Infographic: What do American 18-29 year-olds think is most important?

At QLClueless? we’ve written about how working out what’s important to you is one way of overcoming the qlc.

Since we spend most weekends watching generation Y americans on Netflix  tv shows, we thought we’d see what our quarter-life friends across the pond think is most important to their futures.

Click on the infographic below for a larger version.

 

Data:Pew Research Centre, icons: The Noun Project. Created using Data Wrapper.

Data:Pew Research Centre, icons: The Noun Project. Created using Data Wrapper.

Do any of  these results surprise you? Do you think it would be the same in the UK? Tweet us @QLClueless

Get the data from Pew Research centre here. Study conducted in 2009 in the US.  300 18-29 yeard olds were asked.

 

 

Which countries are suffering from a quarter-life crisis?

Following on from our earlier post on how it is not just Britain that is suffering from a quarter-life crisis due to poor levels of youth employment. We thought we would ask our good friend Google which countries are suffering from a QLC the most. The results are quite surprising.

According to Google Trends there is in fact a number of other countries who are suffering from QLCs. However, what is surprising is that the country who searched for quarter-life crisis the most was not in fact the US or the UK – it was the Philippines. As you can see from the graph below, the Philippines have been using the search term ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ three times more than those in second place, the US. With Makati City being the place in crisis the most, closely followed by Quezon City and Manila.

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Youth unemployment has been rife in the Philippines, specifically over the years of 2009 – 2012 where unemployment among people aged under 30 averaged 74.825 million people over the four years, a rate of 12.65% – that’s a rate of one in eight people under the age of 30 being unemployed.

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However, as our graph shows Google’s data stretches back to 2005 therefore meaning that whilst unemployment hit it’s peak during the years of 2009 – 2012, the Philippines youth unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing over the last two years. A trend that has come about through the rise in part-time work becoming more readily available for the youth population in Philippines

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Quarter-Life Crisis Stat Sheet

Us generous folks at Quarter Life Clueless have distilled some of the biggest concerns of quarter life crisis sufferers into this handy stat sheet to give you some perspective on, and hopefully some reassurance about, your clueless situation.

 

Quarter Life Crisis Stat Sheet

 

Has this been helpful? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @QLClueless and visit our tumblr.

In for the long run: how a longer life caused your quarter-life crisis

Call us pedantic, but here at Clueless we’re a bunch of perfectionists. We like our beers cold and our Ginsters hot, our water parks big and our crazy-golf scores small. We also like to know why things are going wrong, and how we can stop them – which is why we got in touch with The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and quarter-life crisis expert Dr Oliver Robinson to see how modern day adulthood affects the QLC.

It turns out it all starts with life expectancy. Yep, living longer is actually a massive downer. The ONS gave us these stats:

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For full statistics, click here

 

As you can see, life has gotten a lot longer over the past 100 years. But how is that related to the QLC? Well, it all starts with the age adulthood begins. According to Dr Robinson, for most of the 20th century 21 was deemed the age adulthood started (so three extra years of sponging off your parents – nice). When combined with the average life expectancy of the period in question, it meant you started working and living independently later, and, as you were expected to die a lot earlier, you were working for a much shorter period of time (yay!).

Instead now we start adulthood at 18 (and some of us start our careers as early as 16, for example in apprenticeships) and work until around the age of 70 – that’s a lot more early mornings, traffic jams, and mind-numbing toil. Now consider the fact that most 18 year-olds don’t actually consider themselves adult until six or seven years later and you see the problem; being thrust into an uncomfortable position of independence at 18, a position which you don’t feel you’re ready for, and you’re likely to get stressed out – but looking ahead and seeing decades and decades of the same is just plain depressing.

And unfortunately, it isn’t going to get any better. With life expectancy in the UK rocketing, the forecast for future generations looks even bleaker – better keep a spare room in your future house, because there’s a fair chance that the kids will be moving back in…

lcteolbirth74_tcm77-256349If you fancy hearing more academic insights into your QLC then check out Dr Robinson’s Clueless guest post!

