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Quarter Life Crisis


New Contributor
Aug 2, 2007
I found this from a friend's blog earlier today. I have never heard of the term "Quarter Life Crisis" before but this is exactly how I am feeling and thinking right now. Its amazing how people in their 20's think this way and go through emotional crisis, not realizing that "everyone goes through it and will go through it too".

They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now. You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.

You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you. Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused.

Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward. You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person. One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic.

You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender! What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.
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MJ DeMarco

I followed the science; all I found was money.
Staff member
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Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
I think you are describing "growing up".

Russ H

Gold Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Jul 25, 2007
Napa Valley, CA
:rolleyes:Y'know, MJ, I was thinking the same thing as I read his story.

I went through big changes too, when I was 21/22- dropped out of med school, and left the world of medicine behind forever.

At the time, I told people that I'd gone through mid-life crisis in my early 20s.

But looking back, perhaps I was just learning how to be a grown-up! :D

-Russ H.

PS I hated it when I was in my early 20s and people would say stuff like "oh, you're just a pup" or "hey, welcome to the world of grown-ups". So Viper235, please don't take these comments the wrong way. We're just trying to say that what you're going through is a rite of passage that all (or at least most) of us have also been through. :)


Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
I think you are describing "growing up".


True enough... It is growing up.

And it doesn't stop at 25 -
though it can stop being painful if you decide to accept...


change always happens :smx3:

  • You outgrow friends
  • You outgrow your professional ambitions
  • You outgrow your goals/aspirations/dreams...
  • Your values change
  • What is important to you changes

then focus on:

  • Enjoying your today
  • Creating your tomorrow
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Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
I can really relate to what you saying- it's nice to know I'm not the only one out there feeling this way! I had the start of my freak out at 28. I looked around and everyone else seemed to really have it together. This line of thinking spun me into a whole cycle of self-doubt and cynicism which lasted 2 years! ( I can see how a lot people have their freak out when they are in their 40s and 50s. You figure most people get on the treadmill of life in their 20s and don't stop to look around until they are in their 40s. I think those of us that hit our freak out early did so because we've questioned the benefit of being status quo (middle class) a lot sooner. Most people aspire to be solidly upper middle class and that's where their achievement-oriented goals end- and they hit that wall pretty hard.)
When I hit 30 last month I felt like I was brand new again- a new lease on life. Maybe it was that the pressure of my late twenties and sealing that decade with a bang was gone. I know that I am primed to take off now. I still have moments where I am frustrated that I am not seeing my ideas come to fruition sooner, and that I am not financially independent. However, I have made huge strides in every area of my life to get my actions in line with my thinking. I am really excited for my 30s and although I had a lot of the same anxiety that you posted about, I am 100% okay with the fact that I have raised my standards on the who, what, when, where, why and how in my life. I don't wast time with anything negative or drama-oriented, instead I focus on finding people who are achieving their dreams on a massive level. :thumbsup:


Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 27, 2007
North Carolina
I think we all worry about where we are, where we have been and more importantly....where we are going. I am 21 and just decided to continue my education in school. I look around at some of my classmates from HS and some never went to college, some are graduating this year...have kids already, ect. I just always keep in mind that everyone has a different route they take in life and we are presented with choices each day to change that route some. I just try to pick the one I think will get me to where I want to go in life. My goal is to not be on here in about 2 1/2 years looking for a job but rather looking people over my desk asking them "Why should I hire you?"

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