You are young, full of energy, have everything figured out, all your plans for future are sorted out and you`re in your mid-twenties? What? Not really? How come? By this time, you thought you would become a successful artist, have a start-up or at least stop being a bone loafer?
Look! Look at all those mature people getting engaged, planning for the future, acting like adults! They are the same age as you are, but your biggest accomplishment for a day is keeping your goldfish alive after feeding it with the leftovers of your breakfast.
Don`t you dare thinking we are here to insult you and teach you how to live! It`s vice versa actually. This depressive scenario is the exact picture a lot of youngsters have in their mid-twenties. Psychologists call it a quarter-life crisis and we all either been there or will be there. Fasten your seat belts, we are going to travel through a brain of a twenty-something-year-old person.
I`m Still Young, I Don`t Want to Die
Being a kid is stressful, being a teenager is hella-apocalyptic-scale stressful, being a 25-year-old (guess what) is what-am-I-doing-with-my-life stressful. Do we even have a period of our life when we can just give it a rest and don`t think about anything? Yeah, it`s called “launch into eternity”, but let`s be positive here.
Psychologists suggest that people in their mid-twenties tend to over-exaggerate accomplishments of their peers. It looks something like this: he bought a house already, and I can`t figure out the color of the sheets I want for my bed. He is getting married, and I cried the whole morning because there was no toy in my package of cereals. She is starting a business in another country, and I can`t choose a cartoon to watch for this evening.
Turns out, this is just an illusion we build in our heads. Success and major accomplishments of others in our mind appear to be just a mirage. In fact, we don`t notice what we have and what we have accomplished. We think that by the age of 25 we would feel like adults, mature enough to take all the responsibilities, be 100% independent and know what`s what in our lives. When we bump into reality and catch on the idea that this is not how the life works, we may feel deeply depressed.
Young and Reckless vs Adult and Mature
Erik Erikson (yeah, this is his real name) was a psychoanalyst who was among the first scientists to explore the human brain at the edge of adulthood. The doctor suggested that the main reason why so many young people feel left out, stressed out and lost at this age is because of failures in romantic encounters.
A lot of people experience fierce and nerve-wracking break-ups by the age of 20. Split ups make youngsters insecure about their personalities, they start doubting their attractiveness and shut out themselves from their family and close friends.
People in their twenties bump the heads against the wall called adult life over and over again, hoping that with each bruise they would achieve different results. But the wall remains stone-still. You can`t move it. You can only find a door to open it or a ladder to climb it. You have got to change the attitude towards your perception of adulthood and get yourself back in the saddle.
When I Grow up I Want to Be a Professional Cuddler
Another reason of young people look like sad puppies nowadays is the career choice. Gosh, it is so hard to choose pizza flavor, and you are expecting us to decide what we are going to be till the rest of our lives? We never know whether career path we stick with is right for us. What if we regret it when we turn forty? What if we are going to be bad at this?
Frankly speaking, I was absolutely sure I would become a heart surgeon up till the age of 16 and here I am now writing for you. It all turned out for good. You never know until you try it. Psychologists suggest if you have your brain occupied with thoughts about wrong career choice, just go out there and try new things, experience new emotions, explore new hobbies, travel and you will find yourself eventually.
I Got Your Back, Jack
The third reason of quarter-life crisis lies in difficulties in interactions with people. It is a well-known fact that when we grow up, it`s harder for us to make new friends and even keep the old ones. Why so? When we turn on the path to adulthood, we tend to be more cautious about people who surround us, we trust them less and we never open up to people whom we don`t know well.
It`s painful and sulky, but it`s true. With years passing by, young people begin to realize that humans are much more complicated creatures than they thought. When you were a kid, you could easily make new friends. It was that simple: you sit on the beach making a sand castle, then you see another little human being who is just like you having sand all over their bottoms. It was enough to make you BFFs.
In adult life when you make new friends that way, you may end up being in a police precinct for violating the privacy of another person.
Reality TV Show or a TV Show Apart from Reality?
Behavioral studies suggest that television play perhaps not the leading role but a supporting role, for sure, in creating an image (a false one) in the heads of youngsters about maturity. We watch TV shows and what do we see there? Successful, attractive characters, loved by everybody, overcoming all the obstacles on their life path with smile and legerity.
So, young people think that`s how it is supposed to be, but it`s not. Hey, you! Yes, you, listen! If you are in a middle of something stressful and terrifying, if it`s a quarter-life crisis or whatever, just know that everybody has experienced that feeling of being lost, abandoned, and depressed. You will figure it all out. As everybody else does.