Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chronicles of life

well before the advent of blogs, i did keep a diary, and guess when I started? I started to write diary during my NS times, when it was definitely a very bad time for me. At that time, I was quiet and the bunk mates thought I was an antisocial and.......... well, many bad things happened to me as a result. I wrote diary from the day I was enlisted. While others were sleeping, calling their girlfriends, there I was, scribbling away in my diary...... I even brought a few chunks of paper out in the jungle and wrote under the moonlight while doing sentry or to pass the time while being 'tekan' by the commando mosquitoes. I wrote and wrote, transferring the scribbles of paper to my proper diary when I was free during my NS time. Then, my diary grew and grew...from one notebook to 5 notebook. I also continued to write when I was in Thailand, Taiwan and Brunei doing training. So, my diary that I started while in NS chronicled my days of life from Day 1 to my ORD day. Some years back, when I was very free at home, I took out this diary and had a read. To my surprise, as I read the diary, it became terrible for me as the diary revived all my unhappy days in NS........ After some thought, I tore up all the pages of the diary, diary which I had painstakingly kept and maintain throughout all those hard times of army. Though people may comment that it is a bit wasted as I threw away one part of my memory of my life, I think it is a good move. Life should move on, we should not let the past take hostage of us. My bad experiences in army was due to not opening up too well and since my dumping of the diary, I swore to overcome my weakness and to be a better person in life. Yes, this diary did serve a purpose after all, to tell me about my limitations but I also want to move on in life and be a greater being. We should not dwell on the past and be held hostage or become sad once more by rereading the diary entries. With the advent of blogs, I did try to write some personal encounters daily few years back but imagine my horror, when I discovered how my diary blog could be so easily found out by those I mentioned in my blog. For example, if I mention Mr X, my friend in the blog, after sometime should Mr X did a google search on himself, the search will turn up my blog as well. Not to say I belittled my friends in the blog, but there is still a lack of confidentality in one's blog.It can so be easily accessed by others, and sometimes one does not want that to occur especially when he is writing confidential things in his blog. Thus, I begin to start a blog (url as in bottom of my message), more on my daily observations on life, my opinions on certain issues, some interesting things I encounter in my daily life and so on........ It may also be more interesting for other readers and for me when I reread my blog at times

Monday, August 27, 2007

Being approached

As I walked out of my lift today, a 50 years old looking local woman put out her hand and asked me to give her $2.

I rejected her, only to hear her begging for me to give ..........

This was not the first time I was approached to give money to strangers, this was the 4th or 5th time I was being approached.

I was being approached by two Chinese Nationals some other times, and by 2 to 3 locals including the woman I encountered today.

It was hard to ascertain whether the old lady really needs the money or is a quack.

I believe though Singaporeans are generally well-0ff, there still exists a fraction of society who really needs help socially and monetarily.

I may be able to give her $2 today, someone may give her another $2 tomorrow, but will it solve the problem? All these donations will just help her temporarily.

I believe the best person to help her is herself but she may not be in the best frame of mind to know that.

On hindsight, if not for my rushing of work, I should have listened to her and given her some advice to solve her problems .........

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fatality at Singapore Bay Run

"25-year-old Captain Ho Si Qiu, a platoon commander at the Singapore Armed Forces Officer Cadet School, collapsed at 7am at the end of his 21-kilometre run. Medics attended to him within 30 seconds. At the medical post, an intubation was performed and when no heart rhythm was shown, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was immediately carried out. Captain Ho failed to respond and was sent to the hospital some 20 minutes later. The cause of his death is being investigated. " -CNA

Another young life taken during sports activity.........

There have been a number of cases this year whereby young fit, energetic and young atheltes collasped after some exercises/sports and never to recover again .....

