They may be in the prime of their lives but many young adults are experiencing a mid-life crisis in their 20s
They’re supposed to be the best years of your life, but panic and self-doubt appears to be creeping into the minds of 20-something adults, sparking a phenomenon known as the ‘quarter life crisis’.
The multitude of options available to people in their 20s and 30s is driving them to experience anxiety, depression and a sense of being trapped or locked into a relationship or job that doesn’t feel right.
‘Dr Oliver Robinson, who interviewed 50 people aged between 25 and 35 about their difficulties coping at the University of Greenwich, says: ‘You are now more footloose to make changes in early adulthood than I think you once were.
‘There is greater fluidity in the job world, greater fluidity in marriage or alternatives to marriage and this has meant major life changes are more acceptable. In the past, if a major life change were to occur it would happen in mid-life.’
Dr Robinson blames the phenomenon on the frenetic need to get a job, make money and be successful quickly, while under pressure to meet the demands of parents. Young adults are becoming less content with a mediocre, ploddy, conventional life.
The British Psychological Society’s annual conference heard that while a major re-evaluation of life choices can be unsettling, it seems to be worth it in the end. Dr Robinson also suggests that experiencing a ‘quarter-life crisis’ reduces your risk of suffering a proper mid-life crisis later on.
Cary Cooper, professor of psychology and health at Lancaster University, says today’s young adults face a totally different set of challenges to the previous generation. ‘Today’s 20 and 30-somethings can have five jobs by their early 30s.’
‘They are entering a different world and while that world gives them more choice it also gives them less security and less structure,’ he says.
Are you suffering a ‘quarter-life crisis? Has it made you feel more positive in the long run? Share your experiences with us by posting a message below.