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Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties [Anglais] [Broché]

Alexandra Robbins , Abby Wilner
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

21 mai 2001
While the midlife crisis has been thoroughly explored by experts, there is another landmine period in our adult development, called the quarterlife crisis, which can be just as devastating. When young adults emerge at graduation from almost two decades of schooling, during which each step to take is clearly marked, they encounter an overwhelming number of choices regarding their careers, finances, homes, and social networks. Confronted by an often shattering whirlwind of new responsibilities, new liberties, and new options, they feel helpless, panicked, indecisive, and apprehensive.

Quarterlife Crisis is the first book to document this phenomenon and offer insightful advice on smoothly navigating the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, from school to the world beyond. It includes the personal stories of more than one hundred twentysomethings who describe their struggles to carve out personal identities; to cope with their fears of failure; to face making choices rather than avoiding them; and to balance all the demanding aspects of personal and professional life. From "What do all my doubts mean?" to "How do I know if the decisions I'm making are right?" this book compellingly addresses the hardest questions facing young adults today.

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Descriptions du produit



What Is the Quarterlife Crisis?

Jim, the neighbor who lives in the three-story colonial down the block, has recently turned 50. You know this because Jim's wife threw him a surprise party about a month ago. You also know this because, since then, Jim has dyed his hair blond, purchased a leather bomber jacket, traded in his Chevy Suburban for a sleek Miata, and ditched the wife for a girlfriend half her size and age.

Yet, aside from the local ladies' group's sympathetic clucks for the scorned wife, few neighbors are surprised at Jim's instant lifestyle change. Instead, they nod their heads understandingly. "Oh, Jim," they say. "He's just going through a midlife crisis. Everyone goes through it." Friends, colleagues, and family members excuse his weird behavior as an inevitable effect of reaching this particular stage of life. Like millions of other middle-aged people, Jim has reached a period during which he believes he must ponder the direction of his life—and then alter it.

Chances are, if you're reading this book, you're not Jim. You know this because you can't afford a leather bomber jacket, you drive your parents' Volvo (if you drive a car at all), and, regardless of your gender, you would happily marry Jim's wife if she gets to keep the house. But Jim's midlife crisis is relevant to you nonetheless, because it is currently the only age-related crisis that is widely recognized as a common, inevitable part of life. This is pertinent because, despite all of the attention lavished on the midlife crisis, despite the hundreds of books, movies, and magazine articles dedicated to explaining the sometimes traumatic transition through middle age and the ways to cope with it, the midlife crisis is not the only age-related crisis that we experience. As Yoda whispered to Luke Skywalker, "There is another."

This other crisis can be just as, if not more, devastating than the midlife crisis. It can throw someone's life into chaotic disarray or paralyze it completely. It may be the single most concentrated period during which individuals relentlessly question their future and how it will follow the events of their past. It covers the interval that encompasses the transition from the academic world to the "real" world—an age group that can range from late adolescence to the mid-thirties but is usually most intense in twentysomethings. It is what we call the quarterlife crisis, and it is a real phenomenon.

The quarterlife crisis and the midlife crisis stem from the same basic problem, but the resulting panic couldn't be more opposite. At their cores, both the quarterlife crisis and the midlife crisis are about a major life change. Often, for people experiencing a midlife crisis, a sense of stagnancy sparks the need for change. During this period, a middle-aged person tends to reflect on his past, in part to see if his life to date measures up to the life he had envisioned as a child (or as a twentysomething). The midlife crisis also impels a middle-aged person to look forward, sometimes with an increasing sense of desperation, at the time he feels he has left.