Singapore Bay Run

How time flies! Today, the Sheares Bridge Run comes once again! Similar to previous years, I participated in this year’s run, which has been billed as the Singapore Bay Run to reflect the increasing strategic positioning of the Marina Bay to Singapore. In Marina Bay, one has the upcoming IRs, the Singapore Flyer and the Floating Platform which will be slated to stage key local and international events. Mentioning the Floating Platform, this year’s run will end at the platform for all categories! It is thus a different experience with a different finishing point. Last year’s finishing point was at the Padang. I participated in the 6km run, not that I do not have the stamina to tackle longer distances (in fact I am a long distance runner), but I just want to enjoy the scenery, the festive mood along the whole running route. More important is the feeling of running on busy roads in the CBD (how many times in a year can one do that?). This year’s event was better arranged as promised by the organizers last year, with more lanes closed for running. Also the festive mood kicks in with students playing the drums and performing music as well as dragon dancing to cheer the running enthusiasts. For many people, the destination is always more important than the process. As I grow older, I begin to realise that the process is more important than the destination. As such, these days, I begin to learn to enjoy the process of doing things; one may actually learn more during the process.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Too hardworking

Sometimes, when one is working, one need not be too engrossed in the work too much and neglect safety. How dangerous it is for the man in the picture!


How many of us can stop and observe the surroundings and realise the beauty of nature?

Many of us are caught in the daily grind of city life, it is time to learn to slow down and realise the beauty of nature!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Singapore’s fourth university

A fourth university is in the pipeline. The creation of another university is to create more graduates and hence more knowledge workers for the knowledge era and to feed the demands of the globalising economy.

Personally, I hope the government will adopt a considered and holistic evaluation before deciding to embark on the creation of another university.

True, there will be many graduates with the creation of another university, but Singapore is always subject to the vagaries of the global economy. Problems abound should there be an influx of graduates into the market who could not find suitable jobs in the future.

What distinct features should the new university have? Should it be a full-fledged university or a specialised university? Instead of building another university, Singapore should attract more foreign prominent universities into Singapore to offer an alternative mix of international curriculum for the students.

The sudden closure of New South Wales university and similar sudden hiatus in plans for foreign universities to start a new campus in Singapore may be telling of some problems the universities foresee in the future. These problems may be similar to potential problems for the new university and the government shall find out more about them. I really hope the creation of another university by government is not to make up for the reluctance of foreign universities to base in Singapore

As of now, I believe there are already ‘a handful’ of graduates in the market who are already accepting low paying jobs as nowadays graduates are practically everywhere. Unless a graduate is outstanding, the chances of obtaining a good job is also slim.

An Economic Pursuit Indulge?

Singapore is determined to host the Youth Olympics in 2010. According to MCYS, it is hoped that through the hosting of the Olympics, the local youth sport arena can be revived and our youth will be inspired to take part and excel in sports.

On a personal note, I believe we do not really need the organization of such a mega-event to revive interest and spur our youth to participate and excel in sports. There are many ways to galvanize our youth towards sports that we can explore collectively.

Of late, Singapore is headed towards economic pursuits such as the clinching of events such as the F1 tournament slated to commence end of this year. Even the building of tourist attractions such as the Fly Wheel, the IRs, the new Botanic Gardens and the development of Marina Bay smacks of economical factors. These developments no doubt may become nice places of attractions for locals to hang out with. However have these developments really factor in what Singaporeans really want?

The historic National Stadium will be slated to be torn down soon to make way for a new National Sports hub. Along with the demolition of the Stadium, the scenic restaurants in the vicinity will face the same fate.

Singapore seems to be building places of interests in this era for the sake of attracting tourists’ money, investments and for economic purposes. Do Singaporeans really want and like these modern places of interest?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mask of work

One spends the major portion of his time in work.

Thus if he is not happy in work, he will most likely be unhappy in his life.

Indeed, in work, one can seldom be happy, due to office politics, unreasonable bosses, terrible colleagues. .......

Cultivating a good relationship whenever possible with colleagues is important to have a happier work life.

