We have one life - you can go nuts if your stressing
I am seeing a lot of posts about extreme stress that are outside of the realm of what I would call typically cyclical stress (approaching year end always comes with some stress). That, combined with the recent suicide of someone in the industry makes me want to send out a reminder to all the younger folks that it is 100% okay if you get into IB and you absolutely bug out and have to quit. Its hard to imagine this if you measure your worth based on arbitrary achievements, but you will be 100% fine if you have to quit.
Back in the day I thought I had it made. I was cranking along in IB, I was seen as an expert in my product group. I made associate in lightning speed compared to my peer group. I was seen as a shoe-in for VP track. This all came crashing down one day where my body basically gave out. Me and my GF broke up because I wasn't there for her due to obsession with work, my twin brother who I had a very close bond too died of an overdose, and I realized that the spot I was chasing just wasn't that glamorous anymore. I remembered when I went to school in Cali and would surf and play tennis all day and I started to cry, something in my brain just switched and I did the career killer, I slept in late, ignored calls, came in to work after smoking weed, ignored deliverables and told my MD that I wanted to quit the firm. I couldn't even make it two weeks, I had to leave in 7 work days. After being an all-star for so long, I would have developed a reputation as an unreliable (the death knell for your reputation in this industry).
For those of you with less experience this might be hard to believe, but veterans will understand when I say that everything was ultimately 100% fine. I took a year off, I got into new and exciting careers, I started a business, and I ultimately did things I am proud of with more time for family and friends. This isn't a knock against IB, I love the industry, but I reached my shelf life in it like many others will continue to do after me.
IB is a train that is all consuming; you get on board and your life is tied to that journey. Its a great thing and it also causes a lot of anxiety, but just understand that you can get off the train at any point. There is no need to have extreme stress or have an inflexible attitude over goals that are incredibly arbitrary. I wanted to go to analyst - associate - VP in lightning speed not because it was an innate human need, I wouldn't even know that track if I didnt work in the industry. I wanted it simply because it was the thing that I was being told to want. I wanted to get into IB after college because I was told that was the best career. I had so many desires that weren't in my heart, but they were dictated to me by the expectations of others and so I was no better than a extremely well paid automaton. The key thing to remember though is you have options, IB is great on a resume not because you learned about things any idiot can learn about (you could probably teach a monkey a), but it is great because it signals to employers that you could get into IB, and you could hack it for X years.
So my advice if your really stressing, really freaking out is evaluate what do you want out of your life. I promise you you will be okay if you quit, so think on it long and hard. What do you want from your life? Make sure you are getting more from IB than it is taking from you. If the equation starts to look unequal, maybe it is time to consider getting off the train.