The Four Steps to Managing A Quarter-Life Crisis, According to a Gen Z-er
If this is you now, then congratulations — because you’ve taken the first step in trying to manage your quarter-life crisis by clicking into this article.
Stepping into the age of 21, I ought to be enjoying the peak of my youth.
Yet there are times I feel uncertain and uneasy; moments when I question the purpose in the things I do, or where my life is headed.
Anyone feels the same?
That’s when I realised I was merely hitting that inevitable stage…my quarter-life crisis.
What is a quarter-life crisis?
In order to define the term, I turned to my best friends Google and Dictionary.com:
AHH. In other words, it’s a period of insecurity and doubt many people experience, whether in their career, relationships or finances.
So, whatever we are feeling now isn’t mere overthinking or overreacting like what others say. It is a legit process we go through and is perfectly normal.
And, according to a LinkedIn survey, four in five young adults in Singapore have experienced a quarter-life crisis.
So, you and I ain’t alone!
In transitioning to adulthood, there just seem to be too many things to think and worry about.
The list below is not exhaustive:
For most of us in a quarter-life crisis, I’m guessing being unsure of what to do next in your career sits at the top of the list.
If you’re a new or soon-to-be graduate, it would be to find your first ever job.
Trust me, I feel you. The stress is on, especially now that us undergraduates are scrambling to find an internship.
Thankfully, your quarter-life crisis can be managed in four steps.
Step 1: Identify the Root Causes of Your Quarter-Life Crisis
I experienced my quarter-life crisis last year during an internship, when I came to the realisation that my degree in accounting may not be the one for me.
Naturally, I panicked — because I couldn’t imagine myself doing that job for years to come, considering I’d barely survived the period.
The biggest takeaway is to not let your results or degree define you. In fact, all forms of failures.
Living in an Asian country especially Singapore, it is probably hard to not let those alphabets on the results sheet get to you.
But just remember: it is not everything.
If the late Steve Jobs had lost his motivation in life because he was a college dropout, we wouldn’t have the iPhones we have today.
Step 2: Accept Change
Like a game of Ban Luck, change can be either good or bad. When you open up your first two cards and they add up to 16, would you take another card?
You could either risk BAO-ing (bursting) beyond 21, or you could play it safe.
Essentially, understand that anything can happen and just go with the flow. If you feel like the path you are on isn’t right for you, have the courage to seek change.
That being said, be mindful and plan ahead to ensure you have something to fall back on.
Step 3: Find a Source of Comfort
Be it friends or a hobby, find ways to seek comfort in discomfort. Undoubtedly, a quarter-life crisis would bring you a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.
Trust me when I say this: people and hobbies make a lot of difference!
In doing things you like with the people you love, you’ll find more clarity. Try yoga, cycling, or maybe a game of badminton.
Step 4: Build Experiences by Trying New Stuff
If you’re a career-seeker who’s still trying to figure out your career path, just keep trying. At least you can strike off your list based on the jobs that you didn’t like and work from there.
Or, if you are lucky, you might just find the perfect job fit.
But you shouldn’t be too choosy or take too long in deciding, either…or you might just end up with nothing at the end of the day.
For example, I recently just started my very own Vickers Account in hopes of learning investing. That’s me taking the first step to learning new stuff.
Dealing with a Quarter-Life Crisis
Truth be told, your quarter-life crisis may eventually evolve into a mid-life crisis in your 40s. That may be an opportune time to keep picking up new skills using SkillsFuture credits.
But the good news is, it can be managed with the above methods. Most importantly, you’re not alone in this.