This happier work life will lead to a happier life.

To achieve that, many people may wear a mask when working, humouring all their boss and colleagues.

When work is over, they return home, and take off their mask to assume their other family roles.

Sometimes we read how people are so stressed at work but do not voice out and when they return home, they release their pent-up anger, abusing and/or scolding their servants, children and wife.


I am always disappointed to see many people in my office lazing around at work and putting on a false front at work.

Some are blatantly playing internets, msn, reading online newspapers, chatting, playing games ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

One should work hard at work and be deserving of a day's pay.

But with increasing globalisation, increasing contract work, divestment, mergers, acquisition, there is no social compact between the employer and employee. There is no heart string to bind the two and the modern employee is always dispensable. The modern employee does not owe the company their loyalty knowing that they themselves can be laid off too.

Thus is it any wonder when there is an opportunity to laze, people will stoop to this basic instinct?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hawker Food

I really have the pleasure to indulge in good hawker food at reasonable prices these two days, one at an upgraded hawker centre and the other at an old market.

The term, ‘hawker centre’ is an oxymoron as hawkers are mobile beings and thus how are we able to put them in a centre?

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has upgraded many old hawker centres to good standards, aesthetically, hygienically and physically. However, with the renovation of the hawker centres, the price of the food has risen and the old charm of the hawker centre is no longer there …. …

Maitreya Buddha

From my visit of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Sago Street today, I learnt that the personification of the future Buddha, Maitreta Buddha is not really a fat, happy and bald monk. According to the learning exhibition hall on the 3rd storey, this fat and happy monk lived in one of the early Chinese dynasty and he could forsee the future Buddha and often shouts out his name. As no one really knows how the future Buddha looks like, over time, the future Buddha becomes personified as him.

Personality Tests

Are personality tests always accurate? I certainly do not think so.

I believe human beings are made up of a host of personalities and these personalities do change over time and after some mind-etching experiences.

Thus if one is to sit down for a personality test made up of multiple choice questions, there are definitely overlaps of answers for which he could choose. And hence there should be a range of personalities for any person.

Society needs people of different personalities to function. Some are born leaders, some are followers, some are carers and some are tyrants.

If you are interested, please go to google and search for personality tests to find out more about your character !

Monday, August 20, 2007


As I was walking along the pavement, I suddenly heard a loud thump and saw the woman in front of me slip on a wet drain cover, and landed 180 degrees to the ground. Her husband helped her up, asking her whether she was okay and her answer was affirmative.
I hope she is okay now, because such a fall may cause undesirable damage to the spinal bones.

The stock market also suffered a similar heavy fall. Many stocks went crashing down, and to a new low ……………………

My Views on National Day Rally

I watched the rally live in the NUS university cultural centre. It was an eye opener as I saw many important figures like the DPM, Chief Justice, Chief of Defence Force just around me in the reception.

Overall, I can say that this year’s rally was very concise, precise, to the point, relevant to Singaporean’s immediate concerns and packed with whole punch of humour!

PM Lee cleverly infuses humour into his rally speech, for example, he remarked how Minister of State of Education Lui Tuck Yew wore red to match the old samusi lady he was chatting!

Education, income gaps, CPFs and housing rejuvenations were the key focuses in this year’s budget.

Singapore decided to increase the proportion of graduates to 30% in years to come and decided to build a new fourth university. Academics remarked the building of another university should be geared more towards meeting the needs of Singapore and Singaporeans rather than for the sole purpose of raising the number of graduates. This is a relevant point.

Some form of annuity will be made compulsory for Singaporeans below 50 years of age, and nearly all estates except the very new estates like Pasir Ris will undergo some form of upgrading.

I believe with the purpose of annuity and upgrading of flats may be greeted by some Singaporeans but first and foremost, I believe the topmost concern for Singaporeans is the sum of money they need to fork out for the annuity and for the upgrading of flats. These are costs Singaporeans may have to incur in future and Singaporeans need to be assured of as usual.

