I just turned 25 yesterday and one of the first things my mom told me was that I’m finally a quarter of a century old. Nothing like realizing your own mortality on your birthday, right? Kidding.
Some people would consider 25 as another milestone in their life. While others dread this period because it means one thing: the early onset of a quarter-life crisis.
It’s said that this crisis will begin at this age, or at 30. It’s described as “a sense of panic that your life—career, relationships, etc.—isn’t where you want it to be.” Apparently, there are also stages where it mostly involves being indecisive and unsure of oneself.
Are we bound to have a QLC at some point in our lives? The Guardian cited a Gumtree.com survey that found 86 percent of the 1,100 young people questioned were already feeling the pressure to succeed in relationships, jobs, and finances before turning 30. This also comes with symptoms of impostor syndrome. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the belief and feeling of inadequacy and incompetence you feel despite having concrete accomplishments.
If those statistics are accurate, then yes, we’re gonna go through it at some point in our lives. Also, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel any of these in the last few months before my 25th birthday.
Does QLC have a denial stage? If it does, I’m probably in it.
But with every bad thing always comes a solution. As LifeHacker would note, the above-mentioned stages have solutions and end goals as well.
The site lists down five stages. The first and second talk about feeling trapped and wanting to get out, but you’re too afraid to take the leap. By the third stage, you do what’s needed to be done—quit a job, leave relationships, or basically just detach yourself from what’s binding you in the first place. This then allows you to move on to the fourth stage where you rebuild your life on your own terms. The last stage expects you to “develop new commitments that are more in line with your interests and aspirations.”
How does this affect me? In terms of my job, I recently got a promotion (it’s still unreal even when I say it out loud). The next step for me is to broaden my horizons and welcome opportunities to stave off burnout. After all, I’ve been with Team Preen.ph for over three years now. I don’t want my brain to fry.
As for relationships, let’s just say I’m no stranger to minor and drastic changes in my social circles. There have been years wherein I don’t have multiple sets of friends, and there were some where I only relied to one or two people, which includes my boyfriend of almost five years. Right now, I’m in the third stage, aka detachment.
Financially… LOL, next. (Seriously, I’m working on it. I want to travel more while I can.)
By the looks of it, I’m somewhere in the third and fourth stages in most aspects of my life so far. If there would be any big changes in this quarter-life period, I just hope I can handle it. The Cancer in me is obviously jumping out because water signs are averse to change.
Now that I’m 25, I’ll acknowledge as early as now that I don’t have all things figured out. I also can’t tell you how to properly handle a quarter-life crisis or feelings similar to this. Personally, what has worked for me is to stop being so focused on social media (unless I’m looking for information for work) and just dropping everything in order to recharge—basically directing my time and energy to things that matter the most.
Of course, these might not work for you and you might have solutions that are better. You might even be able to get over troubles faster than others, which is totally fine (and lucky for you!).
Ultimately, what’s important is for us to recognize that our struggles and emotions are valid, but we should also not let them trap us further. We can’t stay in the first QLC stage (being trapped) forever—consider all these as your learning curve which would be beneficial in the long run. Once you keep these in mind, the solutions will come easy to you.
For anyone who’s turning 25 or already past that, feel free to share how you’re dealing with your respective QLCs. It would be nice to know that we’re not alone in this.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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