While not an authoritative post on the subject, I was pleased to see the topic brought up in a recent Boundless article, which I’ve cleaned up a little to present below. Hopefully it should stimulate some thought. All too often we stop at labeling or categorizing instead of digging deeper to find find the root or cause. And here this article gives a good perspective on what might really be going on in our (my) hearts. Then, we must make our own personal application and resolve to do something about it:
Briefly, the quarterlife crisis hits people sometime after college and before they turn 30 when they realize that, well … life is hard! Tim Elmore, a protégé of leadership guru John Maxwell, says “It’s 25-year-old people who are seeing counselors and therapists because they haven’t yet made their first million, haven’t yet found the perfect career or the perfect mate,” Elmore explained. “It’s self-imposed stress and pressure.” This age group, dubbed “millennials” by demographers, are “much less attuned to reality” than previous generations, Elmore said.
There’s even a book for this phenomenon, called, appropriately enough, Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties. According to the Booklist review, this slim volume talks about “the pressure of coming from a relatively stable environment, such as college, and then being flung into a world where they [the whiny people ... um, sorry ... the 20somethings] have to worry about finding out exactly what they want to do, land the right job, pay the bills, and still manage to have time for friends and family.”
I’m sorry. I hate it when someone plays the “wise elder” bit with me, but I’m going to do it here. (Yeah, I also once asked my daughter, “If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you?” It happens.) To those people suffering from this self-indulgent “crisis,” I want to say, “Welcome to the world!” Whoever told you it would be easy? Oh, I forgot: All your teachers did. You’re the “self-esteem” generation who were told you were great even if you never actually accomplished anything or put forth any effort. It’s as though these people are the first to discover that nothing in life is handed to you.
But like many 20somethings, I have at times struggled with life: Am I doing what I should be doing? Am I living up to my potential? Does my life matter? And why does Sylvester Stallone keep making dumb movies? Fortunately, I know that God is sovereign, and even through my bumbling His grace sustains me. Those simple truths should be enough to banish any sense of crisis should it try to creep in.