For the learning of Malay and the emphasis on Chinese among schools here, while I welcome the move, I believe MOE should bring this good concept of learning the regional language as well as Chinese further: Non-Indian students shall learn the Tamil language too.

If Tamil is learnt by the non-Indians, it will stand Singapore in good stead with the burgeoning economy of India.

Just imagine, if Singapore has non-Malays who specialise in Chinese and/or Indian, non-Indians who specialise in Malay/Chinese and Chinese who specialise in Malay and Indians, the increased understanding and cohesion among the different races will increase immensely.

Last but not least, I believe Singaporeans should work to an age and contribute to society while he can, be it 65 or older and to help those who are poorer than them in one way or another, the latter is our moral obligation.

Working when one is old may be unwelcomed by many, but working is an activity that will keep the mind alert and make the body stronger than to sit down and idle.

As outlined in the rally, Singapore has good plans to build its future but there is always the threat of a global decline of economy which will definitely affect Singapore.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

National Day Rally

Today, PM Lee will deliver his National Day Rally Speech at the National University of Singapore University Cultural Centre at 1845 hours.

Billed as the most important speech for Singaporeans of the year, his speech will shed light on the directions for Singapore in the years to come.

It is highly expected that PM Lee will cover the rising ageing population and the widening income gap, both which possess social problems for Singapore.

And last but not least, Singapore like other countries will not be spared from the effects of globalisation, and hence this aspect will also be expected to be covered in PM's speech.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Taliban Strikes Again

Taliban in Afghanistan has struck again today, capturing another hostage: a German woman this time round when 19 Korean hostages were still being held in captivity by them .

Terrorism is always a war to be fought by the cooperation of all countries. The terrorists always seek or rather resort to undermean techniques to realise their purposes.

Terrorism after 911, in my opinion has become even worst after the war against the Taliban and the war in Iraq were fought. These two countries, especially Iraq has become living hells, when car bombs are set off everyday, murders and other heinous crimes conducted freely .......

There is no turning back now, terrorism will never fade as long as the twisted ideologies of some radicals group is always alive which influence the future pipelines of successors of terrorisms.

The Unfriendly Lift

I do not know whether it is a matter of lowest quotes which may compromise the quality of public facilities, but to I had discovered that the lift in my block suffered from very poor quality.

Last time, when I lived in the older estates, when the lift just closed, I could still press for the door to open, for my neighbours who had attempted to take the lift just before it closed. With the new design, on many days, I find myself frantically pressing the button to open the lift door for my neighbours who had rushed to take the lift. Unfortunately, the lift door refused to open and the neighbour stared at me, mistaken that I had refused to help press the door for their entry.

This small glitch of the lift could put a damper on the relationships between the residents of the whole block as misunderstandings develop and misperceptions grow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Knock on the door in the early hours of the day

well, one interesting thing I would like to share with readers was an incident relating to a knock on the door.
Last week, around 0600 hrs, when I had just woken up and brush my teeth and when my brother had also woken up, we heard our door being knocked by someone in this early hours.
It was incessant knocking, amidst the silence of this hour, and the rattlings on the doors continued for two rounds.
Looking through the peephole, I saw a nothing, black pitchness and it made the atmosphere even eerier. I knew I have to open else the rattlings on the door would just continued.
With my brother behind me, though I was nearly 30, this kind of thing still made me tremble a bit. With a deep breath, I unlocked the door chain, positioned myself to be sideway (just in case an Ah long threw acid water or wat or ghost do silly things), and with a swift turn of the door, I opened it to find .................
a short white-haired man, who looked intoxicated. He was familar to me, living two storeys below me and who was often seen smoking super heavily and drinking in the early hours of the morning.
With tired eyes, he tried to scrutinise me and made out that he had knocked on the wrong door and he apologised.
There ended this little trauma, haha !

