A case for the mid-twenties life break

August 2018

When you’re on the merry path of adulting, taking time off seems ridiculous. We explore the case for taking time out without turning it into a quarter-life crisis.

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Your early twenties can be a bit of a blur. Whether you studied, worked or travelled—it’s easy to lose track of time. So, it’s not surprising then that hitting your mid-twenties can come as a bit of a wake-up call—that moment when the camera zooms in and you ask: ‘How did I get here?’

Taking some time out now can be a great opportunity for your own development and growth. Where do you want to be in the next few years, and are you on the right path to achieve this? Sometimes, it’s only by stepping back that we can actually see the track we’re on, and start to consider other ways to move forward.

It can be overwhelming to choose a degree before you leave school, jump straight into that course and before you know it, getting a job in that field.

But people change over time, so it’s only natural that interests and skills change, too. Maybe something else has caught your eye or aligns better with your skills?

Returning to study can be a good way to hone in on your interests and re-discover your skills. And it doesn’t just have to be a passion project, further study can help in the ever-changing job market, where the opportunities to re-train and switch tracks are better than ever.

Besides, anecdotally, the average person switches careers five times throughout their working life—so there’s no rush to settle in to the one thing.

Maybe when you were younger, you were too strapped for cash to see parts of the world properly. Maybe you tried to cram everything in to your first trip, and now want to take things a little bit slower? Or you have a bad case of FOMO and want to see that part of the world you never got to?

Whatever your reasons, your mid-twenties can be the perfect time to head back out into the world and appreciate it differently.

If, on the other hand, it seems as if you’re the only one doing something about it all and your friends or peers are still working things out, that’s also okay. You’re in a great position to perhaps sort out your finances and lay the groundwork for both your shorter- and longer-term goals.

Consider combining your super into the one account, set up a budget, start a savings plan and simply take it from there.

Remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side—so it’s important not to judge others and yourself for the choices you make. Besides, the mid-twenties life break comes in many forms and means different things to different people.