Social Trend Quarter Life Crisis among Young Adult Professionals

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There is debate as to whether or not the "quarter-life crisis" is a new phenomenon, and as to how many young adults it affects, but there is little doubt that it is real. Many twenty-somethings these days are feeling lost, burnt out, or just plain depressed, which of course begs the question: why? What is causing the emerging leaders of the world to feel so blue?

The answer is a complicated one, but understandable. The first aspect of the quarter-life crisis is disappointment; more specifically, disappointment in life expectations. Young people in the twenty-first century grow up with a certain framework to build their dreams upon. For most, school is the foundation of that framework. For sixteen plus years, education is the key to moving on to the next level of life. Once the college degree is attained, it's finally time to enter the "real world". This is when many young people enter a period of disillusionment.

The real world is not only a drastic change from previous life experience, it is the goal that many have been working to achieve for so long. The perfect career, the nice car, maybe even owning a house - all expectations that once met, do not always provide the fulfillment that young professionals hoped for. The highest achievers may often actually find the greatest letdown once they reach their goals. Some may even begin to question whether they chose the correct course in life. After all, to reach any goal, sacrifices must be made along the way.

This is also a time in life when many people first enter into serious relationships or even marriage. These endeavors bring their own set of expectations and complications. If things don't go as planned or hoped for, many young adults feel defrauded and confused. A certain image of love and romance is sold through media and society for their entire lives, but may not be realized in reality, and that can lead to further feelings of disillusionment.

Another possible cause of the quarter-life crisis may be uncertainty about the future. Not only are twenty-somethings making plans and decisions that will affect the rest of their lives, but they are living in a world where catastrophe always seems right around the corner. Global warming, war, social polarization, mixed values, and distrust of the powers that be are all sources of stress and depression for many individuals. When life gets so complicated, a crisis of some sort is inevitable.

More about this author: Joe Wrighter

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