In contrast, the quarterlife crisis occurs precisely because there is none of that predictable stability that drives middle-aged people to do unpredictable things. After about twenty years in a sheltered school setting—or more if a person has gone on to graduate or professional school—many graduates undergo some sort of culture shock. In the academic environment, goals were clear-cut and the ways to achieve them were mapped out distinctly. To get into a good college or graduate school, it helped if you graduated with honors; to graduate with honors, you needed to get good grades; to get good grades, you had to study hard. If your goals were athletic, you worked your way up from junior varsity or walk-on to varsity by practicing skills, working out in the weight room, and gelling with teammates and coaches. The better you were, the more playing time you got, the more impressive your statistics could become.

But after graduation, the pathways blur. In that crazy, wild nexus that people like to call the "real world," there is no definitive way to get from point A to point B, regardless of whether the points are related to a career, financial situation, home, or social life (though we have found through several unscientific studies that offering to pay for the next round of drinks can usually improve three out of the four). The extreme uncertainty that twentysomethings experience after graduation occurs because what was once a solid line that they could follow throughout their series of educational institutions has now disintegrated into millions of different options. The sheer number of possibilities can certainly inspire hope—that is why people say that twentysomethings have their whole lives ahead of them. But the endless array of decisions can also make a recent graduate feel utterly lost.

So while the midlife crisis revolves around a doomed sense of stagnancy, of a life set on pause while the rest of the world rattles on, the quarterlife crisis is a response to overwhelming instability, constant change, too many choices, and a panicked sense of helplessness. Just as the monotony of a lifestyle stuck in idle can drive a person to question himself intently, so, too, can the uncertainty of a life thrust into chaos. The transition from childhood to adulthood—from school to the world beyond—comes as a jolt for which many of today's twentysomethings simply are not prepared. The resulting overwhelming senses of helplessness and cluelessness, of indecision and apprehension, make up the real and common experience we call the quarterlife crisis. Individuals who are approaching middle age at least know what is coming. Because the midlife crisis is so widely acknowledged, people who undergo it are at the very least aware that there are places where they can go for help, such as support groups, books, movies, or Internet sites. Twentysomethings, by contrast, face a crisis that hits them with a far more powerful force than they ever expected. The slam is particularly painful because today's twentysomethings believe that they are alone and that they are having a much more difficult transition period than their peers—because the twenties are supposed to be "easy," because no one talks about these problems, and because the difficulties are therefore so unexpected. And at the fragile, doubt-ridden age during which the quarterlife crisis occurs, the ramifications can be extremely dangerous.

Why Worry About a Quarterlife Crisis?

The whirlwind of new responsibilities, new liberties, and new choices can be entirely overwhelming for someone who has just emerged from the shelter of twenty years of schooling. We don't mean to make graduates sound as if they have been hibernating since they emerged from the womb; certainly it is not as if they have been slumbering throughout adolescence (though some probably tried). They have in a sense, however, been encased in a bit of a cocoon, where someone or something—parents or school, for example—has protected them from a lot of the scariness of their surroundings. As a result, when graduates are let loose into the world, their dreams and desires can be tinged with trepidation. They are hopeful, but at the same time they are also, to put it simply, scared silly.

Some might say that because people have had to deal with the rite of passage from youth to adulthood since the beginning of time, this crisis is not really a "crisis" at all, given that historically this transitional period has, at various times, been marked with ceremonial rituals involving things like spears and buffalo dung. Indeed, it may not always have been a crisis.

But it has become one.

Maybe it is because the career and financial opportunities for college graduates have skyrocketed in the past decade and, therefore, so has the pressure to succeed. Maybe it is because the crazy people out there who amuse themselves by going on shooting rampages seem to have proliferated in recent years, leaving young adults more fearful of entering into relationships with new friends, lovers, and roommates. Or maybe increasing competition from the rising millions of fellow students has left twentysomethings feeling like they have to work harder than ever to stand out from their peers. Whatever the reason, the quarterlife crisis poses enough of a threat to the well-being of many graduates—however well-adjusted they may be-that it has to be taken seriously. Here's why.

