Handling a Quarter-Life Crisis

How you can help your adult child ride through a quarter life crisis and, when necessary, provide the care she/he needs.

As a counselor, I have seen many young adults who approach me 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

  1. 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.
  1. 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 and succumbing to change is the only option. This creates high stress and anxiety effect on them.
  1. 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 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 in 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.

WAYS TO COPE:

BECOME AWARE

Identify which aspects of their life they struggle with and break them down into smaller segments. Look at it one by one. E.g. Don’t mix relationship issues with career. Compartmentalise them.

DON’T BE HARD ON THEM

Remember that they are a beginner and that it takes time to adjust. Venturing into something new is 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, once you master it, they will be able to do it without having to think much.

RECOGNIZE 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 will fall into place.

SEEK HELP FROM A COUNSELLOR OR A MENTOR

Find a counselor/career mentor to help them strategist their next moves should be.  Counselors/career mentors are trained to identify challenges people face and will be able to empower a person who is facing difficulties find practical solutions to their problems.

Lastly, a 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 is okay to make mistakes as it helps them become better human beings. As long as they continue to love themselves, discover their potential, and evolve into their authentic self, just remember that every step they take in life helping them become 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 LIFE is!

© Faith Foo, www.faithfoocounseling.com  [2017]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Faith Foo and www.faithfoocounseling.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Image Courtesy Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash



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