Quarter Life in the media: what’s being said about it in the news?


Spring is (sort of) here and we want to be outside which means it’s even harder to keep up with the news since we wrote last month’s ‘top 3 QLC articles’. There’s just SO MUCH of it everywhere. And lately we’ve been spotting a lot of intriguing media coverage of the quarter life crisis in all its different forms.

But you don’t have to go trawling through all the weekend supplements, blogs and magazines because we’re gathering the best stuff right here at QLClueless. There’ll be new material each month so come and see what we’ve found in the world of QLC.

Top 3 things you should read this month (Spring QLC Special)

1) This account of being 25 and ‘stuck’ by  ‘black feminist writer and PHD candidate’ J.N Salters  is our favourite QLC piece of the week. This  Huffington Post article is a brilliant insight into exactly how a QLC-addled mind works:



What we learnt: That we should probably check out these books that Salters talks about.

Here’s the YouTube video of Christensen doing a TED talk. You’ll have so many attainable goals after this video that you’ll need a….(insert football pun here)

Actually, we’ve read the third one (Damian Barr) and after reading our crazy-good QLClueless interview with the author himself, you probably have too….


2) It’s not new (2013 in fact) but we think it’s time to pleasure our ears again with BBC Radio 4′s brilliant analysis of the Quarter Life Crisis. What makes it worth a listen is the witty and non-nonsence author Katharine Whitehorn talking all things QLC  with people like us. There’s really nothing to not like, especially the bit where they discuss how Vagenda editors Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Cosslett struggled to pay rent … holls


What we learnt: That it is possible to be successful and get paid to do what you love, even if it takes longer than it might have taken our parents. QLCs are scary things, but they can lead to extremely good things.

3)This Guardian article about post-uni unemployment and cluelessness isn’t a cheerful read but it’s a searingly honest account of how tricky things can be in the boomerang generation when it comes to finding a job. Not an internship but a real job…where you can actually go to the office party and make a fool of yourself like everyone else.


What we learnt: That even when certain slightly older people say we’re just moaning, we’re not. It’s actually true that unpaid internships are elitist and that we’ve got less stability than previous generations. It’s not whining, it’s just a fact. But that doesn’t mean there’s no point in being optimistic and doing everything you can do get where you want to. ‘Cos after all, someone has to get the job. It’s worth checking out this ‘open letter to early graduates’ on the These Millennials blog for some wise words on this subject.

Mind The Gap launch party: what you missed

Happen to miss out on last night’s Mind The Gap launch party liveblog, or wondering how Mind The Gap can help you get through your QLC? Catch up here with Clueless’s breakdown to your soon-to-be favourite life coaches…

At a glance:

  • New lifecoaching organisation, Mind The Gap, launches
  • MTG aims to solve the problems of todays 20 and 30-somethings, like the QLC
  • Renowned life coach and psychologist Dr Oliver Robinson talks about the reasons for the rise in QLC-ers
  • “MTG is a genuine niche for QLC support and discussion”, says Doc Robinson


The Quarter-life crisis in film


Image: Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to the quarter-life crisis, it can sometimes feel like no-one understands what you’re going through. But maybe that’s not the case. Maybe you yourself saw a quarter-life crisis while you were growing up, and didn’t notice.

You see, according to the most respected of sources (Wikipedia) at least one or two film directors have tried to tackle the topic. Big life shake-ups, emotional climaxes and angst; it’s the stuff of high drama. But who’s really nailed the experience?

Let’s examine the evidence.

Garden State (2004)

Zach Braff’s Andrew Largeman certainly has a few crises in his life, and his job prospects are pretty grim. A return trip to his home town leads Andrew to question his place in the world, and how he lives in it. However, his issues seem more drawn from grief and over-medication – a crisis, but not necessarily a quarter-life one.

Andrew: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.

QLC rating: 1/5

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

I mean, it’s difficult not to have some sort of emotional crisis when you realise you and Jennifer Lawrence aren’t best friends yet. And her co-star Bradley Cooper’s forced return to his parental home in Silver Linings might ring a few bells for any graduates still looking for work and struggling with a curfew.

Despite this, it’s hard to say there’s exactly a quarter-life crisis in this film. Silver lining – Jennifer Lawrence is still great.

