There’s something about turning 25 years old that causes a little bit of panic. It’s the final stretch to 30 and you are no longer in your early twenties. Years ago you probably thought you would have your life together by now, but what if you don’t? Here are 13 things I have learned from my quarter-life crisis.
13 things I learned from my quarter-life crisis
No one has it all figured out
Everyone will take a different path out of school. Some continue to higher education, some go straight into work. The next few years will pan out differently for everyone. It’s so easy to get caught up in the belief that you are somehow ‘behind’ all of your peers. I found leaving uni and the first few years in my graduate job to be tough. You don’t really know what you want to do with your life. Which means you can be confused about where to focus your energy. It’s a lot to handle. As I found, my job had messed up my work/life balance and it really put into perspective what I value. I don’t want to just live to work. It’s really a case of trying different things and learning as you go. You will never know what you really want if you haven’t put yourself out there. Try not to compare yourself to others, things are never as they seem! Read this: Illusion vs reality | comparing yourself to others.
Life doesn’t go to plan
As I said above, you can plan all you want, but life is going to take its own turn. There are things that can’t be controlled. The sooner you let go of how you think things should be, the more you are going to enjoy life. Focus on the things you can control rather than worrying about what you cannot. Read this: How to find inner peace.
People will come and go
A huge part of life is losing people, in various circumstances, this will cause a shift in your entire reality. Unfortunately, it is something that is unavoidable. You will have to learn to deal with your pain and you will learn how to heal. Read this: How to deal with heartbreak. Chin up, the bad times never last.
Learn to rest
I think a lot of us learned this in 2020 due to the pandemic. To start listening to ourselves and how we feel and acting upon that emotion. Of course, you will need to hustle and work hard but don’t burn yourself out in the process. I find I am more productive and creative when I allow myself to take breaks and am not being too hard on myself.
It’s okay to feel lost
Things will change, things go wrong and your values will evolve. Feeling lost is completely normal. In hindsight, I feel that I have felt most lost when I needed to make a decision but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. Take time to choose. It will play on your mind if you stay in a state of limbo in your mind. Work out what is going to be best for you, don’t let anyone influence your own decision. Read this: What do you when you feel lost in life.
As you reach your mid-late twenties, you will start to feel more secure in yourself and your values & opinions. This comes with experience, no matter how messy your life gets, at least you decided to choose risks and see how things turn out. Life is too short to place it safe and take the simple routes.
Experiences will change you
Life happens, you go through ups and downs; these experiences will change you. The way you feel about things or your outlook on life in your early twenties will change as you head towards your thirties. These shifts may surprise you or may be expected, don’t write anything off – never say never. Who knows what the future will hold.
The grass isn’t always greener
It’s easy to look at other people and believe that you wouldn’t have any problems if you were in their shoes. The reality is everyone has problems and different situations cause different issues to arise. There are pros and cons to absolutely everything. Social media can conceal this and make someone’s life look perfect, but this isn’t real life. Every person in the world deals with hardships.
Learn from your mistakes
We are all human and that means that we will all make mistakes at some point. What matters is how you learn from it. Don’t keep making the same mistake over and over again. Feeling as though I was in a quarter-life crisis really allowed me to reflect on the last couple of years and how I wanted the next few to look. What hasn’t gone so well and what would you do differently?
Live in the moment
When I turned 24/25 I really started to worry about all the things I wanted to achieve and things I wanted to do in the next couple of years. The problem is, when you are so focused on the future, you don’t fully enjoy the present moment. Make plans and set goals, but ensure your focus is on the present. What can you do today that will help your future self, rather than feeling down now about things that haven’t happened yet?
What really matters?
It seems as though some people get to their twenties and believe that it’s a race to complete society tick boxes; buying a home, getting engaged & married, and having children. You don’t have to hold value to these things and you definitely shouldn’t panic about when the milestones will happen for you. I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed having freedom in my twenties to try different things. What someone else is happy with, may not be the same for you and that’s okay. Figure out what really matters to you and live your life in a way that supports these ideals. In the grand scheme of things, who cares if you do or don’t get married? Look how many people end up divorced – it’s not the be-all or end-all. It doesn’t change your value as a person. Same with buying a house, we all live with our roof over our head – it doesn’t make a difference to anyone else if that property is owned or rented. It’s all down to you and what you want. Read this: Trust the timing of your life.
You are in control of your happiness
We set ourselves up for failure when we compare ourselves to others or are hard on ourselves because of all the things we haven’t yet achieved. You get to a point when you realize, if my happiness lies in a future state, chances are I will never be happy. I decided that I had to see the current moment as enough and that I could allow myself to be happy with it. If you can’t, what do you need to do? The answer is probably more simple than you may think. Choose to find the good in what you have already and you will feel so much happier.
You think you have time
This was the biggest trigger that made me realize I was in a quarter-life crisis. Whether you went to higher education or not, we all leave a very structured education system and you know where you will be at what age. You then leave and this system completely disappears. It’s great because the options are limitless, however, I’m sure a lot of people can agree when I say that I felt as though things weren’t happening how I thought they would. Or maybe the overwhelm or choices; you can do anything but not everything. In your early twenties, it all feels fine because ‘you have time’. Then all of a sudden you turn 25 and you realize that time is actually moving along. I guess it’s a shift in an internal concept on time; throughout school, we wanted to be older, then before you know your twenties are almost over. This sounds really negative but you can use it to your advantage. I completed a flying lesson and travelled around the USA for 6 weeks. You do you! Read this: Why you shouldn’t put your dreams on hold.