How To, Personal 25 COMMENTS

How to: Deal with Quarter Life Crisis

Welcome to the Quarter Life Crisis Club! Where you constantly feel like going through a downward spiral, lots of confusion, and a bazillion unanswered questions plague your every waking moment. According to Wikipedia the Quarter-life crisis is,

“a period of life usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult. The term was coined by analogy with mid-life crisis.” 

If you’re not sure you’re dealing with a quarter-life crisis, Buzzfeed has an article about it… But it’s pretty obvious if you’re dealing with it. Trust me, you’d know. If you’re constantly wondering what you’re doing, where you’re going in life, worrying about time, worrying about still not landing your dream job, worrying about finding someone to spend the rest of your life with because tick-tock time is gold and everyone else is having babies and getting married and you’re still in your pajamas at 2 o’clock in the afternoon eating apple pie with vanilla ice cream (I may or may not just have described myself there) — then yes, that is a quarter-life crisis — and welcome to the club.

A few weeks ago was when my quarter-life crisis really hit me hard and this impending doom shadowed over my life, a constant “What are you doing? You’re wasting time!” voice nagged at me and wouldn’t leave me alone. I found myself crying some nights and feeling depressed. I was in a battle between my wants and indecisiveness. I had written a set of goals at the start of 2014 of what I wanted my life to be like a year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years from now… This list of goals really helped put things into perspective and helped motivate me to keep pushing. But what happened was that soon enough the pressure of wanting to attain these goals pressured me so much I ended up being unhappy and finding myself slowly having a change of heart. I suddenly wanted different things, and I didn’t know how to react to this sudden change of emotions. I was a mess for a few good days until I decided to put my foot down and do something about my quarter-life crisis instead of just letting it eat me alive.

Below are my top 5 ways of dealing with my quarter-life crisis:

1. Develop the “I will be okay” mantra. I know, it’s so cliche. Every time I go to someone with a problem and I get a, “you will be okay.” response, I want to punch them in the face. But it’s so goddamn true. I’ve gone through a lot of negative things in my life, and in the middle of the moment when you’re feeling all these intense emotions everything seems like it will never be okay — but that’s only because you’re caught up in the moment. Look back on the past events in your life, the time you had an earth shattering fight with a family member or your best friend, a bad breakup, the time your dog died — all horrible moments where you felt like everything was forever ruined — now look at how you are now. Aren’t you okay? Even better, aren’t you more than okay? These low moments exist to build you up. All my quarter-life crisis depressed days ended with me pushing forward and persisting to fight it. And here I am, writing this blog entry to help you fight it too. You will be okay.

2. Talk it out. When my quarter-life crisis would hit, I would message my loved ones and just let it all out — even if it didn’t make sense to them 100% of the time, they were there to listen and that’s all that really mattered. You need to unload all the emotions because carrying them by yourself will only drown you.

3. Keep busy. My friend, Jaya, told me this after we talked about my quarter-life crisis. And it’s true. If you keep busy doing work, your hobbies, just being productive in general this will keep away the nagging thoughts. It doesn’t mean you’re not dealing with your quarter-life crisis, in fact you’re dealing with it in a way of productiveness. When you’re productive, you’re paving the way into finding more about yourself — experiences, likes, dislikes, learning things, etc.

4. Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. I’m here dealing with quarter-life crisis. I know just about 5 or more other people my age who also deal with it from time to time. It’s normal. It may freak you out at first, but there’s a handful of people who also have no idea what the fuck they’re doing with their lives. So don’t go thinking, “Well X has a baby and she’s married. I’m 24 and still single and the only thing that loves me is my cat, and that’s only when I feed her.” Don’t freak out. Everyone has a different path. We’ll be okay. We’ll get there eventually.

