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Facing Up to the Quarter-Life Crisis

17/04/2013 14:03 BST | Updated 16/06/2013 10:12 BST

Forget the mid life crisis, it's hitting our mid twenties that's sending many young adults into turmoil these days.

As we take stock of our lives and what we've accomplished in comparison to our goals, many of us are ending up in what can only be described as the quarter-life crisis, with a 'what-am-I-doing-with-my-life?' panic.

In fact, according to a survey undertaken by Gumtree.com, 86% of the 1,100 young people questioned confessed to feeling under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances and jobs before hitting 30.

It's no wonder that so many of us begin to question ourselves at this age; our lives up to this stage have been a series of checkpoints and milestones that most of us reach at the same time. We go from school to college to university with little time to sit back and reflect before we move on to the next step. While we all knew it was coming eventually, graduating into the real world always seemed so far off, and I just assumed it would be, well, easy.

We aren't taught how to lead our lives beyond education, so it's hard to gauge what the measure of success is anymore - there's no A* for relationships or reward for going to work every day, so how do we know how well we're doing?

In a social media obsessed world, the answer is often to compare ourselves to our peers.

With my Facebook feed showcasing some people starting families or getting married while others travel the world or go out partying every weekend, it's easy to see that we've all changed over the last few years. As we scroll through pictures from yet another wedding, or watch an old friend's baby growing up online, it can be hard not to question if we should be at that point in our life too.

The quarter-life crisis isn't helped with the escalation of social media bragging - it seems we can't experience anything or go somewhere without live streaming it via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles. It's almost like a competition as to who's having the most exciting life and who is #winning.

Not so fun if your life is a little more mundane than you'd care to admit, but the key is not to let our self worth and happiness be dependent on how many 'likes' we get or 'followers' we have.

There's something about turning 25 that's bound to provoke a little reflection. Everything just seems a lot more grown up and 30 doesn't feel so far away anymore. Reaching 25 brings the reality that we'd be put in the 'overs' category on The X Factor (really Simon?), the loss of our young person's travel card (no!) and the realisation that fancying One Direction is actually a little bit wrong (oops).

It can be disappointing not to have achieved what you may have wanted to by this age, but don't get hung up on comparing yourself to others or putting yourself down if you're not where you hope to be. There's still plenty of time to chase your goals, and anyway, life begins at 40! Or so I've heard...