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Challenges facing Singapore

As I live everyday in this small tiny island, I always observe that Singaporeans seem to be engulfed in a state of complacency: believing that the good and prosperous economy is always a given and enjoying the fruits of the economy without realising that our economy is one that is subject to the vagaries of the global economy and global, regional competition.

Singaporeans seem to be apatheic politically and apatheic socially, always asking government how it can do to better improve their lives without thinking that the whole country as a whole depends on each and every Singaporean.

Singapore is scare of natural resources and our most valuable resource is our people. We need talented people as well to continually innovate and be the drivers for our economy in the midst of increasing competition regionally and internationally. Singapore welcomes foreign talents, which will help us further grow our economy and create jobs for Singaporeans. However, the notion of ‘foreign talent’ is one that is sensitive to the locals as the primary impression this buzzword creates in the mind of many Singaporeans is the competition posed to the locals by the foreigners.

The region is developing very rapidly, Iskander Development Region is on the cards, Singapore faces real challenges amidst the increasing development of the region and the world.

Our youth is our future. Many of our youth seem to be indulging in life, living a bed of rose, without knowing hardship and some of them even contemplate migration once Singapore’s lifestyle is no longer comfortable to them.

As such, it is a sobering thought. Singapore’s most valuable asset is its people and the challenge is for its asset to realise life in Singapore is what they make out to be.

This is not the challenge Singapore faces, other key challenges include the increasing income gulf between the rich and poor and the ageing population.

Korean Hostage Crisis

Two Korean female hostages had been released yesterday as a goodwill gesture by the Taliban towards the Korea government.

The fate of the other 19 Korean hostages remain to be seen. This remaining group of hostages consisted of 16 ladies.

Two korean male hostages had been killed to date.

When the female hostages were found, they were draped in Arabic costumes.

Lets pray for peace to the remaining Korean hostages!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Korean Hostage Crisis

At this moment of writing, the fate of the 23 Koreans who were abducted on 17 July 2007 last month:

2 were shot and killed
2 sick women are in the process of being freed by the Taliban on medical grounds
The rest were still captives

Singapore TV shows

The content of Singapore's TV shows is getting from bad to worse.
Just see the variety shows that we have now on Monday by Jack Neo. In this variety show, an obese woman is featured every week to be made joke of, being called 'pigs' and other stupid names.
I pity the obese gal who willingly takes up such a role to be ridiculated in front of all Singaporeans. She has no sense of pride at all, and to think the producers of this variety show resorts to such a low class humour, to appease and make Singaporeans laugh. If Singaporeans still laugh at such low class jokes, then we are indeed fools both mentally and for paying to watch such low-class jokes and to have our mentality insulted.
I have just watched a snippet of a variety show just now around 2130 hours on Channel 8 today at 12 Aug 2007. I watched how a gal, a willing partner subjected herself to have her hair cut by Quan Yifeng, one of the hosts of this show (title of this show, i dun bother to find out, if you want, you can find out yourself).
I find the format of this show akin to that of Taiwan vareity shows where the main form of entertainment is ragging. Why should Singapore variety shows go the way of Taiwanese shows? There is absolutely no variety, no innovation at all, for the show producers to resort to ragging audience, or participants or to show some flesh parades at times, it is very naive for the producers of the shows to believe Singaporeans will find all these 'novelties' interesting and funny.
On the drama front, just watch what Channel 8 is broadcasting nowadays. It is all about scolding, quarreling, relationships within an extended family, domestic problems, relationship problems, all which make one irritated upon watching after a hard day at work. Those actors' acting skills are still long way to go compared to their Hong Kong counterparts. What is Alvin Ng's the uprising star's acting? I do not consider him as an actor at all. TCS just want to place some peronality of some good looks to capture a good audience but all they are just lookers and not really actors.
Talent shows these days are just profit-driven. Dozens of talent hunting shows involve the audience to pay to support their favorite participant of the shows via smses. Wasting time and money for these audience translate to bigger coffers for the producers. It is always so coincidence to see a popular participant to be suddenly voted off and in the revival round, the many supporters call, sms even more to put him back into the competition again.
I do not watch Channel 8 or U drama or variety shows. These shows just waste valuable time due to the low innovation, low quality that these shows project.
Suggest all, if you want to see what is a good show, turn to Hong Kong dramas.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Old Health

A colleague of mine lost his father when he sent him into a hospital after a fall. He developed complications during his stay in the hospital which eventually led to his death.

