Friday, May 23, 2008

Quarterlife Crisis

I was recently on vacation and caught up on some reading. One book that was particularly relevant and echoed a lot of my own personal observations about the turbulent twenties was "Quarterlife Crisis" by Alexandra Robbins.

It's sub-title "The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties," is a good description of the book overall. It's a quick read and I would recommend it to someone just getting out of college (if you've already hit your 30s, you probably already know most of this stuff).

Thoughts on the book:
  • I wish I could have read this book when I was going through my own quarterlife crisis. It would have helped me recognize that everyone goes through this period of questioning in their mid-late 20s. One of the goals of the book is to illustrate how common it is so future generations realize they're not alone in their doubts and inner turmoil. I certainly would have been happy to know that I wasn't the only one banging my head against the wall. But then again, if it had been too easy, I might not have been compelled to be "part of the solution" by becoming a coach.
  • This book complements my coaching so well that I wish I had written it. It does a great job of highlighting all the issues facing twenty-somethings, with a number of different quotes and perspectives. I had a tiny bout of author-envy, especially when I found out she had published a book called The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids. I have yet to read that book, but it made me think I should get in touch with her (Alexandra, if you're reading this, we should grab coffee and chat!).
  • I think the reader would have benefited from a bit more in the way of answers or suggestions. The book was a very thorough collection of perspectives from questioning quarterlifers, and at the end I was hoping for more direction and resolution. A quick search on Amazon shows a follow-up book called Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis which is more advice-based. I haven't picked up yet, but I will and I'll let you know if it's worth the read!
At the end of the book, I wanted to offer my coaching services for wayward or lost twenty-somethings as a follow-up resource. If you know someone struggling with a quarterlife (or midlife or 3/4-life crisis), send them my way. Maybe they'll include my information in the anniversary edition!


runningfor3 said...

I don't think I realized that a "Quarterlife Crisis" was so widely recognized, but that is very interesting because in my own life as well as among many of my friends, that is exactly what happened. I chalked it up to always being used to changing things up every 4-5 years (graduations, etc.) and suddenly 5 or 6 years out of college you feel in a rut!

For me, it was also timing with having kids and dealing with the working mom vs stay-at-home mom dilemma.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book, but it sounds like it would have helped to read it in my 20s. But that's my view looking back. I wonder if I would have taken it to heart at the time; those were the years when I was least open to advice.