It’s tough being a millennial!

University of Cincinnati student Kelsey Kennedy has coined a new term for the new phase in life being experienced by over-educated, underemployed, young Americans.

The quarter life crisis is the new mid life crisis.

As many of us near graduation, the term “quarter life crisis” seems to be surfacing more and more. An increasing amount of millennials — those born from the late 1980s to 2000 — are suffering from anxiety and stress about the future. People in their twenties are going through a crisis of identity and purpose. For those of us who are in our twenties, we grew up in a time of scrunchies and crop tops, boy bands and Baywatch. Our parents told us we were perfect and creative and successful, and we believed them. This is not to discredit my generation for all of the things we have achieved thus far — we thrive off of technology, challenge the government, and have contributed wonderful things to our culture.

The concept of a quarter life crisis seems to be primarily found in western society. As one of the most influential nations in the world, we are depending on our 20-somethings to carry on the tasks of our forefathers. Millennials should be bright-eyed and optimistic about being the future leaders of America. Instead, we are feeling increasingly lost as we evolve and navigate through society. We are so privileged as a culture to be able to go to college and express our freedoms, yet we drag ourselves down because sometimes the weight and responsibilities feel like too much to handle.

It is not uncommon to find articles criticizing millennials as narcissistic, entitled and high-maintenance. Which, in many cases is true. Never has a generation had more access to each other’s lives by way of social media. Our lives are put on display and inspected under the microscope of scholars. So yeah, maybe we are a little narcissistic. But that doesn’t mean we also aren’t heartfelt, political and influential.

…If you have to move back home with your parents — so be it. But give yourself some credit for making it this far. Giving credit where credit is due is something we need to work on as a generation. We are a competent, proud group of young adults. A quarter life crisis should not be the term that unites us in our struggle to identify our place in the world. It can be analyzed by sociologists and criticized by baby boomers, but it should not define us as a generation.