7 signs you’re going through a ‘quarter-life’ crisis

Published: September 2, 2014

Sighing long and dramatically, you realize you’ll never be as young, good looking and thin as you were before. PHOTO: REUTERS

When you’re in your 20s and early 30s, you feel like you are stuck somewhere in the middle. You feel confused and agitated, more so because this is the time you start to analyse how you imagined your life to be and how it has actually turned out.

If you feel like this, then don’t worry; you’re going through a quarter-life crisis.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of this crisis:

1) Every day you log on to your Facebook account and you see:

“Sara got engaged to Akram”

“Bilal married Eraj”

“Mushtaq is on his honeymoon with Sukaina”

Almost all of your friends are either tying the knot or having babies. You look at them and tell yourself that you’re in such a better place than them because you’re making your career and becoming independent. And you keep saying all that… till you run out of lies to tell yourself. And it just gets all the more worse when you see an old crush or an ex-flame posting pictures of their new bride or groom.

Source: Tumblr

2) For some reason, you suddenly miss high school and maybe college. You keep looking at old pictures and feeling nostalgic. Then you tweet them to your friends, saying “Good times, best time.” Then you take out old clothes and try to see if they fit. Sighing long and dramatically, you realise you’ll never be as young, good looking or thin as you were before.

Source: Rebloggy

3) You’re in your 20s and you still don’t know what you want from life or what life wants from you. You’ve done a degree in something else, and you’re working in a field that’s completely different. Everyone still asks you why and you still don’t know how to answer that.

You keep switching jobs with the excuse of finding ‘something better’ and you call it versatility. When a child asks you if this is what you always wanted to be, you say “sure it is”, but in your heart, you feel like jamming a fork in your eye.

Source: Giphy

4) You and your old friends still love to gossip about former classmates… and basically everyone. You pass judgements about how other people should live their lives, while you yourself don’t know how to. In fact, when you meet with your old friends, you have absolutely nothing to talk about apart from gossiping or making fun of that one friend who didn’t show up that day. When you still run out of topics, you resort to discussing politics or even worse… the weather.

If you have married friends, then it’s even more awkward because you don’t want to hear about their mother-in-law’s kitchen behaviour or how many times their baby poops. And they sure don’t want to hear about how you’re getting a promotion or working on a new project. In such cases, it’s best to talk about ‘other’ people.

Source: Makemegeek.com

5) If you’re constantly gushing about jewels and designer bridal joras, then you, my friend, are unconsciously desperate to get married. You probably thought you’d be hitched by the time you’re in your mid-twenties. And since you’re not, you’re kind of losing it.

Source: Tumblr

6) You have random impulses to do something crazy. You miss the spontaneity you previously had in your life, so you make plans with your friends to go hitchhiking across Europe. You and your friends spend days chatting away about the cool things you could do to feel young. But what you really end up doing is picking them up and going to Flamingo for some chaat. Or maybe meet up for lunch at the same old place you always go.

Source: Zap2it.com

7) You’re stuck in a rut. You want to take a break, leave work and just chill at home. But you also don’t want to ruin your flow or do anything to hurt your career right now. You feel like you’re in a cage of mundanity and wonder if you’ll ever get out of it.

Source: Somegifs

All I can say in the end is its okay. You are not alone in your misery – and as we know – misery loves company; lots of it. So just hang in there, there is an entire generation going through the same cycle.

Sonal Arshad Siraj

Sonal Arshad Siraj

A student of psychology and social sciences, who likes to eat and write in that order. She tweets @Sonal_arshad (twitter.com/Sonal_arshad?lang=en)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hassan

    I’m not sure if girls know this, but in life, there are other things besides marriage. Marriage is for man, not man for marriage.Recommend

  • http://www.jaaliangrez.wordpress.com Saira Z.

    Very well written. Crisp and witty.Recommend

  • sidjeen

    these are actually all good signs. your life is not settled, you still have ambitions, you are still gonna get married and have children. once you have all of the above and it feels like your life is on autopilot,then you get midlife crisis.Recommend

  • GirlWhoKnows


  • Hira Kamal

    Thanks. (Y)Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairj M. Zubair Javed

    I think 20 to 30 considering the Average Age in Pakistan is Mid life Crisis.Recommend

  • Ammad Azeem

    An absolute witty cracker, Loved it, Number 3 was Superb with befit Pic :D Hilarious.Recommend

  • Mujtaba

    I can understand that this is for women.. But I actually have 6 out of 7 signs!
    And it’s after a long time that I have come across tribune to read a blog..
    Well, explains a lot with what’s going on with me.Recommend

  • Bilal

    What?I married Iram?Recommend

  • harmlessbeast .

    so all of these signs and symptoms are of good side or bad one?Recommend

  • zaarah.

    I was expecting some good solution or suggestion in the conclusion of blog, what I find was “don’t worry u r not alone its ok”. Dissapointed with ending .Recommend

  • Adina Ismail

    I really loved the way you wrote this all. I’m not yet between the age of 20’s and 30’s, but my brother is. Some of the things you wrote actually fit on him. This article made my day.Recommend

  • Ibrahim Shah

    very nice article indeed..keep up the good work!!Recommend

  • http://www.moizkhanfilms.com/ Moiz Khan

    Very relatable and well written.Recommend

  • Hameedullah

    Nothing makes sense, except the third point. It was funny though.Recommend

  • AD

    Thats me !Recommend

  • Hanan M. Asghar

    I can definitely relate.. As a graduate with a degree in psychology; I want to work in R & D but am at a verge of picking a full-time teaching job… Sighs!Recommend

  • Pakistani

    This is so true!!Recommend

  • Salma

    Totally crap article. Dipressing for those who are No positivity. Recommend

  • womanophobic

    Did a girl write this? I can’t tell from the name but it sounds that way.Recommend

  • oarvaj

    this is so true. loved reading it.Recommend

  • anam rizvi

    it is happening with me right now :( n it makes me depressed very much !Recommend

  • fatima

    Love the way you’ve articulated your stance Sonal. Though I’d also like to break a stereotype here that not all girls are whining and craving for a shadi. I know loads who’d trade anything for the life theyre living right now; yes their 20s and 30s.
    Also what totally got me goose bumps was the high spirited ending you gave to your write up. Sometimes its words like these that you need the most to revisit life’s most important yet simple lessons! :)Recommend

  • ihsan

    well written, i can relate to couple of points…. BUT whats next ? how to get out of it.? what psychology suggest.? how to convert this thing in to opportunity and get some lessons out of it.?Recommend

  • Omer

    What did I just read? :/Recommend

  • Shehryar

    You write wellRecommend

  • Sumera Pirzada

    Very well written…im sure each one of us in our early thirties do have one of these signs….Recommend

  • Shiekh Shehzad

    very nice and factual… Life is like that.. Its art of living.. Personally I believe there is no such crisis but its all paradigm we learn through the different phases of age.. We need to be matured enough to get over emotional problems.. In other words we need to grow up instead of grow old… Thanks for sharing such nice article.. Shehzad Recommend

  • GM

    this is me.. :( ..expecting some good solution..plz any one how to end this all ..Recommend

  • GM

    same here ..did u got any solution yet ..Recommend

  • GM

    this is me.. Good written but ending not that good .. expecting some solution ..any plz solutions..how to get over that emotional thing .Recommend