Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Are You Having a *That's Quarterlife Crisis QLC*? TRENDS Temp Job Become Permanent? Skipping Nights out for Early Yoga Workouts? Got a Wheat Intolerance? Say Hello to Condition 25, Says Susannah Butter'Being Twentysomething Now Is More Scary'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Are You Having a *That's Quarterlife Crisis QLC*? TRENDS Temp Job Become Permanent? Skipping Nights out for Early Yoga Workouts? Got a Wheat Intolerance? Say Hello to Condition 25, Says Susannah Butter'Being Twentysomething Now Is More Scary'

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter

BACK in the heady days of 2009 Charlotte Owen had a wonderful 21st birthday party at Koko nightclub in Camden. She had recently graduated with a 2:1 in English, and moved to London to try and find a job in the publishing industry. Everyone told her how well she had done and how many opportunities she had. All her friends and her lovely new boyfriend pooled their funds and bought her a necklace that she'd spotted in Spitalfields Market a few weeks before.

Four years later, she woke up in the same shared flat in Hackney Wick, which she has realised is too far from the Tube station and has damp, discovered that her flatmate had eaten all her cereal, and dragged herself off to her job temping as a receptionist at a bank. She ended the day crying in the toilet of The Dolphin on Mare Street because she regretted breaking up with her boyfriend.

Owen admits she might be having a quarterlife crisis, otherwise known as a QLC. "I have suddenly realised that time is running out and I don't have a career," she says. "When my parents were my age they were married and doing the jobs they wanted. I don't want to blame the babyboomers but now life seems more difficult. And according to Facebook I have 867 friends but I feel lonely."

She is one of many Londoners realising they are struggling with the QLC blues. With my 24th birthday approaching I too am aware that my time is running out. Now that 25-year-olds might live to be 100 years old, 25 really is a quarter of the way through.

Growing numbers of 25-year-olds are struggling with pressures previously felt by those in their midforties, says Damian Barr, author of Get it Together: A Guide to Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis. "The truth is that our twenties are not as they were for our parents. Being twentysomething now is scary -- fighting millions of other graduates Continued on Page 30

Continued from Page 29 for your first job, struggling to raise a mortgage deposit and finding time to juggle all your relationships." A survey by Gumtree found that 86 per cent of 1,100 young people questioned said they felt under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances and jobs before hitting the big three-0. But this feeling of frustration mixed with impending doom can be good for you, according to Dr Oliver Robinson, a psychologist from the University of Greenwich. "Early-life crises have three phases. They make you feel trapped, then they move to be a catalyst for change and, eventually, the building of a new life. You need to realise the need to take control and have some agency."

Robinson says the QLC is common because "norms are more fluid than ever before. It's acceptable to defer career commitments, marriage and children for longer than ever before. …

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