5. Do something, and remember the 3 E’s: Explore. Experience. Expand.
First, you gotta explore. Your quarter-life crisis usually brings the question, “What am I doing with my life/career/love life?” and the only way to find the answer isn’t by asking other people what you should do, it’s by exploring. If you’re not sure of the career path you’ve taken, consider dipping your toes into another field that interests you. If you’re unhappy with your love life or where it’s going, go out there and try to meet new people. Take up a new hobby, learn a new skill — the world is definitely your oyster. Make use of it.

Second, you gotta know that experience is your best teacher. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. More often than not, fear is the very first reason the quarter-life crisis bug even exists. Fear was the number one reason for me. Fear of not having enough time, mostly. And fear that I wasn’t going to be good enough. Life is full of experiences — good and bad ones. You must learn to use these experiences to help find ourselves, even if it’s one piece at a time.

Third, learn to expand yourself. When you step out of your comfort zone and see where that takes you, you have to do something you wouldn’t normally do, and live through it without regrets. This is something I recently have been trying to do, saying yes to things that would normally scare me. And so far, it has been very fruitful and has helped me push my own boundaries and made me realize there’s nothing to really fear. I expand myself by pushing my limits. If I used to do draft one blog post every other day, I’ll try drafting 2-3 instead. If I used to spend Php 3,000 of my paychecks, I try to spend less the next time so I can save more. If I think I can do 100% on projects, I push myself to do 200%, just because I can. It’s things like this which help shape us, and help us learn more about ourselves and get one step closer to whatever our goals may be.

And lastly a simple quote reminder from my favorite quarter-life crisis movie Reality Bites to wrap this entire post up:
reality bites

Listen to Ethan Hawke, he knows what he’s talking about.

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  • Reply Jomil Adrielle 19 December 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Exactly, Camie.

    You will be really okay, after this :) :)
    Hugs to you!

  • Reply Aneth 19 December 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Oh, Camie! You just said everything that’s in my mind lately. This post really made me emotional (or maybe it’s also bcos of this crazy period) while reading cos I can relate to everything that you said. This is really helpful! Thanks for existing, insipiring and sharing all your brilliant thoughts. I really need this.


    • Reply Aneth 19 December 2014 at 8:30 pm

      PS: We can do this! :)

  • Reply Sabrina 19 December 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you for this post!!! I’ve been questioning my life choices and plunging into depression because I felt like I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I kept worrying about where my life is heading to everyday. It really distracts me from everything else I should be focusing on. Really tough emotionally. Then I read this post and I was like “THATS ME”. Didn’t hit me that this could be a quarter life crisis I am facing! (because I just hit the big 2 0) so thank you!

    P/s this is also my first comment after reading your blog quite a long time! Haha, hi Camie!

  • Reply Jenny 19 December 2014 at 10:43 pm

    This is so well written. I really enjoyed reading this post! x

  • Reply Maine 19 December 2014 at 11:10 pm

    I felt the same way a few weeks ago and I think mine also reached the point where I was just paralyzed. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t finish my work properly. At the end of the day (even though I was still feeling like shit), I had to hustle! But I hope you’re feeling way better now.

    Try reading #Girlboss if you haven’t. It worked for me! Now I’m so pumped with 2015. I think it’s going to be a GREAT year for us freelance creative ladies. <3

  • Reply Alyssa Panghulan 20 December 2014 at 6:11 am

    Everything you mentioned… is what I’m doing right now to keep me going. I ignore things that kept me unhappy and distraught but some people don’t understand my silence. I just really didn’t want to argue anymore and make a big fuss over a small thing. Never really thought someone would make a list about this and that it has a name. I’ve always called it existential crisis because I’m always doubting my existence and my worth. Still, thank you for this Camie! Loved it and your words are perfect! I hope you get to post more helpful blog posts like this in the future. God bless you, Camie! :)

  • Reply Shannon 20 December 2014 at 8:52 am

    Great post per usual!
    I remember when I turned 17 I started having a crisis (seems a bit early for a quarter life crisis lol) that I was getting old and I hadn’t done any of the things I wanted to do yet. It was totally irrational (I mean I was still only in high school) but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I think my family were the ones that really helped me because they bashed it into me that there was still plenty of time to do all the things I want to do. Keep Busy is something that I really struggle with but it also helps me the most. I’m really happy you put it on your list. :)

  • Reply Alissa 20 December 2014 at 10:50 am

    I’m in the same boat as you are. It makes me so anxious and I feel so lost. You’re so brave writing this Camie. I’m sure your tips will help me and others who are going through this as well.