Pat: How old are you?

Tiffany: Old enough to have a marriage end and not wind up in a mental hospital.

QLC rating: 2/5

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

“She doesn’t know what she wants – she just knows what she doesn’t want.” Sound familiar? Still, it’s hard to identify with Scarlett Johanssen’s Christina too much, seeing as she basically drops out of an extended ménage-a-trois with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz from mere apathy. It’s a hard life…

Rebecca Hall’s Vicky is a more interesting prospect. Practical and traditional and engaged to the reliable Doug, Vicky’s actually seems pretty sure what she wants. But when she sees her humdrum future stretched out in front of her, she begins to change her mind…

QLC rating: 3/5

High Fidelity (2000)

“It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed.” John Cusack’s Rob Gordon is a man who never grew up; his girlfriend has grown away from him and he can’t escape the cycles of juvenility that keep screwing up his life. Novelist Nick Hornby has a knack for capturing vaguely adolescent male angst, and this adaptation of his most famous work doesn’t disappoint in that regard.

High Fidelity is about a lot more than the quarter-life crisis of course, but this quote from Rob really sums up a lot of concerns many people have:

I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and… I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open. And that’s suicide. By tiny, tiny increments.

QLC rating: 4/5

The Graduate (1967)

The earliest, the greatest and the filmiest, The Graduate tells a timeless tale of not knowing what to do after university. Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman)’s options of a career or graduate school make him anxious, and he becomes seduced into an affair with an older woman. And with the famously ambiguous final shot of an apparently euphoric ending, it’s unclear whether Benjamin ever finds exactly what he’s looking for.

Benjamin: I’m just…

Mr. Braddock: Worried?

Benjamin: Well…

Mr. Braddock: About what?

Benjamin: I guess about my future.

Mr. Braddock: What about it?

Benjamin: I don’t know… I want it to be…

Mr. Braddock: To be what?

Benjamin: [looks at his father] … Different.

QLC rating: 5/5

And finally…

(500) Days of Summer (2009)

Well, why don’t we evaluate it together? Tomorrow at 7pm Film4 is showing (500) Days of Summer and we’re liveblogging it on Storify!

Check back soon for more details.

Quarter Life Crisis in the media: What’s being said about it in the news?


It’s hard to keep up with the news. There’s just SO MUCH of it everywhere. And lately we’ve been spotting a lot of intriguing media coverage of the quarter life crisis in all its different forms.

But you don’t have to go trawling through all the weekend supplements, blogs and magazines because we’re gathering the best stuff right here at QLClueless. There’ll be new material each week so come and see what we’ve found in the world of QLC.

Top 3 things you should read this week

1) We liked this  Guardian article about a 33 year old journalist on the verge of growing a ponytail and buying leather trousers.

I’m having a midlife crisis in my 30s. Is that normal?


What we learnt: That mid-life crises are starting earlier than ever. Maybe once you’re over our QLC, you’ll  be sorted enough not to have a mid-life crisis?

2) Buzzfeed always does good , and hilariously true, commentary on the 20-something existence. Their latest QLC post has some pretty sound advice.

15 Things You Need To Stop Doing During Your Quarter-Life Crisis


What we learnt: We should stop worrying so much about the future, that we should be less hard on ourselves and most importantly, as illustrated by Buzzfeed above, make sure we have good friends who don’t drain every molecule of joy from our bodies.

The Buzzfeed screenshot above says it all. We don’t have any room for Elton John lyrics in our lives right now. (Although if you would like a listen, here you go)


Image courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org

Elton John looking pretty into the music. He probably didn’t have a quarter-life crisis.


3) The QLC is the cause of a campaign against in Singapore. The cost of living  there is so high (sounds familiar Londoners?) that four university students have started a ‘The Next Stop’ movement to get people talking about the difficulties young people face when they leave education.

Singaporean fresh graduates: Quarter-Life Crisis


24-year-old Lee Jingwei talks about the QLC in the article:


“Our culture [in Singapore] values high salaries, status and prestige. It makes us disconnected from reality; that when we graduate, we are actually not very valuable. So I think we just need to eat some humble pie, be willing to learn in any job, and then plan our life as we go along,”

What we learnt: The QLC is global.