I lost my grandfather the same way too. It was just diarrhoea for him and then once he went into the hospital, more complications set in and eventually he told me he could not make it and he passed on.

I have heard many similar stories before for old folks sent to hospitals for simple health problems and to never return.

Is it due to old man's health or the doctor's use of medications which may prove too strong for old folks?

Sometimes I shuddered as to the real cause of these old folks' death? Is it due to poor resistance to medications or complications developed or..............?


Different people exist in the world.

The thinking and mindset of people shape their actions. This thinking is affected by experience, education, family upbringing.

I was shocked to see some people, though in their fifties still act like a child. Others act in a very demanding and selfish, greedy and arrogant manner. Nothing satisfies them, they want MORE of everything.....and when there is any goodie, they want more and think the whole world owes them a living.

Though the material life of Singaporeans is on the upside, their spiritual front is still lacking. True enough, there are 666 000 millionaires in Singapore, but how many of them are millionaires in heartware?

Singaporeans lead a fast life and also their lives they lead are increasingly influenced by the West.

It is sad to see falling moral values among Singaporeans, including young teens.

There are so much ungracious acts committed by Singaporeans in everyday life.

Littering is always a perennial issue. Bus misconduct is always happening. Singaporeans are always greedy and flock to JB to shop amidst some crimes conducted over the causeway.

Singapore prides itself on economic success but unfortunately the fallout amidst this successful economic background is some social problems, which may not be serious but are always there ........

Friday, August 10, 2007

Can pictures tell a hundred words?

With 3G, video and camera phones now the norm in today’s society, news broadcasting has also taken on a different dimension.

STOMP is one such innovative channel of news generation and broadcasting. With STOMP, everyone with a 3G, video or camera phone or digital phone can be reporters, news generators, with the videos or images taken to supplement their ‘news’.

A visit to the STOMP website and one will be baffled by the hundreds of news reported by ordinary folks with pictures and videos to substantiate their stories.

These stories can however be deceptive and there is no one to confirm the veracity of the stories.

A picture can be interpreted by the ‘reporter’ in different ways subject to his own bias and perceptions.

For example, a man telling off an old man who is a bully may have his photo taken and interpreted by the reporter as bullying an old man and uploaded to the cyber world and the distorted view soon disseminates ………

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Strong will

Today, as I was waiting for the MRT to work, i saw a young man, aged no more than 25 yrs old, also taking the MRT.

What set him apart from the rest of the regular commuters was that he was using a pair of crutches and he has only one leg!

It is obvious that he was going to work.

Can you imagine what a strong-will man he is? Despites being left with only a leg and having to commute using crutches, this young man is still trying to lead a normal life despites his handicap.

Seeing this, sometimes I feel guilty of being fussy about things here and there when in life, some people are much less fortunate than us.

It is a solemn reminder that we should treasure our lives, our health and also to help others in need.

More importantly, we should let go of some small problems and realise we are happy and fortunate.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


In affluent Singapore, one can still see beggars, young, old, male or female. Some are actually foreigners.

In the newspapers today, it was reported that China will jail those giving to beggars and the beggars who receive the donations.

Singapore may want to follow suit.

Happiest man in the world

The happiest man in the world is an insane man.

An insane man is trapped in his world of idealistic globe and eutopia.

