Quarter Life Crisis

An article in the local Sunday Times paper by Maria Noakes describes how Generation Y people are facing a new era of life crises. The Quarter Life Crisis. Apparently the “onset of this crisis comes around twenty five years of age and accompanies feelings of confusion and lack of worth”. Both Astrology and Psychology outline various developmental stages in life. Neuroscience has has also determined that the brain is fully grown by around twenty four years of age.

genydiagIn older generations standard family rituals revolve around turning eighteen and then twenty one. In Australia one can vote and enter into a licensed premises at eighteen. The eighteen year old is also apparently free from the parental – legal incumbency. The twenty one year old ritual was perhaps the baby boomers “eighteen”. The young adult receives the “key” to the house and became eligible for the same legal permissions.

According to the article in the paper there seems to be an anti climax for the young adult these days. The Generation Y works hard at attaining a degree however in many cases there is a realisation in not being able to get a job. I am not sure that the reported feelings of “worthlessness” in the quarter life crisis article are that simple. Psychology writers would say that the person at this age is becoming “psychologically whole”. The hippocampus brain is fully grown and the person can make good judgements as a “new adult”.


“The hippocampus converts objective versions of events from short term to long term memory. Together, the hippocampus and the amygdala can shape memories, combining the emotional version of the amygdala with the more objective version of the hippo campus.”

The planetary cycles in Astrology denote the challenging aspects of life specific to various ages.

The Uranus Square is between seventeen and eighteen years and describes the challenge of separation and individuation. Uranus involves rebellion and oppositional forces such as  in “breaking free”. All sorts of interstings happen at this time.

Jupiter square Jupiter at around eighteen to  nineteen years of age denotes a challenge to see the bigger picture in life. Experience in the larger world is the key. University life, apprenticeships  and of course access to licensed premises. Perhaps we challenged the upper limits of our behaviours; sometimes more is too much during this planetary cycle. Such is life.

Saturn square Saturn at around twenty one years of age is there are conscious realisations of ones limitations. The challenge of responsibilities are onerous however in most cases one learns to fit in somewhere. This particular Saturn stage is the closing square before Saturn makes his return at thirty years. At Thirty becoming a parent unto oneself calls for a greater acceptance to ones limitations and their committment to responsibilities.  Perhaps the Generation Y people sense this coming at their quarter life?

Chiron Square Chiron stage is approximately at twenty three years however its inconsistent movement through the sky can vary. Chiron is on time for the stage at fifty years of age though. After building up resistance to so many new life experiences the chiron square recycles an earlier crisis in life such as abandonment or the scare of being alone and perhaps sibling rivalry issues.

The feelings usually revolve around hurts –  pain and anger. The young person may not appreciate what is really happening at this time, however it seems that a very creative side of the person emerges. Dealing with what is ultimately a “threat” to ones strength of personality – this time in life is crucial. Of course one must possess some measure of life skills to make it.

Nodes square Nodes the Nodes are specific trigger points for synchronicity and other events. Meeting new – positive groups of people or continuing safer kinds of relationships that are familiar.

The Nodes take 18 years to complete their cycle. The upsurge and increased energy in this cycle is a boost for the eighteen year old however at twenty four years of age the “nodal square” represents a blockage. Connecting with others and creating new opportunities doesnt work the same now.

Jupiter Return around twenty four to twenty five the second Jupiter return in life arrives fortuitously. Mostly Jupiter returns are welcome cycles of abundance. Good fortune and lucky breaks for the person. In my experiences of Jupiter returns – even misfortunes turn into benefits at these times. I am not sure what the Generation Y people are thinking.


The excitement and scary ride of adulthood would freak out the best of us.

If the proposed “Quarter Life Crisis” is at twenty four to twenty six years of age I can only suggest that after such intense years of growing experiences and adjustment, the young adult is now left wondering “whats next”? Perhaps there is an anti climax for the Generation Y? A kind of quiet and emptiness.

These stages of human growing have been the case for all other generations before the Y’s. What makes the Y’s more vulnerable and different to previous generations?

For all the effort involved in these growing years there seems to be an expectation for more at the quarter life! Perhaps the roller coaster ride has to stop at some stage. One dismounts from the all consuming and chaotic ride to find that “life is”.

“this as good as it gets” – in a relative way and compared to the psychological challenges of their last ten years. Life might be uninteresting now? Void of opportunities which the Generation Y’s claim to be theirs.

The Gen Y person born around 1985 will be entering their so called “Quarter Life Crisis in the next two years.



4 Responses to “Quarter Life Crisis”

  1. 1 roses June 8, 2009 at 18:01

    I think crisis just happens. I don’t think crisis cares when or where or to whom it happens – it just happens.

    I thought i was a baby boomer but then i read somewhere that i was an X but now i’ve learned that i’m a baby boomer again. 1962 was such a confusing year… apparently.

    Happy Monday night to you

  2. 2 kingsley June 8, 2009 at 19:06

    Hi Roses

    Yes you belong to a lost generation Roses. But thats what they are doing Roses – they are pathologising a necessary psychological growing phase that we all go through.

    Life does seem to go in cycles Roses and there is too much clinical evidence showing that there are specific crisis like cyclic ages – stages

  3. 3 roses June 11, 2009 at 13:16

    I’m in a mood.

    If we stick a different mouse, one at a time, in the same cage for a day – they, being mice, may behave the same way. Every now and again some may behave a little differently; probably owing to them being different mice each day – but generally (i personally guess) they will behave like… mice.



  4. 4 kingsley June 11, 2009 at 14:54

    Thanks for telling me you are in a mood Roses.


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