To all those who are experiencing a “youth crisis”

When the graduate student just graduated, I was full of confidence, holding the certificate of honor graduate, and the halo of the ivy famous school above my head. At that time, I really thought that I was the “arrogant of heaven”, and the road to the future was extending in all directions.

In less than a month, reality brought me back to the prototype: I was sitting in a cubicle with no windows on all sides, holding the lowest starting salary in the industry, doing the most difficult crisis intervention work, 8 hours at work, sometimes Can’t even eat lunch. Even worse, because my partner was still in school at that time, in order to end many years of long-distance love, I can only choose to live in the highest-priced California Bay Area. Here, my salary is not enough at all, saving money every day, just to pay exaggerated rent.

The California psychological counseling industry stipulates that counselors need to accumulate 3,200 hours of clinical counseling time after graduating from a master’s degree, and pass two exams in order to obtain a psychological counselor license. At that time, I often thought about the 3200 hours of fascination: God, when will I be able to complete so many clinical hours!

How could my life become like this? I thought about my thoughts about my future life when I was studying: I wore beautiful business attire and collided with the visitors in the psychology clinic of Jingmingjijing. This is too far away. I turned on the phone and saw that my friends had bought a house in the small circle. My classmates on Facebook had an old castle wedding. Their peers on LinkedIn were promoted again… When I looked at myself again, I really felt ashamed.

Although thinking this way, in reality, I did not walk into a dead end. I was struggling, confused, and ashamed. I got it in 3,200 hours. I passed the license test and my income has increased. Even now, I really have a psychic clinic with a clear window.

It’s not easy to go this way, but compared to the long road of life, it seems very easy.

Now I want to come, I am very grateful for the experience just graduated. In clinical consultation work, whenever I met a young visitor holding my hair and murmured painfully, “No, I shouldn’t be like this in my life,” I knew that the person opposite Like me, I am experiencing a “youth crisis”.

Psychologist Oliver Robinson believes that the youth crisis is mainly divided into five stages.

In phase one, you feel completely trapped by the choices in your life. For example, you do not know what kind of career you should choose, what kind of intimate relationship you should maintain, and you feel that you are being pushed forward by the pressure of life.

In the second phase, you feel that you must get out of this passive situation. You are more and more thinking that if you can “take it out once”, maybe life will have a turn.

In the third phase, you start to act: you quit your disliked job and end a feeling of sweet taste. You enter a period of “pause”, trying to recognize yourself and find your goal in life again.

In the fourth stage, you find some general directions, but you don’t know exactly what you should do. You are groping bit by bit and constructing a new life. Although it is very slow, you feel at ease and satisfied in your heart.

In the fifth stage, you realize what your true longing life is like. You make up your mind and start to work hard for this kind of life.

Through personal experience and clinical consultation, I feel that the psychological pain mainly comes from the first and second stages of the youth crisis. It was an involuntary anxiety, like a bee locked in a glass jar under the sun-the future seemed to be bright, but I didn’t know how to break through this thick layer of glass and fly towards the light go with.

Ironically, the people most psychologically affected by the youth crisis are those who are “advanced”: if you are a person with a firm ideal, a planned life, and strict requirements for yourself, unfortunately, You are most likely to be hit by setbacks in the real world and feel extremely disappointed and confused-just like I was back then.

So, what can be done to deal with the youth crisis?

First, accept the youth crisis.

Although everything is developing in a positive direction, I don’t think I have completely walked out of the youth crisis. I still often feel insecure, skeptical, and disappointed in the cold real world, but unlike what I did when I graduated, I now understand that this is a state of psychological development that must be experienced in life. This kind of consciousness helped me to “normalize” my inner uneasy feelings, and I will no longer be anxious, self-blameful and ashamed because of “why are I still anxious about my life”.

In particular, when I heard so many visitors with different cultural backgrounds and different growth experiences in the consultation room, they all experienced similar pains to me: I don’t know whether the work at hand is meaningful, and I don’t know when I will meet true love. , I don’t know how to get along with my parents as an adult, and I don’t even know where I will be next year… At this time, I understand that the youth crisis is not coming because of how bad we are, but because we are all commoner.

Similarly, when the visitors heard the youth crisis feelings I shared, they also sighed: A person with a psychological counseling major has the same entanglement, so what I experienced is probably normal!

Second, stay away from social media.

Social media has created an illusion that makes us think that other people’s lives are a flash of joy, and that we believe that life is a linear regression equation of “success as long as you work hard”. Looking at your own life, it is not. In contrast, complex emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, anger, and self-blame arise from this.

However, if we can calm down and think about it, we can break through the illusion created by social media: Who will send boring life trivia and day-to-day work details to the circle of friends? Who will write down the twists and turns from “starting to work” to “final success”, and can become a “100,000+” explosion article? Even ourselves are only willing to show the best on social media. The so-called “other’s life” is actually not a real and complete life, but just some shining moments in life.

Therefore, we in crisis of youth need to have the ability to think critically. When we see “the life of others”, before we feel ashamed, can we ask ourselves: the story I learned is their true , A complete life?

Third, rationally manage our life expectations.

Perhaps, we often overestimate what we can accomplish in one day or one week, but underestimate what we can accomplish in one, two, or ten years. Rather than blame yourself for “my life shouldn’t be like this”, tell yourself that my life is like this now.

Finally, take the youth crisis as an opportunity to exercise emotional wisdom.

In the face of the cold reality, we have to adjust ourselves to find a suitable way to deal with stress: some people have picked up their hobbies as a child, some people have found a community that understands each other, and some people have fallen in love with yoga, etc. Activities, some people understand themselves better by writing a diary… These methods that make people feel comfortable are called “self-care” in psychology. In the process of self-care, our emotional wisdom is also growing. Psychological research has also found that good emotional intelligence is an important skill to help people through life transitions.

Just as the word “crisis” is composed of “danger” and “opportunity”, youth crisis is also composed of “danger” trapped in life and “opportunity” that increases emotional wisdom. Perhaps, the emergence of the youth crisis is just to help us prepare for the warm-up to face the crisis of all sizes in the future.

In the days when I just graduated, there was a sentence that gave me a lot of relief and strength: “Our 20-year-old and 30-year-old are suitable for planting, not suitable for harvest. We can’t help but take the time for the seeds of dream to take root Dig out of the soil.” I want to give this sentence to everyone who is experiencing a youth crisis.