The Quarter-life crisis in words

QLC word cloud

“I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go

What does this guy know anyway? Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

What does this guy know anyway? Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Well hold on there F. Scott Fitzgerald (#namedrop), you haven’t even seen what we’re going to do with them yet! Jeez, this guy.

In a previous post, we looked at how the quarter-life crisis was represented in news media, and now we’ve gone back to the features, news stories and guides to the quarter-life crisis to look at the words it’s couched in.

For our purposes, these word clouds pull out the most frequently used terms – the bigger the word, the more times it was used in the original articles. In this first overall word cloud (above), there’s a lot of peripheral information to sift through, particularly irrelevant numbering.

The themes that pop out (aside from obvious terms like ‘crisis’) aren’t that surprising; ‘work’ and ‘jobs’ were used frequently enough to correlate them with QLCs. However, some are more interesting. ‘Parents’ would seem to reflect on both a comparison with previous generations and a need to live at home for financial reasons.

If we break it down further, we can see trends more clearly. For example, if we focus only on the long-form news feature articles and raise the bar for times a word is used, a slightly clearer picture emerges. We combined this guardian article, this telegraph article and this msn article to create this:

QLC feature word cloud

Again, we see ‘parents’, ‘jobs’ and ‘career’  are frequently used, but so are more personal terms: ‘trapped’, ‘depressed’, ‘feeling(s)’ , fear, ‘age’, ’25’ (a key age as opposed to the spectrum of numbers in the first word cloud), ‘want’, ‘phase’ and many others that display the universal feelings of distress that people can feel in these situations (incidentally Damian Barr, previously interviewed on this blog, also pops up a few times).

Blimey, this is getting a bit depressing; are all QLC articles this gloomy? Well, no; as any of our regular readers can attest, the rib-tickling levels of fun and hilarity that can be squeezed from the QLC knows no bounds; but what do these funnier articles on the topic from Metro, Buzzfeed and our very own Alex Horne (in this post) tell us?

QLC funny

Well, possibly slightly less. Although things are a bit less doom and gloom in these articles (as you might imagine), they also tend to gloss over key parts of the QLC experience (except the one from us, of course. We’re amazing). There are still trends that emerge, however; education, careers and emotional themes keep rising to the fore.

But perhaps you want something a little more helpful, and so for this last word cloud we’ve drawn together some articles which offer practical advice:

QLC helpful articles

It’s essentially what you’d expect. Keep your ‘faith’; one ‘stage’ at a time. ‘QLCs’ can make your ‘twenties’ intolerable, but ‘even’ during them, you must know they’re ‘just’ a ‘stage’.

That might seem pat and cheap, but it’s true. The language of the QLC is as universal as the experience – but also as the simple techniques to get past it are. So that’s what the investigations, the lists and the advice tell you.

As the last word cloud says: Your Move.

(Well, technically it says ‘youre’ and ‘MOVE’ separately, but it’s close enough. Ssh. And Robinson.)

With thanks to www.jasondavies.com for the word cloud programme.

Full list of articles:

The quarterlife crisis: young, insecure and depressed (The Guardian)

Quarter-life crisis: Find me a twentysomething who isn’t having one (The Telegraph)

20-something and stressed? How the quarter-life crisis got worse (MSN News)

Feeling depressed? It may be your quarter-life crisis (New Scientist)

‘Quarter-life’ crisis hits three in four of those aged 26 to 30 (Daily Mail)

10 Signs You’re Having Your Quarter-Life Crisis (Buzzfeed)

6 signs you’re suffering from a quarter-life crisis (Metro)

How to Survive a Quarter-Life Crisis (Self)

7 Cures for Your Quarter-life Crisis (Relevant magazine)

My 20s Weren’t Supposed to Be Like This: Getting Through the Quarter-Life Crisis (The Huffington Post)

Are You Having a Mid-twenties Crisis? (The Huffington Post)

 

Is it just Britain having a Quarter-Life Crisis?

Youth unemployment has been rife in the UK over the last few years, and in Quarter Life Clueless’s opinion is one of the biggest factors as to why quarter-life crisis is such a hot topic at the moment.