I have seen an insame man listening to a walkman and smiling, laughing happily, oblivious to the surroundings, unconcerned that others view him in pity and trapped forever in his world ... ...

Quarter Life Crisis

The quarterlife crisis is a term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from ages 21 - 29. The term is named by analogy with mid-life crisis. It is now recognised by many therapists and professionals in the mental health field.
Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner coined the phrase with the first book to identify this phenomenon: Quarterlife Crisis, the Unique Challenges of Life in your Twenties. The phenomenon has been identified in Japan as "freeter".

Emotional aspects
Characteristics of quarter-life crisis include:
feeling "not good enough" because one can't find a job that is at one's academic/intellectual level
frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career
confusion of identity
insecurity regarding the near future
insecurity regarding present accomplishments
re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
disappointment with one's job
nostalgia for university, college, or high school life
tendency to hold stronger opinions
boredom with social interactions
financially-rooted stress
desire to have children
a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you
These emotions and insecurities are not uncommon at this age, nor at any age in adult life. In the context of the quarter-life crisis, however, they occur shortly after a young person – usually an educated professional, in this context – enters the "real world". After entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities, some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity. The individual often realizes the real world is tougher, more competitive and less forgiving than they imagined. Furthermore, the qualifications they have spent so much time and money earning are not likely to prepare them for this disillusionment.
A related problem is simply that many college graduates do not achieve a desirable standard of living after graduation. They often end up living in low-income apartments with roommates instead of having an income high enough to support themselves. High underemployment for college graduates contributed to this problem.[citation needed] Substandard living conditions, combined with menial or repetitive work at their jobs create a great amount of frustration, anxiety and anger.Nobody wants to admit to feeling like a 'loser'; this secrecy may intensify the problem.
As the emotional ups-and-downs of adolescence and college life subside, many affected by quarter-life crisis experience a "graying" of emotion. While emotional interactions may be intense in a high school or college environment – where everyone is roughly the same age and hormones are highly active – these interactions become subtler and more private in adult life.
Furthermore, a contributing factor quarter-life crisis may be the difficulty in adapting to a workplace environment. In college, professors' expectations are clearly given and students receive frequent feedback on their performance in their courses. One progresses from year to year in the education system. In contrast, within a workplace environment, one may be, for some time, completely unaware of a boss's displeasure with one's performance, or of one's colleagues' dislike of one's personality. One does not automatically make progress. Office politics require interpersonal skills that are largely unnecessary for success in an educational setting. Emerging adults eventually learn these social skills, but this process – sometimes compared to learning another language – is often highly stressful.

[edit] Financial and professional aspects
A primary cause of the stress associated with the "quarter-life crisis" is financial in nature; most professions have become highly competitive in recent years. Positions of relative security – such as tenured positions at universities and "partner" status at law firms – have dwindled in number. This, combined with excessive downsizing, means that many people will never experience occupational security in their lives, and this is doubly unlikely in young adulthood. Generation X was the first generation to meet this uncertain "New Economy" en masse. There is also the problem of crippling student loans.
The era when a professional career meant a life of occupational security – thus allowing an individual to proceed to establish an "inner life" – is coming to an end. Financial professionals are often expected to spend at least 80 hours per week in the office, and people in the legal, medical, educational, and managerial professions may average more than 60. In most cases, these long hours are de facto involuntary, reflecting economic and social insecurity. While these ills plague adults at all ages, their worst victims are ambitious, unestablished young adults.
As mentioned above, severe underemployment exists in today’s economy. College graduates are physically and mentally capable of performing many jobs, but lack the "1-2 years of experience" required to get hired and consequently end up doing simple tedious boring jobs for which they are far too overqualified. In college, students spend all their time working hard to receive good grades and graduate on time but then they do not have any "real world" experience with which to get a job.
This catch-22 is tough for college students: one must have a degree to get hired, but cannot get hired without 1-2 years of practical experience. This cycle is infuriating for recent graduates. The few graduates that do get decent jobs after graduation usually have to work 15-20 hours a week at a job during college and because of this they end up missing the majority of social events that university life has to offer. These students frequently desire romantic relationships but simply do not have the time in college to gain or sustain them. Thus, they may end up with a job after college but long for a romantic partner and feel as unfulfilled as the graduates who have a partner and no job.
In The Cheating Culture, David Callahan illustrates that these ills of excessive competition and insecurity do not always end once one becomes established – by being awarded tenure or "partner" status – and therefore the "quarter-life crisis" may actually extend beyond young adulthood. Some measure of financial security – which usually requires occupational security – is necessary for psychological development. Some have theorized that insecurity in the "New Economy" will place many in a state of, effectively, perpetual adolescence, and that the rampant and competitive consumerism of the 1990s and 2000s indicates that this is already taking place.

