If you are a recent college graduate, this list about getting through a quarter life crisis will definitely help you with your transition into the "real world." In fact, these tips will help you even if you haven't attended school but are starting your young adult life. A quarter life crisis is defined as a period of life following the major changes of adolescence that may be experienced between the teen years until the early thirties, involving the direction and quality of one's life. Getting through a quarter life crisis can be an overwhelming process, but fortunately there are many resources available to our generation to assist us during this exciting stage in life.
1. Expectation Vs Reality
This point is major in getting through a quarter life crisis. An expectation is what you envision to happen in your situations and the people in your life. But often the reality of the situation and who people truly are end up being very different than what we are expecting. Take some time to assess the expectations you have for your life. It may be helpful to find a mentor or someone you trust and share your expectations. You may find that some of your frustration can be dealt with by shifting to a more practical approach in life.
2. Life Isn't a Race
Most of us plan to live long and prosper, right? If you are in the first quarter of your life then you are just getting started, lady! There is no need to race to the finish line. I tried for several years to race to the finish line of a dream that I have for myself. This only caused me more stress and heartache than necessary. As soon as I learned to chill and enjoy each season for what it was, I was able to rest and not feel the need to race or strive through life. Don't worry, you will get to where you need to be when the time is right!
3. Realize You're Not Alone
It's easy to look around at your friends and compare your life to their lives. I highly recommend that you stop doing this. We are each on a unique path in life, though we may cross paths along the way. If you feel like you are behind in a certain area in your life, guess what? So does everyone else. There will always be room for improvement and there will always be more you can do in life. You're not alone, and you have time. Focus on today and what is right in front of you.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Friends
Yes, I feel it's important to mention this again. Please stop comparing yourself to your friends. I think that social media, especially Facebook, makes it really easy for us to do this. We get a glimpse into each time a group of friends gets to hang out and have a good time. We get to see a friend get engaged, their photos and their every passing thought about planning their dream wedding. And then the perfect babies start to come and we get bombarded with images of their new little ones. I think it's awesome to be able to stay in touch with friends, especially if you can't be in the same city as you grow older. But if you notice that negative emotions are surfacing around your friends, step back and take a deep breath! You love them and they love you, no need to compare. Besides, I'm sure there are aspects of your life that they love and want.
5. Recognize It's a Transition
It's not the end, it's just the beginning, ladies. If you feel like you will never get the job you want or the spouse you want or the children you want, it's just not true. The truth is that these things take time. Life takes time. When I finished college, I thought that I would start working immediately in the field that I wanted to work in. But that didn't happen. Would you believe that it took close to 7 years to get to do what I hoped to do? 7 years is a long time to be in a transition in life. But so many other wonderful things happened during those years. Just remember that whatever you are facing today won't always be a big deal. You will get through this time and life will eventually begin to work itself out.
6. Talk about It
If you are having a hard time in life, find people that you can talk about it with. I can't tell you how many times I had to call a friend because I just felt like giving up. I knew that I didn't want to move back home with my parents, but learning how to live on my own didn't always come so easy. The worst thing you can do is keep everything inside of you. Be sure you talk about what you are going through. I bet you will discover that it's not as bad as you think and you will remember how many people love and support you.
7. Read a Book
There are plenty of helpful books on this topic that you can read. One book that helped me a ton was "The Purpose Driven Life," because it helped me realize that my life does have meaning and purpose. Another helpful book is "20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-Life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction." I found that reading books on this topic gave me practical ways to approach what I was going through.
You are not alone. What you are feeling is normal. Yes, it's normal. I'd love to hear how you have handled the challenging 20s.