Four 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. "This mental and physical separation from previous commitments leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self. "Up until then you may be driving fast down a road you don't want to be going down. A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change."

Phase 3 is a period of rebuilding a new life.

Phase 4 is the cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person's new interests, aspirations and values.


The quarterlife crisis: young, insecure and depressed

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