The Quarter-Life Crisis

From students who were about to graduate in the years 2020-2021, six out of ten college students experienced “overwhelming anxiety,” while over 40% were faced with crippling depression. Photo by Harry Wyman | The Signal

Unlike the more commonly known mid-life crisis, the quarter-life crisis affects those of a younger age, specifically those stepping into their adult lives’ new independence and true responsibilities. And while this new chapter holds enjoyment and excitement, it has its heavy share of anxiety, pressure and uncertainty. 

For many, the end of one’s college career is when the hardships of life hit hard like a brick wall. The realities of finding a serious job, obtaining insurance and paying rent and taxes are a mere few months away. 

These stressors take a heavy toll on students. According to the 2020/2021 statistic done by Guide2Research on student stress, six out of ten college students experienced “overwhelming anxiety,” while over 40% were faced with crippling depression.

Not only does the quarter-life crisis pertain to education, but to love lives as well. In the later years of life, relationships tend to hold more weight. They become more serious and require more dedication as the responsibilities of life arise.

There become challenges that make seeing your partner harder than it may have been in the past. These hardships can include late nights at the office, early morning meetings and a heavier workload. A newfound sense of time management and dedication must be brought into these relationships. 

The crisis not only applies to students but to those who have already graduated from college.

Many online sources define the crisis as affecting those between their 20s and early 30s. While the pressure of exams and finals may be over, they face new challenges in the process of laying the foundation to grow their careers.

So how does one deal with the so-called graduation anxiety? Many advice columns suggest simple tactics like exercise and time to deal with the stress, but the most common advice is to give yourself some slack and have patience. 

One has every right to the occasional late-night cry sesh in their room, especially when they are about to step away from the only world they have ever known. Those seen as a separate grip of adults are now members of your social circle.

All in all, the quarter-life crisis is a period of extreme soul searching and analysis of one’s life. Although it can be a scary and unsure time, it is the beginning of a whole new world of possibilities and adventures.