When we reach our late teens and begin to progress into our 20s, it can be one of the most difficult transitions of our lives. Worries about the future start to manifest as the end of university comes into sight, along with an uncertainty of what career to pursue. It seems that everybody else has their lives together… except from you. The sudden realisation that the next few years will be some of the most important of your life is enough to send anyone into a quarter life crisis.
“It can be difficult not to compare ourselves to others”
Living in the 21st Century as millennials, we face many more challenges than our parents did. With social media being a fundamental part of our everyday lives it can be difficult not to compare ourselves to others and feel insecure about where we are in our lives.
Where this problem begins is with society’s expectations of how our lives should be led. Conventionally, by our early 20s we feel obliged to have graduated university and obtain a stable job. However, nowadays there are so many options we can take, it’s easy to feel torn over what we should prioritise.
Ultimately, for many of us it comes down to the most financially viable option. With job markets becoming increasingly more competitive, it can be difficult to think about anything other than climbing the career ladder rather than pursuing personal interests.
“Many of us know where we want to be in the long-term, but have no idea how to get there”
From a young age, we belong in a social structure where we are carefully guided from lower to higher education. After this however, such rigid structure in our lives vanishes abruptly and we have to make our own decisions on what we want to pursue; undoubtedly this makes us question who we are and what path we want to take. Many of us know where we want to be in the long-term, but have no idea how to get there or what to do in the short term.
“We forget that a picture only tell half the story”
Social media is the latest concept that has had a huge influence on the increasingly commonplace quarter life crisis. We scroll down our Instagram feeds feeling more and more insecure and envious of those who seems to be leading more happy and prosperous lives than our own. We forget that a picture only tells half of the story. Due to the nature of us sharing our lives so publically these days, we tend to only show off our best selves to the world. We all have our flaws, problems, worries – we just airbrush them out of our digital lives.
It is extremely customary to experience a quarter life crisis in the environment that we live in today. Partly due to our own expectations and pressure we put on ourselves and the unhealthy way we compare ourselves to others, with social media only magnifying this. It can be an isolating situation, however it’s important to remember that the people around us undoubtedly feel the same – even if they don’t make it obvious to the world around them.
Featured image courtesy of ‘Francisco Gonzales’ via Flickr. Image licence found here.