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LinkedIn interviewed 6000 young adults aged 25 to 33 from the U.S., Britain, India and Australia and concluded that nearly 75% of them have encountered what is called a "Quarter-life crisis".
The term "Quarter-life crisis" was first coined by author Alexandra Robbins in 2001, originally applying to young adults in their 20s and early 30s. According to a report by The Guardian, 86% of the millennials admitted feeling under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances and jobs before hitting 30, with educated professionals most likely to suffer. Professor Oliver Robison from University of Greenwich comments that a quarter-life crisis is an essential transition from adolescent to adult life and usually takes place before the age of 35.
The Independent lists the symptoms of quarter-life crisis as follows:
You feel tired because life seems to be controlled by work.
You see the brutal reality that dreams don't always come true.
Your fantasies about falling in love subside, becoming more realistic.
You compare yourself with your peers and feel a widening gap between your achievements and theirs.
You want to escape from the reality, but at the same time seek recognition from others.
The Huffington Post states there are numerous factors that can lead to a quarter-life crisis. The prevalence of social media allows people to compare themselves with others in the blink of an eye, helping fuel self-doubt and the belief that others are always doing better them. Another cited reason stems from a less stable job market, where the number of times you're expected to change jobs over your career has dramatically increased.
Forbes has suggested the following ways:
Why wait for an opportunity to come when you can create your own? Stop thinking why you're not the right candidate for a certain job. If you want to achieve something, there's no one better than you to make it happen.
Your happiness shouldn't rely on that of others, nor should you spend time attempting to fulfil everyone else's needs. You'll only end up feeling exhausted and empty. Instead focus yourself by investing time in what makes you truly happy.
It's easy to build a construct of what you think will make you happy based on advice from friends, family and peers. Ultimately only you can answer this question.
It's human nature to construct a comfortable, social bubble around yourself. The problem is that this becomes extremely repetitive and after a while you stop learning about others and more importantly yourself. It's only when you're removed from your comfort zone and forced to experience new things that you'll start to see sides of yourself that you never knew existed. Even small changes can bring different perspectives to your life.
Professor Robinson comments that there are several phases when transitioning through a quarter-life crisis, similar to when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. He believes it should be seen as a positive experience that takes you from a state of confusion to a new life.
It's also important to remember that this has become a very common journey, and you're not alone.