According to Oliver Robinson and colleagues at the University of Greenwich in London, young adults between the ages of 25 and 35 are vulnerable to what is known as a "quarter-life" crisis. Adults in this age group often have ambitious goals and an idea of how their life should play out, and a poor choice or problem as they try to achieve these things can push them into a quarter-life crisis--leading to anxiety and other mental health problems.
Robinson and his team studied 50 people who had experienced a quarter-life crisis and distilled their experiences into 5 distinct phases.
Phase 1: Feeling trapped.
Phase 2: Desire for change.
Phase 3: Leaving the bad situation and trying new things.
Phase 4: Rebuilding.
Phase 5: Developing a new life closer to your ideal.
A quarter-life crisis may not be a pleasant experience, but 80% of those interviewed for the study described it as a positive step in their life. Robinson also thinks that those who experience a quarter-life crisis are less likely to experience something similar in mid-life, saying that "If you store up the problems until later life, it will be much worse as the inertia in later life is greater."
Educated idealists who also want to have conventional success in their life are those most vulnerable to a quarter-life crisis.