Ranging between the period from late teens to early thirties, the quarter-life crisis is the phase during which a person is transitioning to adult life but feels doubtful about their life. The term is comparable to midlife crisis.
The core crisis of the problem that is quarter-life crisis, is the problem of fitting in. Researchers have found that this is the time around which people have the strongest desire to fit in, the time during which they are hoping to give a direction to their life.
Quarter-life crises are common among young adults — about two-thirds of young adults are believed to have experienced this crisis in some form. The experiences of people vary significantly, but eventually people get through it.
The crisis isn’t faced just by average Joe or plain Jane out there. Even the most famous folks in the world today have gone through this crisis in one way or another. Some have made smooth transitions through this period, while for some, paths have been rather tricky.
Here below, we present to you what some famous people were doing around the time when they were facing their own quarter-life crisis at the age of 25.
1. Hillary Rodham Clinton was a recent law school graduate.
Hillary Clinton began dating former US president Bill Clinton, who was also a fellow law student at Yale, at the age of 23. Just before she turned 25, she received her JD degree, which was in the year 1973. That same year, she also began working at the Yale Child Study Center.
2. Donald Trump was given control of his father’s real estate company.
At 25, the young real estate developer took over his father’s real estate development company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, which has since been renamed to The Trump Organization. This was in 1971, when he also moved to Manhattan to be involved in larger building projects, through which he came to public recognition.
3. Richard Branson was running Virgin Labels successfully.
Branson started a record shop in London at the age of 20, four years after he had dropped out of school due to dyslexia. He went on to launch the record label Virgin Records in 1972 at the age of 22. Mike Oldfield’s debut album Tubular Bells became the label’s first release in 1973, which became a chart-topping best-seller. The label later signed the likes of Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, and Genesis.
4. Warren Buffett was working as an analyst.
Buffett earned his master’s degree in economics from the Columbia Business School in 1951 at the age of 21. He then worked as an investment salesman at Buffet-Falk & Co. for three years and later as an analyst at Graham-Newman Corp. for two years. In 1956, he went on to start his firm, Buffett Partnership Ltd., In Omaha.
5. Arianna Huffington was travelling to music festivals around the world.
In 1971, when she was Arianna Stassinopolous, she met British journalist Henry Bernard Levin and the two began a relationship. They travelled to music festivals around the world for BBC for several of the ensuing years. In the meantime, in 1973, at the age of 23, she also published her book The Female Woman.
6. J.K. Rowling had just come up with the idea for Harry Potter.
Rowling was 25 in 1990. She had just moved to Portugal to teach English. It was also the same year that she first came up with the idea for her Harry Potter series while on train from Manchester to London. She immediately started the first book, but it took her years to finish it.
7. Stephen King was working as an English teacher.
King graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Maine in 1970. A year later, he married Tabitha Spruce, a fellow student at Maine. That same year, he was hired as an English educator at Hampden Academy in Maine. He was 26 when his first novel, Carrie, was accepted by the publishing house Doubleday in 1973.
8. Mark Zuckerberg had worked for five years at Facebook.
Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dormitory room at Harvard in 2004. It had already changed the world, from changing the notion of reaching out to the masses to creating the need for social media management. It was in 2009 however, when Zuckerberg was 25, that Facebook finally turned cash-positive for the first time. In the same year, it also hit 300 million users.
9. Elon Musk was running his first company, Zip2.
In 1995, when he was 24, Musk dropped out of a PhD in applied physics at Stanford to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He then started the web software company Zip2, along with his brother Kimbal Musk, using $28,000 of his father’s money. The company was purchased four years later by Compaq for $307 million.
10. Jeff Bezos was working on Wall Street.
Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986 at the age of 22. He then went on to work in the computer science field on Wall Street. He worked at Fitel, Banker’s Trust, and D.E. Shaw & Co. He became D.E. Shaw’s youngest ever vice president in 1990 when he was just 26.
11. Steve Jobs had just made Apple a publicly traded company.
Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, started Apple Computer in 1976, when he was just 21, in the Jobs family garage. Apple I was released in 1976, which was followed by Apple II in 1977. Jobs took Apple Computer public in December 1980. At the end of the first day of trading itself, it had a market value of $1.2 billion.
12. Larry Ellison was working as a programmer.
Ellison dropped out of the University of Illinois, Champaign after the second year and University of Chicago after just one semester. In 1966, aged 22, he moved to Berkeley, California with little money. He went on to switch technical jobs between different places for about a decade. His final job before Oracle was at Amdahl Corporation.
13. Eric Schmidt was doing his PhD at UC Berkley.
Schmidt was doing his graduate coursework at UC Berkley from 1976 to 1982. He earned his PhD in computer engineering from Berkley in 1982, at the age of 27. His focus was on distributed software development and computer networking. He later joined Sun Microsystems as its first software engineer in 1983.
14. Bill Gates made a deal that earned Microsoft its first real success.
Gates was just 20 when he founded Microsoft along with Paul Allen in 1975. In 1980, IBM approached Microsoft for an operating system for their upcoming personal computer. This was when he made that famous deal — offering IBM the software although Microsoft didn’t actually have it. It was purchased only later from Seattle Computer Products.
15. Oprah Winfrey was hosting a TV show in Baltimore.
In 1976, at the age of 22, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, Maryland to co-anchor WJZ-TV’s six o’clock news. She then joined Richard Sher as co-host of local talk show People Are Talking in 1978. The show became an instant hit and she stayed there until 1983 when she moved to Chicago to host AM Chicago, through which she truly made her name.
Featured photo credit: OnInnovation Interview: Elon Musk via flickr.com