What should I do with my life after graduation? Am I on the right career path? When should I get married?
Most of us face these questions at some point of our lives, especially after graduation. This phenomenon, is also commonly known as a quarter life crisis.
The ‘Quarter-life Crisis’ is widely faced by 20-somethings of the 21st century. Although young adults today are more educated and presented with better choices in life, they also experience an earlier existential crisis and feelings of uncertainty about their direction in life after leaving years of systematic education.
Are we alone? Certainly not.
Recognizing that there are a lot of youths facing the same problem, four final year undergraduates from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information has set up an initiative called “The Next Stop”.
The initiative aims to help young adults navigate their quarter-life crises in Singapore. In partnership with DBS Remix, the platform provides various resources that can help address finance and career-related concerns that young adults of Singapore may face upon graduation.
The campaign will feature resources such as DBS Remix’s WhyMoolah mobile application, a tool designed to simulate a person’s professional life after graduation and to help young adults learn about important financial management skills and make smarter money decisions.
The campaign also hopes to build a community of quarter-lifers by highlighting their stories through video interviews and featured articles. These efforts will complement The Next Stop’s campus outreach programme that will commence in February to engage young adults on-ground and give them more tips on finance management and career planning.
For instance, Sheryl Foo from Temasek Polytechnic shared with The Next Stop that she is worried about her future career, and if what she had studied in school is truly relevant to what she is going to work as in the future. “Currently I have no plans, but I feel it is important to find your passion and interest, if not you will not enjoy what you are doing.”
Celestia Lim from the Nanyang Technology University shared that while she is unsure where to go, or which industry should she look into after graduation, she doesn’t see it as a bad thing.
“Not knowing where to go means you have more choices to look at.”
In addition, the team will be organising a forum-style event, termed “A Casual Cuppa” on March 15, to help students navigate their lives after graduation. Financial experts from DBS and career-planning professionals will be present at the event to offer advice to young adults to address their quarter-life concerns.
Majority of us are concerned about the future
The Quarter-life Crisis has been a topic of much discussion overseas, but this concept has yet to take flight in Singapore, even though young adults here face similar quarter-life concerns as their Western counterparts. This is supported by a survey which the Next Stop team have conducted last September with 390 students from tertiary institutions, and the key findings are as follows:
- On average, 80% of respondents are concerned about finances, building a career and pursuing their passions
- 72.5% of respondents are afraid of making wrong choices in life after graduation
- 66.7% are anxious about life after graduation
- 50.5% have difficulty making choices about life after graduation
- 45.4% feel lost about life after graduation
- 33.3% of respondents wish that there was someone to help them with life choices after graduation
“There has been a lot of chatter about the Quarter-life Crisis overseas, but this is less so in Singapore. Even so, I can see that many young people here identify with feeling lost and uncertain about what’s next after graduation. I feel that there is room for us to help youths be more prepared for their next stops in life. This is why we decided to create a one-stop platform of resources to address concerns that youths are mostly worried about,” said Agnes Ho, one of the co-organisers of ‘The Next Stop’ campaign.
Lost? Only when you are lost can you find yourself, and if you need a place to start or to connect with those that are facing similar quarter life crisis as you do, The Next Stop is a good place to start!