Surviving the Quarter Life Crisis: Warning Signs

Surviving the Quarter Life Crisis: Warning Signs
photo: Joris Louwes, Creative Commons
photo: Joris Louwes, Creative Commons

The struggle is real. Not only is the average twenty-something most likely working a job they merely tolerate, they are also trying to define themselves, determine the direction of their adult lives, live up to their parents expectations, and pay those first few bills that seem completely overwhelming (cable costs HOW much?!). Navigating through your 20’s and early 30’s can be extremely difficult while at the same time be some of the best years of your life. One day you feel as if you can conquer the world and the very next you’re positive that your life is going nowhere.

How can life seem so simple one day and so complicated the next?

Maybe you read the title of this blog and thought: “Quarter Life Crisis? Is that a joke?” Or maybe you clicked on the blog as quickly as your fingers would allow in hopes that it would have all of the answers to the many, many questions you’re facing. Either way, you’re here and the quarter-life crisis is a very real phenomenon.

Here are some signs that you (or someone you know) are having a quarter life crisis:

  • You are ready to pack up all of your belongings and do something crazy.

You don’t know what you want, however you are pretty sure that moving to Europe or living on a ranch in Montana would solve all of your problems.

  • You are terrified of the unknown. 

You would pay all of the money in your savings account ($23.76) to have a crystal ball or even one moment of clarity. How are you supposed to know exactly what job is best for you? Isn’t someone supposed to tell you that?

  • You are even more terrified of failure.

You are hesitant to make any big life decisions because you are positive you will make the wrong choice and completely ruin your life.

  • You are certain that it’s impossible to stick to a budget. Or even make a budget.

Hence the amount in your savings account. Your checking account doesn’t look much better.

  • You are convinced you will be single the rest of your life.

How is it that you’ve been on 50 first dates while your best friends are all getting married?!

  • You are pretty sure this isn’t how your twenties were supposed to turn out.

Maybe you didn’t picture a white picket fence; however, THIS definitely isn’t what you pictured.


Do any of these apply to you or someone you know? If so, check back on Friday to find out how to make it through a quarter life crisis and come out on the other side.


Amanda Dempsey, LAMFT


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