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Is a Midlife Crisis Possible in College? 

Written by CB Community

This article was developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

When you are in college, you may feel like you have your life planned out and be optimistic about the future.

On the other hand, you may be concerned that you don’t know what you want to do with your life.

This could lead you to feel like you are having a crisis, which might  leave you feeling stressed out and anxious.

This article will explain what a midlife crisis is and how to overcome it.

What is a Midlife Crisis?

According to BetterHelp, a midlife crisis is thought to occur when an individual becomes aware of their mortality. They may feel like they haven’t achieved everything they wanted to do in life or that their best years are behind them.

This can happen anywhere from age 40 to age 60.

However, it is important to keep in mind that it is not a guarantee. Not everyone will experience a midlife crisis, and even if you think that you might, there are ways to lessen it.

If you are in college, there’s a good chance that you aren’t having a midlife crisis, but when people that are younger experience anxiety about their lives, this is what is known as a quarter-life crisis.

This may be what you are experiencing as a student.

Symptoms of a Quarter-Life Crisis

There are a few symptoms of a quarter-life crisis that you might express, which you should pay attention to:

  • You are concerned about your future.
  • You don’t know what you want to do with your life.
  • You are experiencing doubts about aspects of your life.
  • You may have stopped trying to meet goals.
  • You could find it difficult to make decisions.

When you are experiencing these symptoms, there are things you can do to lessen them, so you can feel more confident and like yourself again.

Overcoming a Crisis

Anytime you are questioning what your next move in life should be, this can cause you a great amount of anxiety.

Not knowing what is next, or what life will be like after college can be overwhelming. Of course, you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself.

Seeing a Guidance Counselor

You can talk to a guidance counselor at school, who may be able to tell you about opportunities that are out there for people with your skillset.

Moreover, they might inform you about statistics related to how successful other students in your field have been in the past.

Working with a Therapist

You might also find benefit by working with a therapist.

A professional therapist can help you figure out why you are anxious about your future and what steps you can take to lessen any fears that you have.

They may also assist when it comes to learning how to think differently in certain situations or provide tips on lessening your anxiety and stress.

Managing Goals

Something else to consider is determining what goals you have for your life and future.

Once you decide what you want to accomplish, you should be able to write down the steps it will take to complete these goals. Then you can get to work on achieving them.

This may not be easy to do but it is possible, so cut yourself some slack and continue working at it.

Keep Learning

If you have no idea what goals you wish to meet or what you want to do in college or after college, you may need to keep learning.

Consider things you like to do and find out if there are jobs related to it. For example, if you like animals, you may want to become a veterinarian or work with one.

When you can, take classes you are interested in, and continue to have fun outside of class too.


When you are a college student, you may not be having a midlife crisis, but you may be experiencing a quarter-life crisis, due to the changes that you are anticipating in your life after college, and for a number of other reasons.

Luckily, there are ways to lessen the effects of this condition. Be sure to talk to a counselor and work with a therapist if you need to.

They may be able to provide you with information that can ease your fears.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.