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Usually occurs sometime in your twenties, a few years out of school and still feel as though you're waiting for you're life to begin.

For most people it will be arround twenty five years of age (give or take a year or two) as this tends to be when you're way of thinking is starting to change beyond that of a high school or college student. Most people realise they've reached this age if they talk to teens online and realise their way of thinking/talking/interacting etc is considerably diffrent and/or they're starting to refer to teens as 'kids'.

It's an age where a lot people start developing a more realistic outlook in life and start feeling that if they haven't accomplished certain things in life they thought they would by then that they may never (Even though this isn't true and they still have a long time to attain their goals and dreams).

This tends to be the age where regets about decitions made in High School, College etc start becomming more appart. The classes one didn't take, or could have tried harder in, the teams one didn't try out for, and wished they had and so forth can sometimes cause a lot of regret and even resentment of those that are doing things one wishes they'd done.

Some people will respond to a quarter life crisis by rushing into various landmark type goals in life (ie, getting married, moving out from your parents house, getting your first house, getting your first real job, having kids).

This could be because their friends have accomplished one or more of these things and they're worried their falling behind them.

It may also be because they're afraid that if they don't accomplish these things by the time their 28 or so, they may never.

Others respond to it by growing depressed and blamming others for their pervieved failures in life.

People tend to move beyond this life crisis when they realise that, a lot of people feel the same way and/or are in the exact same position, so they have plently of company (misery loves company) and/or start to realise that perhaps some of their hopes and dreams were a tad bit unrealistic and that they're just getting a reality check. Once one realises that life hasen't neccessarily let them down and that their hopes and dreams were just that, hopes and dreams, but the reality has simply granted them a more down to Earth/realistic life, they'll accept it and hopefully be happy for what they have and stop lamenting over what they never could realistically have achieved in life.
Person1: What's wrong man?

Person2: Sorry, I'm just kinda depressed. I'm 26 years old yet I feel like I should have been way more then I am by now.

Person1: I hear ya man, welcome to your quarter life crisis.
by Guest March 05, 2005
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When the world should be your oyster, but is really your Inferno. A period of time, right after high school to late twenties, where you are expected to perform and act exactly like the other adults who are ten years your senior or older, yet more than likely no one has taught you the basic ideas and attitudes of how to be successful in the real world. You will also find out that many of the well intentioned adults, or the adults who wanted to feel important, (teachers, parents, etc.) who actually gave you advice or put in there two cents when it wasn't asked for, were down right dumb, if not delusional, and had no clue what the hell they were talking about when it comes to being successful in real life.

So you are left to figure out much of it on your own. Most of the areas of your life you will be confused about are dating, career, finances, finding a place to live, and friends. This is more than likely going to be the worst time in your life.

*THIS IS NOT A JOKE* This will make the on-going, never ending, day to day, living hell that was high school or middle school seem as easy as breathing. You will more than likely wish you were still in high school, middle school, or 10 years old back in elementary school...just so that you'd be sheltered from and never have to know the never-ending mental turmoil you are going through.
If the quarter life crisis has taught me one thing above anything else, it's that when I have kids I am always going to be open to listen, without judgment, (unlike the assholes I grew up around) when they need me to and that teaching them about bills, check books, credit cards, bosses, job applications, relationships and all that other happy horse shit isn't such a bad idea either.
by Ripped Ranger November 03, 2009
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The time when you reach your 20s and you realize that you have no money, no job, no properties, no credit (not enough) and no significant others.
Mom: What are you so depressed about? You are young and the future is out there!

Son: You don't understand. I'm in a quarter-life crisis.
by quarterlife crisis May 18, 2011
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The period in your life occuring between 20 and 30 years of age, when you realize that a quarter of your life is over and :

a) You've done nothing constructive with it

- AND -

b) You've set yourself up for another quarter just like it.

You may be experiencing a quarter life crisis if :

a) You ever ask yourself what the h*** you are doing with your life

b) You regret half of the last 10 years

c) You consider changing jobs/homes/partners/all of the above to somehow improve your life

d) You feel lost and confused 23.5 hours out of a 24 hour day

e) You wonder how you will ever find job security/afford a house at today's prices/find a partner if you're working all the time/get out of your parents' house if your debt is costing you every dime you make/afford rent while it keeps going up/find a job that pays the bills/pay off your debt/all of the above. Usually all of the above.

Often confused by kids with adolesence, puberty, or hormonal problems. Feeling "misunderstood" and dressing all in black is not a quarter life crisis - it is being a teenager.

Basically, you wake up one morning and think to yourself, "Man - I'm totally screwed." You then proceed to consolidate your debt, look for a better job, and spend more time sleeping - because when you're asleep, you don't have to worry about how screwed you are.
"Man, I've wasted the last 20 years. At least I'm not alone - everyone has a quarter life crisis."
by whatamidoing January 15, 2007
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When you realize suddenly that you've finished school, and it's time to Choose Your Career, and Support Yourself, and enter the Real World -- NOW -- and you have no eartly idea what to do. It doesn't help that you probably have absolutely no job experience whereas the jobs you see advertised everywhere want at least 3-5 years.

You can buy yourself some time to regroup by getting a McJob.
Oh god what do i do where do i go from here my resume sucks i suck and i don't have any money and if i go to my parents i'm a failure and i need to get out there and find a job but i don't see any that i want or that i think i'll know how to do very well or they won't hire me anyway 'cause i can't prove i'm any good so i think i'll just sit here in my room in the dark and curl up and go to sleep for awhile.......
by Never Knows Best May 11, 2004
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A philosophical overwhelmedness with the reality of one's own personal freedom (which occurring between 20 and 30 years of age).
When I was 24 my quarter life crisis led me to quit my job and drive across the country without a plan.
by elle_gee January 19, 2011
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