Life Lessons From 6 Badass Women To Handle Your Quarter-Life Crisis

On the brink of a new decade, the quarter-life creepies are digging their claws and settling in for the long-haul. This comes as no surprise, since, in addition to money woes, work instability, and the impending doom of the planet; as Millenials, we’ve also been hailed the anxiety epidemic generation.

In times like this, when feeling lost in life and doubtful, it can help to look outward to others, for support and guidance.

So here is a list of badass women, with profound lessons on their failures and struggles to help us get out of these tricky situations when we suddenly find ourselves immersed within them. 

1. Jameela Jamil

Jameel Jamil | Source: Stylist

Well-known for her brilliant portrayal of Tahini, a ferociously vain socialite in the afterlife in NBC’s The Good Place, Jamil has cleverly and humbly coined the phrase of a ‘feminist-in-training’, something that we can all identify with. It’s okay to make mistakes here and there, but allow these oversights to offer a learning opportunity.

Aside from her fame for acting and presenting, Jamil is also a big-time activist, founder of the @i_weigh campaign and of course an all-around badass, fearless, tenacious woman. She uses her platform to call out problematic brands and weight-loss products, and the celebrities that promote them, while always encouraging women to value their traits beyond their physical appearances – both the good and the bad.

A self-proclaimed whistleblower, Jamil doesn’t expect us to love our bodies no matter what, but to practice body neutrality. She asks that as women, we stick together and put our relationships, our friendships and ultimately our happiness, before our physical appearance. Jamil teaches us not only to be ourselves but to be delightfully fierce and infinitely determined.

2. Phoebe-Waller Bridge

Phoebe-Waller Bridge | Source: Stylist

Who better to honor on this list than the woman who made a quarter-life crisis look chic? Waller-Bridge, the creator of the hilariously snappy and sardonic hit, Fleabag, has a thing or two to teach us about growing up. 

Both in reality and in her character expression, Waller-Bridge is quick-witted, easy-going and an active anomaly that defies the stereotypes placed upon us as women. Yet, in interviews, she has admitted to creating these fierce female characters, as seen in Killing Eve as well as Fleabag, who are uncommitted to others’ opinions and act with self-indulgent carelessness, in the hope that she too will acquire these traits. 

But what’s crucial about Waller-Bridge, not simply that she tackles taboos and has remained determined despite her failures, is her fixation on female rage. She believes that rage is a gift, not merely a gimmick or an inconvenience, but something that can enforce change, a galvanizer in our lives. In other words, the next time you find yourself concealing your anger or bottling it up, utilize it instead. 

3. Lizzo

Lizzo | Source: Consequence of Sound 

That’s right, the feel-good role model we couldn’t have ever dreamed of has made the cut. Lizzo, saturated in positivity and fun, envelopes a consistent mantra of self-love and the long term hidden goal of uniting people, everywhere. What we learn from Lizzo, is that on-top of self-love and happiness, we must ignore our differences and create much-needed confidants in the world.

Lizzo is our next step in education, for she teaches us that we need more than just girl-power and independence, we need to build community and find allies. She believes that the biggest enemy to marginalized groups is division, and we need to march together rather than believe that our problems are different. 

At a time of great revolutionary change, when we are at a crossroads, Lizzo is here to destroy the barriers in society and tell us that we are not alone that and strength is in numbers. 

4. Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern | Source: Buzzfeed

Yes, there is a prime minister on the list. But this is not just any prime minister, Ardern is single-handedly paving the way for political change. New Zealand is a faraway nook in the world, one that can feel secluded with their forward-thinking and collective kindness, but hopefully, Ardern’s actions will have a lasting influence on the future of politics. 

Warm, frank and engaging, are rarely words we hear to describe politicians, especially not prime ministers, yet Ardern embodies them all. Being only the second person ever to have a baby in office, miraculously, she demonstrates that we can do it all, and we don’t have to be stern to do so. She offers kindness as a political virtue, empathy as a strength and swift action as an asset.

Her approaches toward national and international conflict have labeled her a hero, and with her exemplifying optimism, common-sense and approachability, we have more than a thing or two to learn from this badass. 

5. Greta Thunberg 

Greta Thunberg | Source: Common Dreams 

Aside from her enormous push and influence in the climate change discussion, Thunberg has taught us, humbly, that no one is too small to make a difference. At the mere age of sixteen, Thunberg rose to fame following her speech to Swedish parliament about the urgency of climate change and has, as a result, headed many campaigns and speeches about climate change, galvanizing the Fridays for Future school strikes. 

With her candid words, Thunberg shows us that repetition and persistence are a driving force that we can all personify and she has taught us that the priority of the planet should overtake everything, namely political trivialities and education.

Her irrepressible effect has elevated climate change discussions to the next level, forcing us, mostly her seniors, to re-evaluate our own behaviors and attitudes, and sense the urgency. Her openness about her Aspergers and her sheer age alone teaches us to stand up for what is right, and never waver, no matter who we are. 

6. Otegha Uwagba

Otegha Uwagba | Source:  YCN

Author of the Sunday Times bestseller, Little Black Book, Uwagba is an idol for working women. Little Black Book is a toolkit for working women, full of indispensable advice for navigating the working world as a freelance or a creative. Uwagba also founded the women’s network, Women Who, which focuses on helping female creatives work better. 

Uwagba is inspiring women to not only work better but to discuss uncomfortable topics such as money and discrimination. She talks about the need for change in areas such as bank loans and renting, in regard to their treatment of freelancer’s unreliable income, as the banal work industry we’ve all come to know begins to dissolve. 

Utwagba teaches us that success doesn’t come easy and that tenacity and work ethic are vital traits to triumph in our work-lives, but thanks to her experience and ample toolkits, she’s here to help us along the way. 

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Aoife Smith

I would describe myself as a teacher, writer, and reader. I teach English in Madrid, and I have a degree in English Literature and Psychology. I'm currently studying journalism and I write in my spare time about issues stemming from a quarter-life crisis, being on a budget, social observations, the future, food, and literature. You can find me at onebrokegal.com