Quarter Life Crisis: Real or Fake?

The phenomenon of quarter life crisis mean that once adulthood sets in, people go through periods of self doubt, question their life choices and feel stressed.  Then there is the midlife crisis where middle aged men in their forties  and fifties start looking for something new in life. In order to rejuvenate themselves they start indulging in things they had abandoned as adult life took over.

In Pakistan it is the parents who start to feel the quarter life crisis hitting their children especially girls. As soon a girl crosses the delicate age of 25, panic alarm sets in. Where the girls start to focus more on their higher studies or follow their career goals, parents cope with the quarter life crises on behalf of their children by taking to marriage bureaus and rishtay wali aunties.

It may sound absurd. But the above theory does hold logic. Just think about it and it will resonate with our society at present.

It seems that like all things on the fast track, young people now face quarter life crises more in their twenties than in their thirties. In a research carried out in the UK reveal that young people in their 20s have felt pressures about their careers, financial situation, finding a life partner. The crises are no trivial thing. It is a time of insecurity and uncertainty. Entering the ‘real world’, handling things without parental help, and feeling lost, re evaluating relationships all amount to stress and self doubt.

Today we are in a constant state of comparison partly due to our life on social media. On the surface this might seem harmless but subconsciously, the social media platforms put an invisible pressure on us. If you are connected to LinkedIn; a new notification or reminder on congratulating your friends and colleagues on their new jobs or promotions could very well set the cycle in motion. Facebook has become our second home. We waste no time advertising our achievements big or small; all of this sets in motion, what I would like to term as “the comparison game”.  The delusion that starts to creep in when we see others more settled in life than us.

It is interesting to note that the nature of quarter life crises may vary from region to region in terms of how fast or how much of a crisis one might face.  Contrary to many people who go through reconsidering their career paths, find themselves unsettled emotionally or financially, there are those who deem such a crisis fake.

Deal with this phase

The good news is that like all things, there is a way out of these crises as well. All motivational speakers and psychologists talk about not comparing your life to others. It is a deadly trap.  Reflect on your situation as an observer; remember that the crisis is only a phase that experts say last for 11 months. As the oft recited saying goes, nothing lasts forever, or that this too shall pass. Lastly it goes without saying that talking to good friends and family can lessen the stress.

If you happen to be a Pakistani girl in her late 20s, then your quarter life crisis are in the secure hands of your parents fretting over the rishta situation while you can go follow your dreams.


Via Independent