While the midlife crisis has been thoroughly explored by experts, there is another landmine period in our adult development, called the quarterlife crisis, which can be just as devastating. When young adults emerge at graduation from almost two decades of schooling, during which each step to take is clearly marked, they encounter an overwhelming number of choices regarding their careers, finances, homes, and social networks. Confronted by an often shattering whirlwind of new responsibilities, new liberties, and new options, they feel helpless, panicked, indecisive, and apprehensive.
Quarterlife Crisis is the first book to document this phenomenon and offer insightful advice on smoothly navigating the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, from school to the world beyond. It includes the personal stories of more than one hundred twentysomethings who describe their struggles to carve out personal identities; to cope with their fears of failure; to face making choices rather than avoiding them; and to balance all the demanding aspects of personal and professional life. From "What do all my doubts mean?" to "How do I know if the decisions I'm making are right?" this book compellingly addresses the hardest questions facing young adults today.
This addition to the crowded self-help genre claims to document a previously overlooked phase of life: the period between college graduation and one's 30th birthday, when young adults struggle to find their place in the world. While the assertion that this period can be wracked by "crisis" rings true, this attempt by recent college grads Robbins and Wilners to document it falters. Their overall effort, though uplifting, lacks the substantive advice that many people need as they enter adulthood. According to the authors, the difficulty arises when 20-somethings are ejected from the structured academic environment and forced to choose a career, find a home, carve out social niches and manage money (or the lack thereof). This period can indeed be rocky, especially when a young person is told that the world is her oyster and then can't find a satisfying job. In a somewhat self-conscious vernacular, Robbins and Wilner discuss, among other things, spirituality, job-hopping and living with parents. Most of the book's advice lies in lengthy quotes from other 20-somethings an anecdotal overabundance that makes for more of a pastiche than a guidebook. But while the book may not have all the answers for members of generation-Y, it at least provides proof that they're not alone in feeling pressured, depressed or disappointed.