Millennials Being Hit By ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’

CHICAGO (CBS) — No doubt, you’ve heard of the mid-life crisis. It affects people in their 40s and 50s.

But did you know there’s a quarter-life crisis, too? It’s hitting the youngest adults.

Don’t mock it.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams tells us experts believe the “Millennials” are facing some pretty tough challenges.

For those of us who are older it might seem laughable, so we asked a 25-year-old Chicagoan, Holly Lipschultz, if she thinks there is a quarter-life crisis.

“I thought it was silly at first,” Lipchultz said. “Until I experienced it myself.”

She worked hard in school, earning a master’s degree. But she cannot get the job she wants.

“I worked as a baby-sitter. I taught sign language to home schoolers. (I was) a security guard. I was desperate. I needed money.”

Does it ever to her? “Oh, hell yes,” Lipschultz said.

It’s apparently “getting to” a lot of Lipschultz’s fellow Millennials: young people, mainly in their 20s, paying off staggering college loans with low-paying jobs or no jobs, and wondering, like Sara Angle of New York City, if all the effort was worth it.

“You’re fighting to be at the top of your high school class and you’re fighting to be at the top of your college class, and you finally get out into the work force, and it’s never ending,” said Angle.

If you struggled through the Great Depression or dodged bullets in the jungles of Vietnam, you might ask what do these young people really have to complaint about?

You might wonder if they just feel entitled; kids who always got the trophies, even if they didn’t win, because their parents worried about their self-esteem.

Professor and author Barbara Risman insists they actually have reason to be disillusioned.

“Nothing feels safe and stable,” Risman said. “Part of it is not only that there are no jobs or few jobs for young college graduates, but there’s no belief in a long-term labor contract anymore.”

Risman, who heads the sociology department at the University of Illinois-Chicago, encourages young people — in this economy — to think hard about the fields that do have good paying jobs.

“Now because there are fewer positions, the young people who want to move forward in a straight line have to be very strategic.”

The numbers are clear: unemployment among the Millennials is nearly four points higher than the overall unemployment rate.

Holly Lipschultz, whose master’s degree is in library science, gives herself a pep talk.

“Just stopping to realize things take time. Things will eventually go my way.”

More from Jim Williams
  • Reading & watching today | Lauren Gepford

    […] Millennials Being Hit by ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’ – CBS Chicago […]

  • Communication Studies Capstone Project Written Report | Lauren Gepford

    […] yet I also chose this project because I felt it may help me review all the work I’ve done and hopefully lead me to narrow down which areas I’d like to further […]

  • 25 to 25: 25 Signs You’re Having A Quarter-Life Crisis | YO! It's May...

    […] Millennials Being Hit By ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’ ( […]

  • Are you ready for your Three-Quarterlife Crisis? I sure hope so.

    […] Quarterlife Crisis is the new-ish term to describe the anxiety men and women in their mid-20s feel as they venture out into the real world for the first time. (The term’s in a John Mayer song, so it must be a “thing.”) These youngsters feel lost and confused. They’ve studied hard to work in their chosen field, then find out they have to start at the bottom! Wha—? Or maybe they suddenly realize there aren’t many jobs for Comparative Literature majors. Either way, they’re at a scary crossroads in their lives. […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live