The Quarter Life Crisis Survival Guide
(Specifically for those aged 24 – 28)
You might be in this stage of your life where you seem lost and feel like your life is headed nowhere–
…A season where you wake up depressed even after a good night’s rest.
…A phase where you easily get discouraged, at the same time overwhelmed at all the responsibilities you shoulder.
If you’re single (like me), you are in THAT chapter of your story where the idea of marriage looms like clouds before a heavy downpour. (or: where you expect the prince to meet his princess, or vice versa)
If you are experiencing all of these, you are not alone!
You are entering a stage commonly known as the “Quarter Life Crisis”.
It is a crisis that may be experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life. (Collins Dictionary, 2016)
Although it is not a necessary stage one has to go through, many people claim to have trodden this murky life stage.
Given that it happens as one is nearing 25 years of age, you can expect when it can occur, but as to how it will take shape and form, you just have to find out!
If you fear you might go through this or are already in it, let me tell you something: there is a way you can emerge victorious.
Since you can’t prevent it, you might as well survive it, right?
So here’s a guide I came up with which I hope can help you guys/gals survive “The Quarter-Life Crisis”:
- List down all your fears
Your fear doesn’t have to be tangible – like fear of spiders or snakes – It could be the fear of getting hurt, fear of public speaking, fear of rejection, etc. Once you identify and define them, create a plan to either overcome or manage them! One of my fears, believe it or not, is engaging in small talks. I am socially awkward especially with people I just met and in order for me to conquer that fear, I have purposed to exert extra effort by going beyond small talks and dive into deep conversations. Face your fears and don’t let them hold you down!
- Determine what your passions are
Back in High School, I had this passion for editing and creating funny videos – I even had my own YouTube channel, but eventually I deactivated it. Now I’m back, doing travel vlogs and montages for fun! How about you? What do you love doing most? What are the things you are naturally good at and would never get tired of doing? Determine what they are and invest your time and money on enhancing them. Who knows? Discovering your passions might be a wake-up call for you to finally have a career-change.
- Create short and attainable goals
We set plans that are long term – like ‘I should be married by the age of 30’ or ‘I should have my first million at the age of 45’ – and there’s nothing wrong with that! However, may I suggest that we also create targets that are short and attainable – preferably 1 year. These 1 year challenges are all over the internet – whether it be a reading plan, a financial savings guide or a workout routine – short-term plans are easy, achievable and realistic.
- Pursue that dream
What is that one thing you’ve always wanted to do ever since you were a child? “That dream” you thought was very impossible to accomplish might not be impossible after all! For me, “that dream” was to travel the whole world. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I purposed in my heart that someday I would be able to. I didn’t allow my dreams to remain dreams, I had to do something about it – the rubber should hit the road! One of my top dream travel destinations was New York City, so I saved up for almost a year, planned a 5 day itinerary with my friends and just went there. My NYC experience was something that I wouldn’t trade for anything and my desire to travel became more motivating because I knew that my dreams were not that difficult to achieve.
- Stop sulking
Get up and stand up! Stop wasting your time being down and depressed all the time. What if an Olympic runner who stumbles remains on the ground and begs to be pitied? A good runner would stand up and start running again. Many people count on him to win and lying on the ground won’t get him anywhere. My friend, you still have a lot of things to accomplish– you’re not even halfway done – so better get up and start running.
- Shake up your daily routine
The reason why you think that your life is routinary is because it is! You work at the same old office, commute at the same old train and spend your weekends on the same old coffee shop. Start changing the small things in your daily routine – sleep on the opposite side of your bed, wake up extra early to jog or read a book, take a different route on your way to work and try out different cafes or restaurants during your days off. It’s okay to step out of familiarity every once in a while.
- Always look forward
This by far is my favorite secret weapon in surviving the quarter-life crisis – I always look forward. It doesn’t have to be major, you can look forward to: weekends, your payday, that package you ordered from Amazon, that movie you’ve always wanted to watch, that concert/party you’ve always wanted to go to, that game which will be released this summer, your long awaited holiday vacation, etc. Don’t let your hopes die down – always get excited and anticipate that better days will always come.
- Move On
Yes I know you were young once and have made stupid decisions that you can’t seem to let go of and sadly, you are currently facing the consequences of your actions. Nonetheless, holding on to your mistake won’t make you a better person; in fact, it pulls you down from becoming one. You have to let go and move on. Doing so does not mean you tolerate your mistake; it only proves you learned from it and commit to never repeating the same mistake. Moving on isn’t easy and it never will be – some people take months or years to completely recover – but take the necessary steps in order for you to move forward. Don’t let your mistakes define you.
- Ask the Lord for guidance
It’s hard to live a life without meaning and purpose, that is why you need to ask the Lord for guidance and direction. You may often feel unusually tired and depressed because of this crisis but the Lord promises in His Word:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! – Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
All you need to do is trust in Him – trust in His timing, trust His heart and trust His plan for you – because no matter how many plans you come up with, it is the Lord’s plan that will prevail (Prov. 19:21).
- Go out there
Now is the best time for you to get out there and do what you love doing. You are at your prime and you are at your best state! Meet new people, travel to another state or country, do something that scares you and never be afraid to get hurt. In my experience, 2017 was a real breakthrough for me – after almost 2 years of depression, loneliness and a major heartbreak, I decided to turn my life around and not allow sadness to take control over me. I invested my time, money and effort in doing what I love doing best – traveling, blogging and making videos. So stop worrying and stop regretting, these won’t add another hour in your life. Go out there and enjoy!
So there you have it! I hope my quick survival guide helped you in this journey.
Feel free to leave me a comment or a private message to share your #QuarterLifeJourney.