However it is fair to say that it’s not just young Brits who are struggling in the job market. Data collated from Eurostat shows that Britain’s youth unemployment rates are in fact no where near as high as those in countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and Italy (no prizes go to those who guessed Greece’s youth were worse off than ours, at least that’s something ‘ey?).

What this all shows is that despite things being pretty grim at the moment in old Blighty, things are a lot worse on the other side of the channel. A discovery that will perhaps be met with cries of Sacre Bleu by our rather less fortunate French counterparts.

 

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Stats from Eurostat

 

Country Rate (2013)
Austria 8.90
Belgium 23.10
Canada 13.90
Czech Republic 18.80
Denmark 12.90
Finland 19.40
France 25.60
Germany 7.40
Greece 59.00
Hungary 28.10
Ireland 24.60
Italy 41.60
Japan 7.30
Luxembourg 18.10
Netherlands 11.10
Norway 9.20
Poland 27.40
Portugal 36.30
Spain 54.30
Sweden 22.90
UK 19.90
USA 14.20

Are you really suffering a Quarter-Life Crisis?

In order to understand whether people are really suffering from QLCs we decided to launch our own poll via SurveyMonkey.

The topic of QLC has been popping up all over the place these last few weeks. As mentioned in our earlier post it’s showing up everywhere. From the Guardian to Buzzfeed, everyone is going on about it. But it’s all well and good reading about it, but the big question is – are people really suffering from it? In a quest to find out, we conducted a QLC related poll.

Out of our 43 respondents we discovered some rather interesting things, such as the fact that over 80% of respondents have had financial worries at some point over their life. Whilst financial worries are only a minor component in what can cause someone to have a QLC our statistics show some interesting finds, but rather than going on about it how about we let you look at it yourself?
poll1

As you can see, most of our respondents fall into the age group that encompasses QLC (18-30), with one anomaly. 

poll2

poll3

Most of our respondents have been to University (over 70%).

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Whilst only 46.51% of respondents are in employment, uh oh…

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With two thirds of respondents saying that they have been worried about finding a job after finishing education.

poll6

poll7

Over 80% of respondents feel the struggling UK economy is playing a part in their struggle to find employment.

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poll10

A surprising number of respondents claim to have suffered from a QLC at some point in their life, with one respondent who chose ‘Other’ stating ‘I am having a crisis, but I don’t want to put a label on it such as Quarter Life Crisis’.

But what does it all mean?

Whilst our survey was taken by a small number of people it does show that QLC is a real thing affecting real people, and that it isn’t just media hysteria or a new term coined by psychiatrists to allow people to feel a bit better about themselves. We’ve also discovered that three main problems arise during young people’s lives – trying to become financially self sufficient, trying to find suitable housing and trying to find a job after finishing education. We can also take away from our survey that regardless of your education level people will suffer from a crisis in one form or another. So the best thing to do is just keep going and hope that things will turn out alright in the end as unfortunately there’s not a great deal else you can do. Especially in a time of austerity and a shrinking job market. So good luck guys, and keep safe.

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

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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:

 

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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.

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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.

Quarter-life crisis in the media: What are the papers saying?

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 Lately we’ve spotted a lot of intriguing media coverage of the quarter life crisis in all its different forms.

Instead of you having to bookmark 24/7 and trawling through all the weekend supplements, blogs and magazines, here’s our round-up of this month’s finest quarter-life crisis stuff. (Check out last month’s too if you missed it)

Top 3 things you should read this month

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?

motorbike

What we learnt: That mid-life crises are starting earlier than ever. Maybe once you’re over your qlc, you’ll  be sorted enough not to have an mlc? Here’s hoping because we’re not sure we’ll be able to afford a motorbike given the current job prospects.

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

 

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

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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 really don’t have any room for Diana-inspired Elton John lyrics in our lives right now. (Although if you would like to listen to some Elton, here you go)

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Image courtesy of JohnSimonreal, Creative Commons

Here’s Elton looking pretty into the music in a great shirt. He probably didn’t have a quarter-life crisis.

 

3) The quarter-life crisis 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

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An extract from the article in which 24-year-old Lee Jingwei talks about her qlc:

 “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 and that there are lots of people writing about their experiences all over the world, like this Asian-American qlc-sufferer.