When life refuses to follow your script.
This is a period in life when life major changes in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult, it occurs shortly after these people enter the “real-world” .
It is also described as when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are a lot of things about yourself that you didn’t know and may or may not like. Life depends on the choices people make here in order to get out there without making mistakes to haunt them the rest of their lifetime. Studies have shown that unemployment and the idea of not being able to find a job is a major cause for young people to undergo stress and anxiety.
8% of the world population are where they wanted to be as to their childhood dreams. That translates to, there is hardly anyone you know who is where they wanted/thought they would be. It doesn’t mean all of them suffered. In the shuffle of friends, there are a few whose lives are pure luck. These ones might have stumbled upon the hustle while still in campus or if they were luckier things came through for them in high school or even earlier.
The rest of us are in the flock that have tried and tried and are probably trying to get in. You are not alone. In the confusion of not knowing which way to go or what to do exactly, you start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where in your life you are now.
This stage has two faces to it. It hasn’t been recognized as a problem as yet hence no one prepares you for anything as they assume you are old enough to deal with whatever comes your way. And the victims themselves do not realize this as a major crisis and hence do not ask for guidance.
It is the mixture of things like understanding yourself better, having stronger opinions and not being able to make the decisions in fear of the outcome, things that used to satisfy you start looking cheap. Also in cases where people have had to move out of home, they feel isolated and lonely because of living without guardians. With all this going on, it is allowed that stress and confusion will arise.\
CHARACTERISTICS OF QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS:
- § Insecurity regarding present accomplishments.
- § Re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships.
- § Lack of friendships or romantic relationships.
- § Financially rooted stress (unexpectedly high cost of living, college loans)
- § A sense that others are doing better than yourself.
- § Changing/switching of jobs/careers.
“Quarter-life crisis is a problem that many people face, but hardly seek advice on how to manage it. At this point, graduates or young adults realise they are no longer under the care of their parents or learning institutions. They have to fend for themselves, find jobs, friends, houses, and start their own families. It is not an easy process. We have seen many people losing direction at this stage and totally getting destroyed. Although it is a stage that everyone goes through, it is not all doom and gloom, it can be overcome with the right help and attitude,” Naomi James, counselling psychologist with Oasis Africa.
HOW TO MANAGE THE CRISIS- Naomi James
- § Develop a positive self-image and self-concept.
- § Self-confidence helps one to believe in themselves.
- § Have personal values.
- § Develop self awareness- strengths and weaknesses.
- § Have independent thoughts.
- § Develop emotional stability.
- § Set personal goals, how to achieve them and be flexible.
- § Be kind to yourself and avoid setting standards that are too high.
- § Reward yourself whenever you achieve, no matter how small.
- § Overcome peer pressure through self-developed principles.
- § Invest in healthy relationships, have people who can keep you on check.
- § Have a mentor.
- § Be open to constructive criticism.
- § Be assertive, express self clearly to be understood and avoid suffering in silence.
- § Avoid being idle even if jobless. Do community work, volunteer or use your creativity/talent.
- § Direct energy to things that benefit you and others.
- § Seek professional help for further guidance.