A recent article in the Guardian shows us that 20-somethings are struggling to cope in a world that seems rigged against them. New research show that surprisingly high numbers are under pressure and depressed. Here’s an excerpt.
It is supposed to be the time
of opportunity and adventure, before mortgages and marriage have taken their toll. But struggling to cope with anxieties about jobs, unemployment, debt and relationships, many young adults are experiencing a “quarterlife crisis”, according to new research by British psychologists .
Bearing all the hallmarks of the midlife crisis, this phenomenon – characterised by insecurities, disappointments, loneliness and depression – is hitting twenty- and thirtysomethings shortly after they enter the “real world”, with educated professionals most likely to suffer.
The research is backed by a survey undertaken by Gumtree.com which found 86% of the 1,100 young people questioned admitted feeling under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances and jobs before hitting 30.
Two in five were worried about money, saying they did not earn enough, and 32% felt under pressure to marry and have children by the age of 30.
Damian Barr, author of the book Get it Together: A Guide to Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis, said growing numbers of 25-year-olds are experiencing pressures previously felt by those in their mid-forties.
“The truth is that our 20s are not, as they were for our parents, 10 years of tie-dye fun and quality ‘me’ time. Being twentysomething now is scary – fighting millions of other graduates for your first job, struggling to raise a mortgage deposit and finding time to juggle all your relationships.
“We have the misfortune to be catapulted into a perilous property market. We’re earning more and spending more than ever. We’re getting into debt to finance our degrees, careers and accommodation.”
He added: “The Depression Alliance estimates that a third of twentysomethings feel depressed.
“If, as we’re constantly told, the world is our oyster, it’s definitely a dodgy one. Unlike the midlife crisis, the quarterlife crisis is not widely recognised. There are no ‘experts’ to help us. We have no support apart from each other.”
Phases of a quarterlife crisis
Phase 1, defined by feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” said Robinson. “You can leave but you feel you can’t.”
Phase 2 is typified by a growing sense that change is possible.
Phase 3 is a period of rebuilding a new life.
On a positive note, Kingdom Dreams is a ministry that exists to help not just 20-somethings, but all those stuck in phase 1 to move into a place where they can see that change is possible. If you’re feeling limited, check it out.