  • Reply Krista 20 December 2014 at 11:12 am

    I’ve experienced a few years back when I took a break from school. It was a horrible. Even sitting down and watching TV for an hour feels like a waste of time. Now that I’m back in school, I don’t feel this crisis that much anymore. However, I’m worried that it might attack me again as soon as I’m done with college. :(

  • Reply Joanna 22 December 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Aww you always gave me the impression that you’ve got everything figured out at this point in your life, so this post really struck me. This is beautiful, Camie! I hope you know you’re never alone in your struggles. You can get through this! :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 22 December 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks Joanna :) oh, people always thinj this but i dont think anyone has everything figured out! Everyones always got something, even the ones who do have it figured out cant have it figured out forever, there will always be roadblocks or challenges — if not, then we wouldnt grow :)

  • Reply Anna 23 December 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Been thinking of doing a similar post like this one (for a “year-ender” musings post) but I couldn’t bring myself to write because of my day job. Anyway, there’s always that magical feeling of comfort when someone just translates into words what you exactly feel. Thank you Camie! :)

  • Reply kc 26 December 2014 at 3:44 pm

    i’m actually two years older than you… earlier this year i’ve been dealing eith that… specifically with career. i’ve made so many wtong defisions and fhoices.. I didn’t listen to my parents during my teen/early 20s stage.. so many regrets… ahhh, blog entry na’to. haha

  • Reply Kristine 27 December 2014 at 1:39 am

    I am on the same boat.. I just realized I was nearing my quarter-life crisis when my family asked me how old I was… I actually had to give it some thought because I haven’t thought about my age in a long time. My aunts think I should be getting married soon, when they don’t even know anything about my dating history. (Fact: I’m currently in a long-time relationship and have yet to introduce him to my dad. Dad doesn’t know I’m dating because he’s a strict asshole. And I’m 24 years old! ) Anyway, they think I should be getting married soon and popping babies before 30. Ugh. No. I’m going to get my doctoral degree first, then get married, then travel, and then maybe have kids. But I hate how people try to instill a timeline to my own life when I am still trying to figure things out as a twenty-something year old. It’s bad enough I live in self-doubt and am constantly fighting the jealousy that comes when one of my classmates get engaged.

    Sorry for the long and winding comment. I totally had to share because we are around the same age group where people are getting married/engaged etc… And we are not.

    • Reply Camie Juan 31 December 2014 at 11:23 am

      I think the least issue I have with my age is the pressure of getting engaged/married/having kids. Personally, I still feel way to young for all that, but old enough for other adult things! That’s why it’s such a weird age to be stuck in!

  • Reply Alex 21 January 2015 at 6:27 am

    Hi, thanks for posting this, I have a question though.

    Ive been doing some career thinking since im not really anywhere with it at the moment. Im a lowly part time receptionist with no career development I can see or imagine at the moment. I do have experience in another job where I could go places, however I left this job just under a year ago because i was sick of it and after 2 jobs, im thinking of going back and making a go of it.

    My questions is based around fear and comfort zones. Do you think im feeling like this because im scared of trying something else and want to be back in my safe old job? This evening I came up with a plan for the next few months and i was excited about it and felt like i was finally getting somewhere. Then it dawned on me that i might just be feeling like this because the feeling of actually having plan made me feel better? hope that makes sense!

