Over the past few years I have encountered many individuals suffering from the affliction diagnosed as “quarta discrimine” Latin for Quarter Life Crisis Syndrome. After extensive research, conducted through emotional phone calls, from mainly inebriated patients, expressing their rising concerns about their own quarter life crisis, here are my findings.
Quarter Life Crisis Syndrome occurs between the ages of 25 and late 30s. It is a period of life where by the patient feels they are transgressing from youthful adult to severe adulthood. Heightened by the overwhelming desire to remain young.
30th Birthday Phobia
At origin, the predominant panic will begin as the patients impending 30th Birthday rears its ugly head. Usually on the horizon from around their 25th birthday. This will either display in a need to prove they are completely accepting of their 30th by planning elaborate events such as trips to Vegas, to see in their new age group or with outright avoidance causing the patient to seek seclusion and not be seen until they are at least 35.
Companionship and Reproduction
Anxiety will manifest as yet again another engagement and blurred scan photo emerges, pervading every channel of social media. Those with long-term partners will fear the impending pressure of engagement and wonder if this is the right time to commit? Are they too young? Whilst others will have their condition heightened by the long term partner, forcing them to engage in child rearing practices such as baby sitting for friends or holding random bawling babies to ensure they are “Parent” material.
Another commonly seen image of a couple or successful singleton with a house key and selfie at the front door of their new home. Coupled with “can’t believe I actually own my home”, “Got the keys” #homeowner statuses. Meanwhile the patient feels the increasing pressure, as they are sat either in a rented room in a town house, with a group of practising students playing beer pong, eating noodles or still having their socks and underpants pressed by mummy at their childhood home. Should they have saved for a mortgage by now? They question their position, or lack of position, on the property ladder and whether they should go travelling before they commit to a home and family. What if they are never able to see the world? What if they will never experience all those unique traveller experiences such as dancing at a Full Moon party in Thailand, fruit picking in Australia or backpacking through europe.. How unmeaningful their life will be, surely?
Around this time our patient will question their purpose in the working world. Do they in fact have a career or are they still in the same job they were 5 years ago as a “stop-gap” before launching their ultimate business idea? Either way – isn’t there more to life than this?
With Facebook a significant 11 years down the line, it is now for many suffering their Quarter Life Crisis, one of their longest standing relationships. The horrendous “Time Hop” feature constantly there to remind our patients of what they were doing on that very day for the past 10 years. Constant photographic reminders of those days when wrinkles weren’t evident and youth was very much on our side. What the patient must remember is that as with all photographs, there were times when everything wasn’t as rosy as they appeared through that particular lens.
Sufferers may listen to the radio, especially those stations that feature “Time Tunnels” or “Kisstory” music described as “golden oldies” But what if the music on these featured shows are actually the tunes from the patient’s own generation? A sense of ageing defeat will engulf them as they realise that, as a matter of fact, their music is now “vintage.” Alternatively, songs such as Anne Marie’s 2002, will cause the patient to evaluate their own age at 2002. Realising that they were perhaps leaving school by this year, rather than the mere age of 11 that the singer is referring to. Music may be being recovered by new artists and the patient will find themselves remembering the original and preferring it!
Clothing is a confusing time for our patient as they wonder what shops are acceptable for them to shop in. Are they too old for Miss Selfridge as they scour the dress rails alongside an eighteen year old?
Gift shops display nostalgic gifts such as sweets, board games and toys with colourful, bold lettering clearly referring to them as RETRO!
“It’ll be you next” – when a relative has a new baby.
“You know what they say… New house new baby”
“Have you heard about your brother’s promotion? ”
“30..I had you and your 3 brothers by that age”
“So what age will you be the time you’re finished paying your student loan? ”
“You know private renting is just like throwing your money down the drain”
Some of the remarks made by older generations to those suffering from Quarter Life Crisis Syndrome.
In summary to my findings and extensive research into Quarter Life Crisis Syndrome I feel that the Millennial age are suffering due to a world of constant comparison and judgement of themselves and others through the evolution of social media. It is important to remember that we all progress at our own paces. Whether you are the oldest clubber on the circuit and not ready to hang up your dancing shoes yet, or the mother, on your second marriage, with 5 children and another on the way, there is no need to compare yourself to anybody else. Therefore buy yourself that bag of retro sweets, eat those Sherbet Dib Dabs and dance to Destiny’s Child in your kitchen!
All other cases and research welcomed in the comments from those suffering, survivors or family members of those with Quarter Life Crisis Syndrome
Medical Qualifications: I spent the majority of my Science Biology lessons in the corridor due to my excessive talking and am yet to study anything remotely medical or psychological since.