Often, the 20s and early 30s are thought to be the best time of a person’s life. Individuals in this age range are generally in good health, have minimal responsibilities and are able to explore opportunities and take chances in both their professional and private lives. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that young adults are not free of the stresses that come later in life. In fact, many people in this stage of life experience periods of uncertainty and anxiety during which they question their goals, plans and even relationships. Professionals have named this occurrence the quarter-life crisis.
When young people experience a quarter-life crisis, they may turn to a trusted family member or friend for advice, but they often opt to seek professional counseling. It is important for counselors to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of this stage and be ready to respond appropriately to help clients navigate this season of life.
What is the quarter-life crisis?
Similar to the more widely recognized midlife crisis, the quarter-life crisis is a period of uncertainty and questioning that typically occurs when people feel trapped, uninspired and disillusioned during their mid-20s to early 30s. Clients may feel that they are stuck in a dead-end job while all of their friends advance their careers or wonder why they cannot seem to make a romantic relationship last when other members of their social group are getting married and having children.