[edit] Other theories
Erik H. Erikson, who proposed eight crises that humans face during development, also proposed the existence of a life crisis occurring at this age. In his developmental theory, he proposed that human life is divided into eight stages, each with its own conflict that humans must resolve. The conflict he associated with young adulthood is the Intimacy vs. Isolation crisis. According to him, after establishing a personal identity in adolescence, young adults seek to form intense, usually romantic relationships with other people.
The version of the "quarter-life crisis" proposed by Erikson, then, is very different from the one that occurs in popular culture. Indeed, the pop-culture version of the "quarter-life crisis" contains more elements of the crisis Erikson associated with adolescence, Identity vs. Role-confusion, giving credence to the theory that late-20th century life, with its bizarre mix of extreme comfort and insecurity, is then causing people to mature at a slower rate.

[edit] Popular culture
The film "The Graduate" (1967) depicts a young man, fresh out of university, who cannot center his emotions and professional life. He is bombarded by all sides by pressures from his elders and becomes very confused.
The Broadway musical, Avenue Q, is centered largely around a variety of New Yorkers experiencing their own quarter-life crises. The show presents the characters issues in a cynical, yet comedic light with songs such as "I Wish I Could Go Back to College," "It Sucks to be Me," "(I'm Gonna Find My) Purpose," and "What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?"
In 1985's St. Elmo's Fire (film), the seven main characters are new college graduates and going through their own quarter-life crises.
In the novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, author Douglas Coupland defines "mid-twenties breakdown" as
A period of mental collapse occurring in one's twenties, often caused by an inability to function outside of school or structured environments, coupled with a realisation of one's essential aloneness in the world. Often marks induction into the ritual of pharmaceutical usage.
Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming (1995) follows a group of college buddies who are trying to make the transition from college to post-collegiate world.
In the novel Twenty Something by Iain Hollingshead, Flatmate Fred says that a quarter-life crisis is twice as bad as a midlife crisis: "It's twenty years premature. No one gives you any sympathy and you're too young and insignificant to buy a sports car and run off with your secretary."
In the song about discontent with life entitled "Why Georgia," musical artist John Mayer muses:
Might be a quarter-life crisis / Or just a stirrin' in my soul / Either way / I wonder sometimes / About the outcome / Of a still verdictless life / Am I living it right
The online magazine, Quarter Pitch is a literary publication featuring regular columns and an open-submission policy, focusing on all aspects of the twenty-something experience.
In spring 2007, Generation What? was published by Speck Press, the first book of essays on the quarter-life crisis.
The 2005 feature film "The Rest of Your Life" specifically addresses a group of friends in Charlotte, NC experiencing the quarter-life crisis.
The film The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff, deals with a young man enduring a quarter-life crisis.
The television series Scrubs, also starring Zach Braff, often has episodes dealing with the quarter-life crisis of his character, J.D. and his friends, Elliot and Turk.
Up and coming writers/directors Philip M. Magcalas and Lucy Harrison have produced a short film titled "The Quarter-Life Crisis" that also illustrates the phenomenon.

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