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The Quarter-Life Crisis

The Quarter-Life Crisis: Life after College Graduation 

Hopes & Expectations 

An example of the quarter-life crisis is your hope to graduate from college, expecting to find your way quickly. You imagine yourself in your dream job, in a stable relationship, and living in a home alone. You thought you were going to have everything you wanted. But the reality may be that after you walked across that stage at graduation, you moved in with your parents and settled for your old barista job—to “hold you over.”  

Maybe you got a job in your major, but you aren’t sure if this is where you belong. You long to be successful and fear making mistakes. The stuff you did as a teenager feels like what you should be doing, but when you do it, you feel old. You long for the stability of adulthood but cling to the years as a child. You are ending relationships, finding new friends, and moving around…you are trying to find your place.  

 Where do you belong? What will make you happy? 

 You are struggling with the quarter-life crisis—the uncertainty of the “in-between” years—the ones where you are teetering between childhood and adulthood. And you are not alone.  

A survey of 1,000 young adults found that 86 percent feel pressure to succeed in their careers, relationships, and finances before age 30 (source: The Guardian). That is a lot to take on right out of the gate. These things take time, and sometimes that time and the insecurities surrounding those choices make you feel lost and depressed. So, what are some things you can do if you are struggling with a quarter-life crisis? 

Not All Crises Are Bad 

First things first, keep in mind that not all crises are bad. Those scary questions you are asking yourself and that drive to do well in your life will only help to motivate you not to settle, to find what makes you happy and what feels right. There will be some mistakes along the way. You may take a job (or pass up on one) just because and regret the decision later. You may enter what you thought was your dream career and find a different path that suits you better. These are all the things that will eventually lead you to where you belong. There will be lots of lessons along the way—good and bad. 

 Find Ways to Ease the Pressure of the quarter-life crisis

 It is all about perspective. Life is not supposed to be easy. Easy would be boring. Lower your expectations and open your mind to all the possibilities. Maybe you won’t meet all your personal goals in the timeline you set for yourself, but you will eventually get where you are going. Let some of the pressure off. You have your whole life in front of you. Enjoy the journey along the way, and don’t be afraid to seek help.  

If you are struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed, depressed, sad, alone, or lost, it might be helpful to seek support from a licensed mental health therapist. They can help to give you that little bit of guidance or reassurance you need. Everything will be ok. As Dr. Seuss says — “Kid, you’ll move mountains.” 

Getting Help

To schedule or inquire about a mental health therapy appointment, chat with our scheduling team on this website during regular business hours or call 717-462-7003 x 1. You may submit a Contact Us form. We offer therapy for young adults online in PA and at six therapy locations.



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