Although hope is a common emotion for twentysomethings, hopelessness has become just as widespread. The revelation that life simply isn't easy—a given for some twentysomethings, a mild inconvenience for others, but a shattering blow for several—is one of the most distressing aspects of the quarterlife crisis, particularly for individuals who do not have large support networks or who doubt themselves often. It is in these situations that the quarterlife crisis becomes not just a common stage—it can become hazardous. Not everyone at the age of the quarterlife encounters some sort of depression, which is why we relegate doubts and depression to only one chapter. But we are addressing depression as one common result of the quarterlife crisis here so that we can illustrate why it is so important to acknowledge this transition period.

After interviewing dozens of twentysomethings who said they were depressed because of the transition, we ran our conclusions by Robert DuPont, a Georgetown Medical School professor of psychology who wrote The Anxiety Cure. "Based on my experience," DuPont said, "I have found that there is a high rate of all forms of disorder in this age group, including addiction, anxiety, depression, and many other kinds of problems because of the high stress associated with the transition from being a child to being an adult. And that has gotten more stressful as the road map has become less used. The old way of doing this ...

Revue de presse

"The worst year of my life was 26. The second-worst was 24. I had no idea, until now, that my funky period was part of a larger pattern. Finally, a book that explains my quarterlife crisis."Joe Klein, author of Primary Colors