    • Reply Camie Juan 21 January 2015 at 10:52 am

      I cant really judge, to be honest. I dont know you enough to say if youre wanting to revert to your old job because of comfort. I think at the moment you need a break to just decide what you should do and really try to find what your passion is. When youre not super busy with work, where does your mind wander? What makes you excited? For instance, when im not blogging, i get excited over makeup products and trying out makeup looks. And it has been this way since i was a teenager. This tells me that aside from blogging, my other passion is makeup!

      I think you should try to see through your plan. If it excited you and made you feel hopeful then i think its worth pursuing. If, for some reason it doesnt work out, then at least you know you tried and you can move on. Thats one less thing out of the way in your journey of finding yourself and at least youve learned from that experience.

      Good luck!

      • Reply Alex 21 January 2015 at 4:14 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I’m not really sure where I want to be at the moment but I guess one option that makes sense is better than no option! I just have no idea what I would do if this doesn’t work out, or what I would do to progress on from it

  • Reply Cyndrel 3 February 2015 at 4:14 am

    Hi there Camie! Love this post!~ I’m turning 27 this month and I’M STILL somewhere in the middle of my quarter life crisis! Haha~ When I was 22, I read this book ‘Floundering at 25’ by Michelle Meneses…it’s pretty much about what most 20 somethings are experiencing these days. That’s when I first learned about what I’m actually going through! Believe me when I say I feel you~ with all those my life/career/love life drama…but in the end WE WILL BE OKAY! Thanks for reminding everyone~ :) totally agree with all your 5 ways of dealing with quarter life crisis!!!

    You were featured in Candy magazine for February issue, that’s how I learned about your blog! :)

    I love REALITY BITES! haha~

    • Reply Camie Juan 3 February 2015 at 11:52 pm

      Hi Cyndrel! Thanks so much for dropping by my blog! ❤️ that book sounds really interesting! I think I’ll keep it in mind in case my quarter life crisis keeps on going. Currently I’m okay and it isn’t really bothering me… But that’s how the quarter life crisis is, creeps up at you at random times! Haha

      • Reply Cyndrel 4 February 2015 at 7:59 pm

        hehe~ welcome! here’s a link with a lil info about the book! I also got in touch with the author and she told me she started with blogging as well! That gave me hope and an epic nudge about starting my blog~ haha! The author lives in the United States now though, but I was just so happy when she replied to my email~ haha!

        I have people in my life who keep on saying that ‘quarter life crisis didn’t even exist during time!’ and I’m like…oh well it exists in OUR time so~ unless you’re helping me out better be out of my life! haha~ I’m glad I found another proof that IT DOES exist and it’s FINE because I am not alone in this shit anyway~

        • Reply Camie Juan 4 February 2015 at 8:14 pm

          Quarter life crisis didn’t exist in their time because the older generations either had to deal with war or the aftermath of it! Our parents generation was so busy getting jobs to help raise their families at such a young age. To be honest, the quarter life crisis is a “blessing” because it means we get to have a choice with what we do with our life, rather than go with the flow of what society says we should follow (graduate, get a job, marry, have kids, die) — right now it’s fair game and everyone can do whatever they choose but that’s also where the problems lie. It’s a “privileged” problem, but a problem nonetheless!

  • Reply The Sunday Currently Vol. 10 – Mystery Cloud 22 February 2015 at 12:29 pm

    […] I may or may not have entered the doors to the quarter life crisis club.) Maybe, I should read Camie’s tips on how to overcome such life […]

  • Reply Rudy M. Villegas 2 April 2015 at 1:39 am

    Such a great article here. I agree with what you mentioned that communication is indeed important when it comes to someone experiencing quarter life crisis. Talk it out, it is important to have someone who will understand your situation, listen to your problems, be there for you and still love you anyway. Also, it is just a matter of how we take these situations in order for us to deal with these issues the right way. Life is too short to dwell on something we can have total control of. Be happy. Be with someone (family, friends, loved one) who can make you feel better by just being yourself.

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