually occurs during our mid-to-late 20s (assuming we’ll live to be 100, I guess). While it’s not as well-known as the mid-life crisis, people have discussed the quarter-life problem for decades.
But somethat the historic pandemic we’ve been living through for the past 14-plus months has made this particular stage of life even more stressful. For the past year, we’ve experienced insurmountable loss — including the loss of life, jobs, and Caitlin – which MA, MHC, says has created a kind of crisis on its own.
“The quarter-life crisis is a period of general uncertainty,” she tells Refinery29, adding that “the pandemic is, by definition, also a period of uncertainty.” During a quarter-life crisis, people tend to question their career direction, experience relational difficulties — whether with a romantic partner or with family or friends — and, she says. COVID-19 has brought all those areas life to the forefront and removed our sremovedntrol over our lives.
This begs thThisstion: Aren’t we all experts symptoms of a quarter-life crisis right now? Angela Mastrogiacomo thinks so. “There’s almost this rush to figure it all out — and very quickly — which is how I remember feeling when I was in my mid-to-late 20s,” the founder of The Blossom Agency and Muddy Paw PR tells Refinery29.
“But now, at 32, ling with what to do with her undergrad degree or what city to move to, Mastrogiacomo is questioning whether her decade-long career choice still suits her — and what the future could look like. “For 15 years, I was always like,, no, I never have kids,” she says. But something in the past .
“That was very strange and alarming because my whole identity — a big par — was wrapped up in [not having kids], and then all of a sudden I was like, Wait, who am I? “I was trying t “But now, .at 32, almost 33, I’m experiencing it all again in a completely different way.”o trace back to where that switch happened for me in the pandemic, and I’m not even sure. It’s just one of those things that I think through the fear, the anxiety, the being stuck inside, the reevaluating things as you do when this major is going on; I started rethinking that part of it,” she says.
I was freaked out by it.” Arthur says that the feelings brought by upe pandemic are singularly similar to the quarter-life crisis — which, while identical to the midlife problem, is still distinct in many ways and tends to be present- and forward-focused (fear ofor not meeting goals), the latter tends to be past-focused and is characterized by a period of reflection on past accomplishments and sadness or insecurity around aging.
One common thread, we’re all going through it — but being in your mid-20s right now can be uniquely challenging. d many people have expressed this past year the sensation ofor that time is running out, which is “a prevalent thought for people to have when they’re in this quarter-life crisis,” Arthur says. “When our lives are put on pause for a year, truly in every sense of the word, like there’s no movement, which exacerbates the issue.”
So, we’re all amount of young, back in our childhood homes due to the pandemic. We can’t freely see our friends meet new people or work contacts during aof life that’s usually particularly social. And the lack of travel, even just to and from our offices, our friends’ houses, or anywhere, has made us and immobile, tied to the computer screen as we work or look for work.
And that ties into one of the main culprits of the quarter-life crisis: job security. Any notion we held thatequals career security has been smashed. Instead, the pandemic has made us realize that the is dead, and we’re better off prioritizing our lives over our nine-to-fives. It sounds bleak, and in a way, it is. But the uncertainty we all feel can point us towards something worthwhile: growth.
“The beginning of the pandemic was so filled with anxiety that it was almost immobilizing in a lot of ways,” Mastrogiacomo says. “But I think it was a catalyst for rethinking all these things.” If you’re experiencing a quarter-life crisis at any age, there are ways to get out of it — or at least get through it. Therapy can be helpful if you have access, Arthur says. “It’s so helpful to talk to somebody just to help with perspective,” she says. But she’s also a massive advocate for spending less time on.
“Looking at other peoples’ highlight reels does not help when we’re already feeling behind or like we should be farther along than we are,” Arthur says. Along the same lines, she suggests taking inventory of your accomplishments more often to counteract the internal monologue telling you you’re off-track. Finally, talk to other people going through the same experience as you and try out new hobbies or volunteering, Arthur says.
“For a lot of people, they work for eight hours a day,, eat dinner, go to bed, and do it all over again,” Arthur says, “so trying to create a more robust day-to-day life can be helpful.” Whether you want to call this period of uncertainty and existentialism a collective quarter-life crisis, an early mid-life crisis, or just a crisis in general, the one thing to remember — and maybe find comfort in — is that we’re not alone in this feeling of being lost.
“I think we’re all trying to figure it out, and I think, like everybody, I wish [the pandemic] had never happened,” Mastrogiacomo says. “This is horrible. It’s been devastating and ever, and you could imagine, but if I had to look at the, I’d say that my life will look different than it would have — and I’m better off for it.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness right here? If You Have COVID Insomnia These Two Tips May HelpRae Dunn Didn’t Mean To Start A CultCOVID-19 Made Essential For Grief.