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 224 pages
  • Editeur : Tarcher; Édition : New edition (21 mai 2001)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1585421065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585421060
  • Dimensions du produit: 21 x 14 x 1,5 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 57.387 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
  • Table des matières complète
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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
"The quest to define ourselves begins during childhood, but when twentysomethings enter the ""real"" world, the process can seem to start all over again." Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 21 janvier 2013
Par Jassous
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
The book was send to me very quickly and it is simply one of the best i have ever encountered in its field. A must for anyone looking for answers...
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Amazon.com: 2.8 étoiles sur 5  104 commentaires
57 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Bait-and-Switch Book 27 février 2003
Par Sofia Mary Peerson - Publié sur Amazon.com
"Quarterlife Crisis" initially looked to be the watershed title in this nearly empty category through its prerelease press coverage--but has been widely misunderstood since reaching the shelves.
The book was written with the intent to describe a phenomenon rather than write a prescription; authors Robbins and Wilner are clear about that from the outset. Somebody just forgot to tell that to the marketing department over at Tarcher / Putnam (the publisher).
Under the dangerously false impression that "Quarterlife Crisis" is actually going to tell them what to do with their topsy-turvy lives, readers are greedily snatching up this title... And then dejectedly putting it down after realizing that it offers little more than anecdotal confirmation of the problems they are so desperate to solve. As a result, you've got a readership that's had way too much commiseration, and not nearly enough shutting up and getting to work on their problems.
That's why I recommend Michael Ball's "@ the Entry Level: On Survival, Success, & Your Calling as a Young Professional." This is a book that actually holds the reader's hand, and guides them to wherever their heart points. Plus it shows them how to beat the Fortune 500 along the way. THIS is the book twentysomethings thought they were getting with "Quarterlife Crisis."
38 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great gift for grads 3 juillet 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
I recieved this book in the mail yesterday and couldn't put it down. So many of the chapters accurately described what I've been going through since graduating from college two and a half years ago. I wish I had this book around then to tell me I wasn't crazy for feeling so confused, frustrated and let down (emotions I still feel). I disagree with those that say this book is filled with a bunch of overpriviledged whiners. I worked hard in college, graduated with a bunch of loans, and don't understand why the only thing I'm qualified for is a secretarial position I could have had out of college. It's nice to hear similar tales. It's not about making a bunch of money really fast. It's about finding your place in the world and having the courage to make mistakes that may or may not have an impact in ten years. Add in concerns like money woes, health problems, and a sudden lack of a support system, and life can seem overwhelming. Those are REAL challenges and that's what this books addresses.
My one very big gripe with this book is that it seems to focus only on those that went to college straight from high school and graduated in four years. Not everyone in their twenties fits that description. Furthermore, the book doesn't really offer any solutions (I don't necessarily think that's the authors fault though). This is NOT a "self-help" book. Instead, purchase it if you think you're the only one going through a period of self-doubt and general frustration because you no longer have a road map to tell you what's next.
44 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great for us in our mid twenties that need to identify 10 janvier 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
When I bought this book, the 50+ year old clerk...had the nerve to look down at me and say "How on Earth could a person in their 20s feel they are in a crisis?"
I said, "are you serious? In this day and age, you have to have a degree to work in a library, undergrads don't mean much in this world. Some of us don't have the money to go back and get graduate degrees. PLus, all of our friends and family generally live in many different states and we dont' have enough money to call/visit all the time, and it is very difficult to find other mid twenties people to be friends with to form a support ring, and it is LONELY!"
She just looked at me in disbelief and said, "this is the prime of your life, don't worry, just enjoy it."
Enjoy it? Ya, I am going to enjoy living pay check to pay check while I work at some lame job that SORT OF has to do with my schooling, while I am paying off my school debt...my rent, my car, and wondering how I can achieve my dreams without money. And I'll really enjoy having no friends because they are all scattered across the country,and I have no time to meet people because I work 2 jobs, and my family doesn't "get" why I am so miserable.
I have always refered to this time in my life as my "mid twenties" crisis. Everyone I know that is my age is in the same thing unless they majored in Business or Computer related things and got a dream job right out of college. The rest of us are floating around aimlessly trying to find a niche. An undergrad degree is worthless most of the time, and so we end up in dead end jobs we aren't happy in. We question our dreams, we wonder if we are settling or giving up, or if we should still carry out our dreams, or just let them be "dreams". It is hard to decifer whether or not reality is "giving up" or reality is just plain reality. Then again, you hear about people like Mozart, and Brittney Spears, and Jessie Jackson and other people in this world that acheive their "impossible" dreams... you wonder if it is blind luck on their part, or they just did something we haven't figured out yet.
This book is great to identify with if you are in a similar position, and it is good to know there are SO many others in the same situation. They give a website too for a support group...which is useful.
The authors are not therapists, they don't do a lot of "here is what to do about it", but they do tell a lot of stories about others in our situation, and point the problem out to society so these OLDER people DON'T look like I am crazy when we talk about it!!!
32 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Unrealistic 22 août 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
What bothered me about this book was that none of the 20-somethings seemed to have any real responsibilities. Not all recent grads had their education and expenses paid for them. How many college grads can just quit the job they don't like and go live abroad? That's what it seems everyone in this book did. Didn't they have student loans or ANYTHING that they had to pay for? The truth is that most people have actual bills, in addition to rent and cannot just take off on a whim and move to Australia and Iceland to "find themselves". I was really hoping for a better book that actually related to real peoples' problems. It had so much potential. I just wish they interviewed people who weren't spoiled brats.
24 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing 23 novembre 2001
Par S. Christman - Publié sur Amazon.com
I thought I would really like this book, since I'm experiencing a bit of a quarterlife crisis myself. Although some of the book was interesting, it didn't do much more than quote loosely connected ramblings of twentysomethings.
Most of the people interviewed were single, well-educated (bachelor's degrees at the least, many from Ivy League or Seven Sisters schools) partiers whose parents can afford to support them financially (several even talked about taking time off after college to travel Europe). Although I fall into two of those four categories myself, I thought it would be nice to have some demographic variation. A large number of twentysomethings have only high school diplomas (or less), are married, don't like to drink, and cannot afford to travel Europe. I'd like to hear from some of them.
In addition to the limited number of viewpoints, the book disappointed me because it seemed to be just quotes from interviews with very little commentary. The book seemed to lack direction. Maybe that was the intention, since the point was to show that many twentysomethings need direction, but I would have liked less quotation and more in-depth discussion.
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