College Graduates

The Quarterlife Crisis, Ages 21-24 Graduation Blues? Get on Board

Check out the QLC message boards to chat with TwentySomethings about life in the “real world.”

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The quarterlife crisis is a period of profound anxiety, uncertainty and inner turmoil that many college graduates face as they attempt to transition from the structure and comfort of college life to the uncertainty and complexity of the “real world”.

Quarterlife Crisis: the Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties (Tarcher, May 2001)

Exerpt: “After about 20 years in a sheltered school setting, many graduates undergo some sort of culture shock.  In the academic environment, goals were clearly cut and the ways to achieve them were mapped out distinctly.  To get into a good college or graduate school, it helped if you graduated with honors.  To graduate with honors, you needed good grades; to get good grades, you needed to study hard. If your goals were athletic you worked your way up from junior varsity, or walk on to varsity by practicing skills, working out in the weight room and gelling with teammates and coaches.  The better you were, the more playing time you got, the more impressive your statistics could become….But after graduation, the pathways blur……… the “real world” ……….. there is no definitive way to get from Point A to Point B regardless of whether the points are related to a career, financial situation, home, or social life……The quarter life crisis is a response to overwhelming instability, constant change…, and a panicked sense of helplessness….Although hope is a common emotion for twenty-something’s, hopelessness has become just as widespread…and depression…and It can become hazardous. ” 

Fallacy:  Once they graduate, they’re home free.   Reality:  Once they graduate, they need family and community support more than ever to transition safely into the “real world”.  This generation faces challenges that we, their elders, cannot truly comprehend.